By now, everyone has heard the story of Trayvon Martin, an African American teenager who went out to get his younger brother some Skittles at half time of a game, and was shot dead in his father’s gated community. The man who did this to him is still free, and some ridiculous Florida law is being invoked that if the assailant felt threatened, he was allowed to shoot him.
Rather than address the simple fact that Trayvon Martin was pursued by a man in a car with a loaded weapon who called the police once, was told not to follow him, and continued to do so, the media is focused on turning this young man into someone who somehow deserved it. The whole thing makes me sick.
Trayvon's Mom – I too am a mom of a boy about your son’s age and I have seen how tough these boys act when they feel threatened with words or violence of any kind. High school kids are powder kegs, and I’m sure that Trayvon may have said things to this man that he shouldn’t have. But so what?
Of course I believe, as I know you do, that race was an issue too. But I’m not writing about race, this is about mothers and the fear that goes through us every time our teenage sons leave the house. Teenage boys, no matter how good they are and I’d like to believe that the majority of them are, push the envelope. They’re growing, they’re changing, they’re learning.
They wear hoodies – and take pride in covering their heads. They dress a little gangsta sometimes. They desperately want to be cool. And they can be horribly obnoxious. But they are not dangerous, they’re just kids.
We don’t know how others will perceive our sons – but what we do know is that there are many horribly angry people out there – stirred up by an economic environment that scares everyone. We fear terribly for our sons. We wait for the phone call that you got, Trayvon's mom, every time our boys are not home. And we pray that it won't happen to our son.
So Trayvon Martin’s mom, as one mom to another, I want you to know that you have the support of every mother I know, no matter what race or ethnic backgrounds. We want justice for you and your son. And until you get it, we all cry with you.