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Trayvon Martin’s legacy is justice…for everyone.

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Editor’s Note: What you are about to read is an editorial/opinion piece. Your opinion or beliefs may differ…I’m open to healthy, respectful discussion on the matter. I don’t claim to know precisely what happened during the evening of February 26. I base my opinion on what things we have learned about that tragic night, including but not limited to the 911 call and George Zimmerman’s statements then and since.

By now, just about everyone knows the story of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old who was shot and killed February 26 by George Zimmerman, who was on neighborhood watch duty in a Florida community. There has been a lot of conjecture, a lot of talk, and a whole lot of emotion swirling around this tragedy.

I think that Trayvon Martin was killed (three weeks after his 17th birthday) for no reason at all, other than because he was a young black male. Let’s not kid ourselves. He wasn’t being shady, he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he wasn’t threatening anyone. He was black. And, today, like 50 years ago, like 150 years ago, that can be enough.

Trayvon Martin’s parents were recently on Dr. Phil. It was truly heart-wrenching. I think I cried for the entire hour. Trayvon’s father had trouble gaining his composure on multiple occasions. So did I.

Dr. Phil then tried to counsel Trayvon’s mother, and had everyone close their eyes as he told them this anecdote (it’s not funny, obviously, but I think this would be called an anecdote) in an effort to help her realize Trayvon’s legacy…

Dr. Phil’s website is currently running an unofficial poll on people’s opinions about George Zimmerman. I took it. It then displayed the up-to-date results.

  1. Do you believe George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense? The answers (I don’t know what the sample size is, of course) are almost evenly split — 47 percent say yes, 53 percent say no. (I said no.)
  2. George is currently charged with second-degree murder. Do you believe he should be convicted? This is interesting — 56 percent say yes, while 44 percent say no. (I said yes.)

Of course, this isn’t an official survey, so it’s hard to glean a true sense of how people feel about this situation. However, the man who killed Trayvon Martin has gotten plenty of support — by the time he was arrested and arraigned, he had received upwards of $200,000 in donations. The case has also come before a new judge (after Zimmerman’s request was granted by an appeals court — he alleged bias on the part of his former judge) and his legal team is requesting Trayvon Martin’s school records, going back to middle school. They also want to know about his social media activity. The Martins’ lawyers argue that these legal maneuvers are an attempt to smear Trayvon Martin. “None of those things that are being subpoenaed is relevant to why Zimmerman profiled and pursued Trayvon and shot him in the heart,” one of the lawyers has stated. I couldn’t agree more.

For some reason, the senseless death of Trayvon Martin hurts my heart deeply. It has affected me in profound ways. It makes me think of my sons, who could walk to the convenience store — just like Trayvon — and never make it home, for no reason at all. I have two sons, one who is 20, one who is 18. They’re not unlike Trayvon. They’re good kids. They’re sensitive and bright and respectful and have good hearts. And they’re half black.

"Justice For Trayvon Martin Foundation"

That’s my younger son. In this picture, he is about Trayvon’s age. I don’t pretend to know what Trayvon Martin’s mother is feeling or how her son’s death has affected her. It’s an extremely personal experience, and not one I ever want to lay claim to. Yet it still eats away at me. And when I think about Trayvon Martin, I think about my sons. And I feel all sorts of emotions…gratitude, appreciation, and love — but at the same time, fear and worry. Either of my sons could have “been” Trayvon. It is by the grace of some higher power — or perhaps their guardian angels — that neither of them have been.

Let me tell you about my 20-year-old son. He is polite, well-mannered, intelligent, responsible, thoughtful, considerate, and has a sharp sense of humor. He was a great student and a great basketball player (both a talented and a smart player). I’m a little partial, that’s a given. When he was in middle school, his brother would complain that he got special treatment because he was “The Perfect One.”

Last spring, my son (who was then 19) worked the polls in the Pennsylvania primary. He spent 13+ hours sitting in a folding chair at a small community church, writing down in a register the names of those who came in to vote. On one side of my son sat a neighbor, the mother of a guy who happened to give my son his first (and only) tattoo, a Jesus portrait (which was covered by clothing). On the other side sat another neighbor, a woman who works at a local college and was anxiously trying to recruit him to enroll in college.

