My House since the Trayvon Martin murder trial verdict
I am the divorced mother of three. Two of my children are boys. They are 19 and 17 years old.
Despite the emotional and economic hardship that came with divorce, my children have had a pretty decent life so far. Who am I kidding, they are and I am blessed. Two have been out of the country and the third is on his way. They have each studied at least two of the following three instruments, violin, piano, flute, cello and two still play.
Growing up in a house full of books they are all avid readers and family discussions like are of our activities are raucous and animated. Douglas, Dubois, Fanon, Walker, Morrison, Baldwin, Thoreau, Emerson, Wilde, Shakespeare are all old friends who have been raked over the coals in heated discussions.
They also have a severe sense of history, crammed into them from birth. The history of my mother’s family, their grandmother, the stories of the ones born slaves, their children and so on. They are the fifth generation born free in this country and the fourth to be college, graduate and professional school educated or else!
I am sharing all of this to give context to the anger and agitation that I have observed in my sons since the verdict, since George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Since the trial of Trayvon martin for being Black and outdoors in the rain.
My sons are angry and distrustful and scared. The failed initial investigation could be written off as a Keystone Cops kind of small town racism… mental note avoid small towns. The marches and protests demanding an arrest and investigation evidenced the power of people to effect change and personal and community pride. The trial was tense because they saw all the problems that the pundits did and it didn’t bode well, particularly as the trial devolved into Martin being found guilty of not running home, not being known to his attacker, defending himself and fighting for his life. The acquittal said that it was not safe to be a young black man in America.
The realization may seem unrealistic but it is not. I am a hyper-vigilant parent and they have had to earn every ounce of freedom that they enjoy. I did the how to talk to the police talk, the be your best, talk, they have pride in yourself, your family, your culture, your history talks. The keep up with your siblings talk. Always let someone know where you are, that you are okay. I think that they had written off my demands for caution as my hyper paranoia and need to control the uncontrollable.
The murder of Trayvon Martin took the danger out of the abstract and the verdict confirmed the lack of societal concern. That it is ok to stalk and kill young black men. That mommy isn’t all that crazy…
As a result, my sons nerves are frayed, senses raw… because they are good and valuable people, like their friends, like Trayvon . And all of their lives MATTER, even if they live in a society that cant quite seem to get that simple point!!!