Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When a clear & present danger . . . isn't

When I first read the story of Trayvon Martin, I remember feeling a sense of disbelief. It didn't seem like to me that this could be a story reported in 2012.

Here's my reality.

I am the parent of two teen-aged boys.

They both like skittles.

They both like Arizona Iced Teas.

They both wear hoodies.

Neither one of them is ever likely to be accused of looking suspicious in a gated community.

The difference between my two boys and that of Trayvon Martin is the color of their skin.

As a white person, I admit to getting tired at times of all the conversations about race, sometimes thinking to myself, why can't we move on.

Then something like this - hits me in the gut. Hits me full throttle & shakes me to the core because this is the reason we need to keep talking about race. Keep talking, talking, and talking until no child is killed because they "look suspicious" based on the color of their skin.

I cannot even say something like, "there but for the grace of God, go I."

My white privilege doesn't allow for it. My reality is that if my boys are walking in a neighborhood and someone wonders why they are there, they will more than likely be approached, questioned, and let go.

They more than likely will never be subjected to calls to the police for "looking suspicious," or shot & killed.

The wearing of hoodies & the sagging of their pants will not automatically mark them. (I'm not saying that Trayvon was sagging, but just talking about the reality that my boys do sag their pants at times & nobody ever thinks of them as criminals because of it.)

They are white.

Trayvon was not.

The next time anyone says that they are tired of always hearing about race, I will remind them of Trayvon & the millions of other black boys & men who are either dead or incarcerated because of the color of the skin.

And, I will continue to be proud of all three of my kids because of the diversity of their friendships and their willingness to speak up when an injustice has been done.

And I will hope that perhaps one day all of our kids will truly be judged by the "content of their character," and not the color of their skin.

In the meantime, I grieve for Trayvon and I hold his parents in my heart and I ask that you sign this petition to bring his murderer to justice.


Margaret said...

I agree with you 100%. Even when it isn't killing, it's different treatment and suspicion.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Maybe now we can quit this nonsense of a post-racial America. This story is so very, very sad.