As I’ve mentioned, my son happens to be half black. Not that it matters.

Oh wait. It does. Being black always matters.

"Justice For Trayvon Martin Foundation"

On voting day, it happened to be chilly and windy and the heat was not turned on in the building. Everyone tried to combat the chill with sweaters and jackets and such. My son was wearing a hooded sweatshirt — the dreaded, scary “hoodie” — and when he got cold, he would put up his hood to stay warm.

Then another poll worker told my son that he looked like a hoodlum because he was wearing a hoodie. He told me on the phone and, I admit, I freaked out. I was furious. And hurt. And disappointed. After all, he was a 19-year-old young man working the polls. Did she really think it was appropriate to call him a “hoodlum”?

I don’t know this woman, the one who insulted my son and basically labeled him “suspect” and “criminal” for (what I considered) no reason at all, other than the fact that he is a young black male. You might think that’s a leap or that I’m “playing the race card,” but I made it a point to hang out at the polls for a bit, to see how she reacted when other people showed up in hoodies. She didn’t give them a second glance. Does that mean she’s a card-carrying racist? No. But it sure means something.

Let’s be honest. I wear hoodies all the time. No one calls me a hoodlum or seems frightened in the least when I’m wearing one. Plenty of white males wear hoodies and they’re not considered criminals because of their sweatshirts.

My son has no criminal record and he does not drink or do drugs. In fact, my son is the great-grandson of a war hero, a man who received the Bronze Star for Valor in World War II. That man, my grandfather, saved the lives of men in his platoon at the Battle of the Bulge. I like to think that my grandfather lived his life with dignity and integrity and I like to think that my son continues that trend. In fact, of all the generations that followed, my son is one of the few who remind me of my grandfather. I don’t believe I’m wrong; in fact, everyone who meets him thinks very highly of him.

But this woman didn’t even give him a chance. There was no reason to; after all, she could immediately see that he was black and that was enough, for her, I suppose.

"Justice For Trayvon Martin Foundation"

Being black was enough, when some woman who knew nothing about my son, who didn’t know how kind and patient and generous he is, called him a hoodlum. Because, I’m not going to buy into some BS that a hoodie is threatening or frightening or indicative of criminal behavior. (Regardless of what Geraldo Rivera said about the “hoodie” being just as responsible as George Zimmerman for Trayvon Martin’s death.) That woman who called my son a hoodlum labeled him that way because he is black.

And, no matter what his killer says, I think Trayvon Martin was killed because he was a young black male. And that, in my opinion, is why he was deemed dangerous and a threat. And why he didn’t make it home that night.

"Miami Heat LeBron James Hoodies For Trayvon Martin Justice"

Shortly after Trayvon Martin was killed, 13 Miami Heat players wearing hoodies posed for this picture in an effort to raise awareness. A month after Trayvon was killed, Time’s Toure wrote “How to Talk to Young Black Boys About Trayvon Martin: Eight talking points about the potentially fatal condition of being black.”

“It’s unlikely but possible that you could get killed today. Or any day. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Black maleness is a potentially fatal condition. I tell you that not to scare you but because knowing that could save your life. There are people who will look at you and see a villain or a criminal or something fearsome. It’s possible they may act on their prejudice and insecurity. Being black could turn an ordinary situation into a life-or-death moment even if you’re doing nothing wrong.”

That’s sad. But important. And, more sadly, necessary.

In another of Toure’s talking points, he said,

“When I look at you, I see a complex human being with awesome potential, but some others will look at you and see a thug — even if their only evidence is your skin. Their racism relates to larger anxieties and problems in America that you didn’t create. When someone is racist toward you — either because they’ve profiled you or spit some slur or whatever — they are saying they have a problem. They are not speaking about you. They’re speaking about themselves and their deficiencies.”

And that’s why I’m glad I didn’t freak out on that woman, the one who made an insulting, degrading comment toward my son. There’s nothing wrong with my son…there’s something wrong with that woman, whether she realizes it or not.

