I have a brother who turned 17 a week ago. He is not a criminal.
I am not a criminal. Yet in the wrong neighborhood, wearing the wrong thing, say a hoodie for example, I can be seen as such. My brother can, too.
Hoodies. Iced tea. Skittles. These are just a few things that I like. It’s sad that these items fused with the color of my skin would lead someone to think of me as “suspicious.” My little brother has it even worse.
Over the past week, I have been infuriated and disgusted while learning more and more about the Trayvon Martin case. Outrage doesn’t even begin to describe the reaction to the injustice and severity of this wrongdoing and mishandled situation. How a 17-year-old innocent, unarmed teenager is dead and his murderer is walking free, is beyond belief.
This happens all too often. Suspicion. Followed. Shot. Killed.
Trayvon Martin was a victim of walking while Black. How foolish and stupid does his killer, George Zimmerman, and the Florida police feel after learning the young man had no weapons, was causing no threat, and even mentioned to his girlfriend while talking on his cell phone that he was being followed?
Was it the hoodie? A bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea, that’s all Trayvon stepped out the house for. That’s all Trayvon died with.
I have been following this case from the moment it was reported and each day the emotions grow stronger. The anger grows stronger. The sadness grows stronger. The prayers grow stronger.
Why in the hell is George Zimmerman still free?
And supporters on his behalf want us to believe that race had nothing to with it? B-S!
You want us to believe that Zimmerman murdered in the name of self-defense after he insisted on approaching his “suspect” with a loaded weapon? B-S!
Look At The Facts
Let’s look at this case and pull together what we know:
Fact: The 911 call Zimmerman made to the police dispatcher was recorded. Within that call, it was the dispatcher who advised George to stop following the victim and to wait for the police to arrive.
What? Did George hang up on the dispatcher and not hear that part in order to take matters into his own hands? Why did he approach Trayvon with a loaded weapon in the first place?
Wait, no, damn. It was also heard on the recording, Trayvon begging for his life and yelling for help. Self defense, Georgy? Yeah, right. You disobeyed police orders and murdered an innocent teenager.
Ok, moving along.
Fact: Since January 1, 2011, George Zimmerman has made 46 calls to the police regarding suspicions of African Americans burglarizing and doing other things. All reports were excused and turned out to be false. Can we say, “thingsthatmakeyougohmmm…”
Fact: There were witnesses. But no one was interviewed about the incident. Police, why didn’t you do your job? Hell, it wasn’t until after the story became national that the public was informed that Trayvon was talking to his girlfriend at the time it all went down. She heard it all. Even knew of the guy following Trayvon and how nervous he made her boyfriend.
No arrest has been made.
Oh shoot, that’s right, under Florida law, the police agreed with Zimmerman’s story and also ruled the murder as self-defense. So you’re excused. NOT.
Get my point?
It took a nation-wide protest to get the police’s attention and for them to begin a thorough and constructive investigation on this case.
Through social media, we signed petitions for justice and change. We’ve made statements through Facebook and Twitter, marking the hoodie as a representative that we could all be Trayvon Martin. Are we all criminal? Are we all suspicious? Are we all guilty for being Black?
We’ve supported, rallied and participated in protests across the nation on the Martin family’s behalf. We’ve written. Voiced our concerns, angers, and hopes through various mediums.
What is it going to take to get to justice?
Football player Michael Vick spent 23 months in jail for participating in illegal dog fighting.
Troy Davis, a Black man, was sentenced to death for allegedly shooting and killing a White man. He was convicted on insubstantial evidence and coerced testimonies. After a public and national plea for his release, Troy Davis was executed on September 21, 2011. He died still claiming his innocence.
And Emmett Till, such a tragic case. The young boy was dragged out of the home of the relatives he was visiting in Mississippi, beaten ferociously and brutally murdered for supposedly whistling at a White woman. His murderers, all White, never saw a second in jail. He was only 14. Four-teen.
Racism has no way of hiding. It’s all too evident, especially when you have a case such as 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot under non-evidenced self-defense. The 911 call aides in the only evidence there is: there was indeed no reason for the murder to even happen.
Trayvon should not be dead.
No Place Is Safe For Kids
There are so many kids in danger. From sitting on the front porch of their home to walking to and from the school or the playground –– no place is safe.
All the murders, suicides and the like are gradually wiping out an entire generation. These kids are dying with lives still needing to be fulfilled. These kids are dying by the careless acts of people and situations that should not happen.
One minute smiling, the next parents are crying.
Grief. Families are being torn apart. Missing souls. Bleeding hearts. Too nervous to walk the streets from the front door down a block to the corner store.
Life shouldn’t be like this.
This is a matter of right and wrong. The way Trayvon’s case and many others are being handled is wrong.
The denial that race played a part is wrong. Hearts ache for justice.
My heart goes out to the Martin family and any family that has lost their child and justice has yet to be served.
The mere thought that we, as Black people, no matter what our intentions are, no matter what our profession, no matter how much volunteer work we do, organizations we’re involved in, or the person we just gave food too, or what ever…the moment we –– in our black and brown skin –– throw our hoods up, we become “suspicious.”
Without even realizing it, we could easily be igniting our own demise.
I am not a criminal.