Sunday, March 25, 2012

A few thoughts on Trayvon Martin

I think I'm with a lot of mamas out there when I say this child Trayvon has been on my mind constantly for weeks. Truly any time I look at my boys I think of him.

I really believe I'm a pretty laid back person (in most regards). I'm not a fearful person by any stretch of the imagination. I really take a "free range kids" parenting approach. So this feeling I've been feeling for a few weeks that is so foreign to me? Now I know. That's fear.

Total fear that my boys will have the same fate as Trayvon just because they share the same color of skin.

This had everything to do with race. I don't care what Newt says or Santorum says it's not political, it's racial.

But white people won't understand unless we want to start to learn to understand.

I would've had no idea until I decided to raise black boys and started reading massive amounts of literature on the very real uneven racial climate this country still finds itself in. (And please understand, I still have much to learn).

Because here's the deal, this country cannot be what it promises to be (land of the free, the only place in the world where you can go from nothing to something, etc) if kids like Trayvon still get gunned down because they're black.

This country cannot be the promised land if only white people are promised the land.

And it's disgusting to me that the killer is free. It's devastating to watch Trayvon's family fight for justice.

This is one of those times, right? One of those times where you want to crawl under the covers with your family and never come out. Or is that just me?

Instead I'm asking our friends. Our friends who have the same skin color as our boys and as Trayvon. What do I do? Will you help us raise them? To understand. Because I don't understand. I don't know what it's like.

"My father always said keep your hands at 10 and 2, always. If a police officer pulls you over keep your hands at 10 and 2."

"When I get out of my car and there are white people around I watch them look at me and then click the door lock button on their car. It still happens."

I don't know what that's like. But that doesn't mean it's not real just because it's not been my experience.

My babies, my baby boys. They are so cute and so precious right now. One day Tariku will be a teenager with facial hair and an afro. He'll undoubtedly be wearing a hoodie because that's all he wears now. And one day he might look suspicious to the wrong kind of person. The thought of that runs shivers down my spine.

So today I'm doing a few things. I'm linking to a few really good articles out there (though there are many). I'm urging you to sign this petition. I'm changing our blog header until justice prevails for Trayvon and his family. And I'm begging you, regardless of your race, to start educating you on the realities of this country for minorities.

If you have ideas as to what else I can do, I'm constantly open to suggestions. Blessings to you.


Cindy said...

Heart broken

fiddlehead said... much to open our eyes to. so much to be done and understand about ourselves, this country.

I too have been thinking so much about Trayvon, the injustice of a free murderer. I am trying to believe that justice will prevail and that this will be a mark in history to will change- something.

It also has me thinking about how our culture views our beautifully African children in relation to gender. Is my daughter any different, less susceptible as a female African American. In the end, it has been thinking. it has my soul shook up for all of children, for all of us.

Semi-feral Mama said...

All this talk about race is really important, but what I need to know is how you got your kids to use the proper expressions for the photo-shoot??? I mean my Trayvon post has almost the same title as yours. It ends with a picture of us in hoodies and yet, well, I got smiley faces or fishey lips to chose from in our photos.