On a side note, the woman who called my son a hoodlum was wearing a Jesus fish around her neck. That’s sad, too. Not that she’s a Christian…but because she didn’t act very Christian-like toward my son. For no reason at all.

"Justice For Trayvon Martin Foundation"

Trayvon Martin’s parents have set up a foundation in their son’s name, to get justice, to advocate, and to honor his legacy. If you’d like more information (or want to get involved), check out the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation. Among their goals…to help organize, uplift, and advocate for the advancement of young people around the world who, for whatever reason, are judged to be “different,” and thus a “threat” to other people.

That’s a goal I stand wholeheartedly behind, not just for my children, but for everyone’s children. So that not one more “Trayvon” loses his life. For no reason at all.

That’s Travyon Martin’s legacy. At least I hope it is.

2/27/13 Update: Five Things You Should Know About the Trayvon Martin Case (CNN)

91 comments to Trayvon Martin’s legacy is justice…for everyone.

  • Sharon Siqueiros

    Great post!!
    ~thank you~

  • Deb Dorrington

    Wow your post really brought back some memories for me. I sincerely hope the Martin family gets justice for their son. No parent should suffer the loss of a child and especially in such a violent and senseless manner. I thank you for this article.

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  • Dana Wales

    Great post well written and very very informative.

  • Renee Travis

    I totally agree with you about you saying that this young man was killed because of being black. I am a 45 year old white female, and I don’t care what color your skin is, or where you are from. We are all human and no one deserves to be treated any different. I hope the man that did this stays in prison and pays for what he has done. So sad :(

  • Linda Short

    Thought provoking. It’s terrible to outlive a child but to have one taken in such a manner is beyond horrible.

  • Lourdes G

    I’m sorry but throughout Zimmerman’s case I was thinking he was a racist bastard! I heard the phone call recording and it sounded like Zimmerman was the one approaching Martin. He had no right to do that! Looking at that picture with him in the hoodie, you could see Martin’s face it doesn’t show a trace of “thug” in him. If Zimmerman could lie about the donations that were made to him then he could lie about that fatal night.

  • Marti Parks

    People drive me crazy. I cannot for the life of me understand how it does anybody any good to be cruel, racist, nasty or just negative in any way. What good comes from it?? I will never know!

  • Dana Pugsley

    So sorry to read this

  • marie channing

    very interesting post ..I hope the right thing happens for all concerned..no matter what the circumstances losing a child one never gets over …..

  • Becky Kuntz

    Thanks for this post! I Do not think Trayvon should have been killed! That being said Zimmerman did kill him and should be convicted for the killing. He is Guilty. However how many people have to die… before we realize many people are racist at heart! We need to learn true equality and I do not Know if that will ever be possible! Sure we have a Black President, but does that really even mean anything? God created All Men equally…but many of us forget.

  • essijay

    wow. this post hits home on so many levels for me. i was headed in the direction of ‘black people are bad’ because of how i was raised and the stereotypes that were projected onto me. my parents taught me to see people for people, not for their skin color (or clothing choices or music preferences, etc etc) and my very first best friend was a black girl (we were 4). my very first kiss was a black boy (we were 6). of course, the kiss, we sneaked into the school bathroom so we got in trouble, and soon the whole school heard about it and started calling me n****r lover and other horrible things. that started it all. it lasted for months, i was shamed for doing something all kids do because i did it with the wrong person.
    about 5 years later, more of the stereotyping was projected onto me – my father got cancer and my mother had to work 3 jobs to support us because when we went asking for help, we kept getting turned away… and one social worker finally let us in on what she called “the secret” – we were the wrong color. if we had been black or latino, we could’ve gotten help because they were the “welfare queens” and such. now that i’m older, i wish i could’ve been smart enough to give that woman a piece of my mind – but i was 11 years old – i knew only what i was told (ha, get me started on indoctrination and public-school “education”, i dare ya!)
    fast forward 5 more years – we had moved next door to my grandparents, both disabled and couldn’t drive, to help them get to dr appts and such… the only cool hangout in the county was the strip mall about 20 miles from the house – video rental store, dollar general, winn-dixie, hardees – i spent most my free time at the winn-dixie. just so happened that right across the street was a furniture factory – and every friday at the winn-dixie there were dozens of mexican workers in line sending 90% of their paychecks to mexico via western union. and the people that worked in the store telling stories about how they come here illegally and take american jobs and don’t even spend the money here in our area so we’re all suffering because of them.
    fast forward again – i’m 23, poor, and pregnant with my first child and i go to ask for help with insurance from the social services – and the case worker tells me point blank that i should move out of town, or get rid of the child – because other people won’t be nice to us, seeing as he’ll be half black. to prove her point, she told me a lovely story of a couple in town that adopted a chinese girl and had to pull her out of the public schools because she kept getting beat up and harassed.
    so yeah – i was taught to hate other races – not so much as i was taught how to read, but still taught, nonetheless. and i’m not the only one, plenty of people are taught – through the news and the pop culture and the movies – hoodlums in hoodies on the movies and the black singers singing about drugs and hoes – we’re all being programmed to hold onto those prejudices, whether we’re aware of it or not. :-(
    now, i have a seven year old mixed boy and you wouldn’t know he was mixed unless i mentioned it. and i’m relieved. as selfish as that sounds, it’s true. because he’s high-functioning autistic – very sensitive and peculiar and eccentric and i just couldn’t imagine him getting hurt so much by the prejudices of other people – i was hurt plenty by racist ideas and thoughts and i’m not even a minority – i just can’t imagine how much hurt minorities feel through the course of their lives.

    anyway, i honestly didn’t plan to write this much on here – i rarely share any of this and i’ll admit i’ve never even visited this page in the past and i’m just here for a contest… but the whole trayvon martin incident had my blood boiling when it happened and it does still to this day. our society needs help – namely in the “better than you” area – we need to realize we’re all equal, we’re all humans deserving love and equality, regardless of skin tone, sexual preference, religion, gender, income level, etc etc – we need to stop letting the media tell us how to treat other people.

    • Essijay…thank you for sharing.

      And thanks for visiting. It’s OK you’re here for a contest…I’m glad you’re here, and I’m glad you raised all these issues, which are all important and honest and relevant and thought-provoking. Thank you.

    • Rhonda B.

      I’m sorry that you had to deal with the negative stereotype of people’s bigotry and ignorance. What that caseworker said was total misinformation, the majority of people on social services through a poll, in America, are Caucasian or that the real reason your child may have suffered in schools was because of prejudice, racist bigots (like your social worker) or people that remained silent and watched children be picked on because of race or disability…

      We hold onto this ignorance, as if we are afraid of change. As if standing up for something makes us less of the “in crowd”, it removes us from our safe zones… we are like salmon going against the stream. So yes, racism is taught/learned, but change is the true growth in who we are. It IS hard to admit but because you recognize it, that is Step 1. What you said is the truth… albeit ugly truth… but truth nonetheless. Our next task is to accept it and to fix it, because unfortunately the cost can be our children.

  • Amanda

    It’s such a sad situation.

  • Rosanne

    Don’t believe everything you read or listen to in the media. it’s biased and not always truthful or presents both sides. It is meant to sway emotion rather than look at logic or fact.

  • michelle warner

    i dont know how i feel about all this, all i know is there is another child dead and another person being tried for murder, there is way to much crime and way to much freedom with the gun control

  • Tina

    I don’t understand how someone could hate someone else just for the color of their skin. It is just wrong and immoral. Let alone that poor young man losing his life because of his skin color. I feel for his parents and all of the people who loved him. This is such a sad and tragic case. Thanks so much for the post.

    Happy New Year.

  • sherry warlick

    I just hope that justice will be found for both families. I know that both families are suffering right now.

  • Julie Wood

    I do not believe that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self defense. He scared the kid who was just trying to walk home from the store. Who said George Zimmerman had the right to confront Trayvon? Mr. Zimmerman is not the police, and he should have stayed out of it becasue Trayvon would be alive today! Terrible tragedy!

  • Julie Sullivan

    I’m so tired of all violence and crimes

  • Katrina Villeneuve

    This is all so sad, I hope your son didnt let that woman get him down, he sounds like a great kid! Keep up the good work!

  • Amber Nara

    This makes me sick, I saw this on Dr. Phil as well and I am sadded for his family. Thank You for sharing!
    A boy to not to be forgotten.
    RIP

  • deb p

    George Z,is a (want-to-be)cop. When police were called, they told George Z,they would check Trayvon out.George was told to stay out of it. So why did he go outside???
    2nd: In Florida, people doing neighborhood watch are allow to carry a gun.???? First time that I have ever heard of a neighthood watch doing that,using a gun. Only in a state like Florida,that can’t get it’s voting right and on time could let something like this happen. George is part of the problem and should never own a gun. Maybe jail time will help him to think about it.

    t

  • Kathleen Manthey

    Thank you for this thought provoking post. I am deeply saddened for the Martin family’s loss of Trayvon. It is so hard to wrap your mind around the fact that something like this could happen. If George Zimmerman was so afraid, why did he go out and confront this teen? It makes no sense. So sad….

  • Danielle Winn

    This happened in My Hometown, I think it is such a tragedy, and NEVER should have happened in the 1st place……

  • Charlotte Raynor

    I happen to believe that George Zimmerman acted in self defense because he thought Trayvon had a gun. We happen to each have out own opinions.

  • carla bonesteel

    Great post…I almost totally agree with you! I don’t believe that George thought he had a gun. A candy bar doesn’t look anything like a gun. Though, white kids get shot, too.

  • Leah CB

    What a great thought provoking post. I come from a family racists. I’m the odd one out. I choose to not see other people for the color of their skin, but for who they really are. My girls are being brought up the same way. My family members have been told to keep their racist remarks to themselves in front of my kids & no racial slurs are to be said.

  • Jo-Ann Brightman

    I am so upset about the rise in crime and prejudice in the US – perhaps because of all the guns (crime) and backlashe to the election (prejudice)

  • Rosie

    It is hard to be a parent and find your child was shot dead buying a snack. To me, it appears he was murdered, and the person who shot him was a pretend police freak who seemed wayyy too trigger happy.

    by the way that is a pretty dress in the picture above!!!

    (ppl are way too quick to stereotype. I lost my job and my car and now have to walk everywhere. It is amazing how many people now judge me as a lazy loser, the same ones who would think highly of me if I showed up in a shiny car – not caring of who I am inside, just in the most superficial appearances – without caring that they are not even trying to find out before judging.

  • Fee Roberts

    I live in Jax, FL and I couldn’t believe that a supposed grown man could kill a kid. Lies upon lies. I just hate it. I feel for his family. Such a horrible loss.

  • Mary Mirvis

    There will always be injustice. Thanks for reminding us of this big issue

  • Marlete L.

    I belive there are so many injustices in this world! Whether you’re white, black, hispanic, asian, middle eastern or what not someone, somewhere is going to have something negative to say or worse. What happened to Trayvon is devastating and it’s sad that in this day and age people can’t get a long and see past the color of ones skin and that innocent people get murdered just for that simple fact.

  • Kelly M

    So much sorrow any way you look at it.

  • april yedinak

    Great post and I can feel where you are coming from. I am a white woman with biracial children. I will admit that before I dated a black man and had my children, I (like many, many ignorant white people) thought that all the racial slights and comments were exaggerated or made up by paranoid black people. Until I lived it. Until I noticed how people would stare, how when I was with my children’s father we would get lousy service at stores and restaurants, how people would snicker, whisper insults under their breath or cross the street so they wouldn’t have to walk past us. When I had my children, I was even more aware of the condescending and prejudiced attitude that is so prevalent in our society. When I heard about Trayvon Martin, I grieved, but I also felt chills up my spine. What if it was my son? My son who will one day be a large, tall black man. A gentle giant that will instill fear and distrust in ignorant people simply because he will be large and dark. The saddest thing for me is that people that don’t consider themselves racist (like I didn’t), who think they are open-minded and tolerant, often have unconscious prejudices and buy in to stereotypes when push comes to shove and they aren’t even aware they are doing it. I hope that one thing we can learn from this tragedy is that when we let irrational fear rule us than we become the monster to fear.

  • Holly S.

    It’s a terrible tragedy in a world that seems filled with them lately. Crimes against children, no matter what race, just should not happen….

  • Patricia Nomand

    Its a tragedy but he didnt know if he had a gun or not

  • GayAnn Wright

    Thanks for this posting we do need to raise awareness of the injustice against people just because they look or live or believe a certain way.

  • Kayleen Considine

    Thank you for the post. I try to avoid the news as I dont like hearing the bad news,so I hadnt heard much about this case. I hope they convict this guy and throw away the key!! This is another reason why (and Im probably in the minority here) we need stricter gun control laws here. Too many innocent people are being shot and killed for nothing.

  • Lauren Rickels

    Interesting post. A different perspective.

  • Rachael Henzman

    I totally agree with you! Racial profiling is so so wrong!!

  • Pamela Halligan

    My heart continues to go out to Trayvon Martin’s family. I do not believe George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense and I do believe he should be charged with second-degree murder. Thanks for this informative post about the case.

  • desiree

    i now what your feeling my cousin little one is half black and she look like little angle now we have 2 in family and you got to think what would of happen 20 year ago my family would of not let them in the family now they do now they got 2 little angle and then the little one are going to be great kid and smart one

  • Leslie Galloway

    I believe that George Zimmerman acted violently and unnecessarily. If he was truly feeling threatened by this young man, he should have called the cops and left it at that. They are trained to handle situations, and this would have ended in talking instead of a tragic death of an innocent young person. I agree with you that skin color does still matter. We are scared of those not like us, but hopefully with each generation, that fear lessens.

  • celina k

    I was affected deeply by this case as well. Not only the case itself though, but the reaction to it. Justified? Really? He had a reason to be scared for his life? Really? Because he was wearing a hood? No. Because he was black and wearing a hood. I’m a small little white as can be female, and I would not have feared for my life. How small was George Zimmerman again? Heh. I’ve seen pictures. I wear hoods all the time. I work with kids of all colors wearing hoods all the time.

    This case made me cry. Somehow I thought society was beyond this. But we get a black president and all of the racism that has been fairly dormant (at least publicly) in the last decade runs rampant. And I see it on TV very day. And I am embarrassed to live in a society like this. There is no reason for it. We are all just people.

    The saddest part is not just the horrible crime, but that anyone could think there is a defense for what he did. For his parents, his friends and family to see the way this case has been treated has to be unbearable. I don’t care if he was scared. And since when do neighborhood watch people carry guns? Yeah that makes me feel real safe.

    I don’t care if he was scared. People run into situations or other people that frighten them every day. Try taking the Subway in NYC. That doesn’t mean you can just shoot them.

    • You are SO right. Zimmerman really hasn’t got a leg to stand on. He chased Trayvon down, was the aggressor, and then shot him. I don’t think that his uncertainty as to whether Trayvon had a gun or not is an issue. Think about what that means: If you have a concealed carry permit, then YOU can run around shooting people that you think “could” have a gun? I don’t think so.

      You’re supposed to use your weapon to protect yourself, others, and (in some states) your property. Trayvon Martin was not a threat to any of that until George Zimmerman made Trayvon defend himself because he put HIM in fear of his life.

      I’ve been involved in scary situations in my lifetime and, at no point did I think, heck, I should kill them to make myself feel safe. There are rules in society.
      Kristin recently posted..Top 12 Posts of 2012My Profile

  • Allie Wiley

    Very good post!

  • heather jackson

    Your post is so awesome, thanks for sharing this. I am in agreeance with you. My children are also bi-racial and they get stereo typed all the time. In fact when they were little i had people calling them bananas, which at first i didn’t get then somebody explained it to me. Yellow on the outside white on the inside. It is so sad to know that in this day and age that we still have people like this in the world. I mean seriously grow up and educate yourselves.

  • Catherine M.

    I really liked this post. I’ve always thought he was killed because he was black…no other reason. I hope that jackass gets what he deserves.

    Wow, Essijay. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I, too was taught to be racist, but by my grandmother. She raised me and was a wonderful person to me, but she felt “black people have their place and it’s not near me”. My first boyfriend was black. I hid it from her until one day another black boy, a friend from the neighborhood, came by with his little brother to see if I could play (we were around 11 yrs. old). I could NOT believe how she reacted. She yelled at them and told him how dare he come to her house and not to ever come here again or she would call the police. Then she slammed (yes, slammed) the door in their shocked and confused faces. I have never felt so embarrassed or ashamed in all my life. I had no idea why she felt that way. As soon as I could, I found him (a few days later) and apologized like crazy. He said the most shocking thing to me…”That’s ok. It happens”. What?! An 11 year old boy says “it happens”?! That was in 1982. Now, I have neighbors and people around town who say “the town’s getting dark” or “they don’t work for nothing and expect us to give them our money”…crap like that. It burns my ass! I can’t tell you how pissed off that makes me. Anyway, my husband (who’s white) has to endure all kinds of racist talk from co-workers and everytime he tells them it’s wrong, he gets looks and they walk off. They don’t include him in their conversations for a while after that. We’re fighting for equality for everyone, but it’s like an uphill battle.

  • Valerie

    thanks for sharing this thought provoking blog

  • rochelle haynes

    A very sad thing to happen!1

  • Wendy T

    Very provocative post.

    I’d like to take my comment in a little different direction. I used to work for a black woman. She was a brilliant photographer, an artist. She and I used to have many conversations about clients when they first met us. Not all clients, but enough… People would come in and assume I was the photographer, and she was the assistant!! Such a stereotype…that I must be the talent and she the help, just because of racial prejudice.

    And then the day someone carved the n word into the door. Broke my heart. All I wanted to do was sand it down without her ever having to see it, because that was just soooo far out of bounds and unthinkable. I knew it was not my place to cover it up (what if they came back, what if I messed the door up in trying to fix it, etc.). What a shitty situation for me to have to tell her, and for her to have to see it and live with it.

    Dang…..

    • What a horrible thing to have happen. Although I do have biracial children, my personal perspective is through the lens of white privilege. There’s no denying that. I can’t pretend to know how it feels to be treated this way, whether it’s because of your skin color, or your religion, or your sexual orientation, or whatever. I can empathize but I don’t know how this really makes a human being feel, in their heart, in their mind, in their soul, because I don’t get treated differently for the sole reason that I’m “different.” I really cannot imagine how sad, frustrating, frightening, etc. this is. It’s truly shameful.
      Kristin recently posted..The St. Jude Recycled Card Program — a win-win!My Profile

  • claudia ellis

    It is sad that in this day and age people are still judged by the color of their skin!

  • Sara Weekley

    I myself am a mother completely understand your feelings on this. This all should have not happened. What is the would coming to these day. Thank you for this post. =)

  • Lorna Patrick

    Such a tragedy :(

  • Dorothy Boucher

    wow what a great post, great review ,, my heart goes out to this family, and yes it is so sad , so sad that the fact that America with all its power still has things like this going on.. i remember when this happened i cried , my prayers are with the family ;) again Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us @tisonlyme143

  • Helene Tienda

    This is a sad story! I think this was a senseless killing and I hope that Zimmerman gets the longest punishment possible. There are consequences for our actions, and I feel that he acted prematurely, and should not fired at that kid without just cause.

  • Lisa R

    Such a tragedy, this world can be a scary place, my heart goes out to the Martin family. I don’t know what else to say but I am disappointed to hear another story about a child dying. Laws have to be changed and penalties must be greater than ever. We need to protect our children and all of the innocent

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  • Mellissa M.

    This was so sad. Thanks for posting this for us to think about.

  • norma chabrouillaud

    A sad tragey for the family. i feel for them.

  • Dawn Justice

    I agree with every point that you have brought up in this article. I was devastated when I heard about what happened to Trayvon Martin . It disturbs me that still to this day there are people in this world that are still racist and haven’t learned that you can’t judge a person by the way they look or what they are wearing. The more things I watch about Zimmerman and his story the more disgusted I get because he only showed an interest in Trayvon because like you said he was black. I am a white female and do not judge people by their color but, by how they present themselves and treat others. You can be white, Asian, Chinese, black, purple, green or whatever and as long as you don’t come running at me with weapons than I’m gonna say your a pretty good guy or gal! But, that’s just me…I wish the rest of the world were that way and it would be a much better place. I do hope that Zimmerman gets what he deserves, I stopped following the case because it only angered me more to see people actually taking up for him.

  • Heather Martin

    I’m 38. I, too, live in Eastern PA. While I was your son’s we had our problems w/ the Aryan Nation and the skinheads, but we were taught (and practised) tolerance and acceptance. For race, religion, and sexuality. I spend a lot time w/ younger kids. The intolerance, even hate, for all of those things scares me. As you pointed out, the older generation now feels free to let go w/ all the old prejudices.

  • Dena Sablotny

    thank you for the story. sad how some people think things abt others without any proof other than what outfit someone is wearing.

  • Sarh S

    I have grown up in diversity! In my elementary, middle and high school there were students of ALL races! I don’t understand the whole racist thing and this or that because he is black or blah blah blah because she is white. I’m 23 and I am so sick of it! Thanks for the article!

  • Ashley N.

    This has been a ongoing story, hopefully there will be closure to it!

  • Andrew L.

    Thank you so much for this post! We agree with you 100% and it’s sickening that it took them so long to arrest the shooter.

  • heather c

    such tragey…thanks for post..

  • Susan Faatz

    Thank you for the post but it did take a long time to get the shooter.

  • Trish F

    I’m sorry for all those involved in this, but I don’t listen to a lot of the stories out there because the media are quite often wrong and they tend to push and sensationalize stories that divide people. I hate the media.

  • cathy henatyszen

    Great post !!!

    It’s such a shame what happened to that poor kid, and he was JUST A KID…

    I think all this gun violence is so bad… getting worse by the day… everyone figures they have the right to have a gun…

    you never know when and how they will use them, stronger gun laws are badly needed !!!!

  • Michelle S

    Before people jump on the “racist” bandwagon my child is bi-racial, and I actually wanted a bi-racial child (if that sounds weird, I apologize lol). Trayvon was 17 and is old enough to be tried as an adult in a court of law–I don’t understand this “he was just a “kid” and all the “innocent” photos being shown of Trayvon were from when he was literally a “kid” shaping the viewer’s perception that an “innocent kid” was gunned down in cold blood. If he’s a “kid” then why did his parents not even know where he was/care what he was doing? They’ll exploit Zimmerman’s record, but not Trayvon’s. Also, his parents willingly got on the race wagon when it was sensationalized, making appearances, interviews, and allowed their son to be exploited. I never saw it as a “black vs. white” until, you guessed it, it was shaped in the media like that and Al Sharpton started exploiting Trayvon’s blackness for the “cause”. I’m not saying “don’t care about it as a “black person’s cause”, but it only being taken further and furthering racial tensions. Celebs, politicians, and even obama exerting his pressure over the case “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon”–has the President ever said that about a Caucasian person? No. In SoCal four black men gunned down an Asian store owner, but did the Chinese community “go after” the African-American community and ignite a race war? No. Why does it have to be Black or White or Yellow? I think the introduction of race into the case has pretty much sabotaged the case. If race was unknown–would people still feel the same way?

    • I respectfully disagree, Michelle. I believe that Trayvon’s father knew where he was — he only went to a convenience store for a drink and candy.

      I also think that defense attorneys will exploit Trayvon’s record. However, I don’t see how it’s relevant, UNLESS they can show a pattern of violent, aggressive, antagonistic behavior. If he smoked marijuana or didn’t get good grades or whatever, I don’t see how that would be relevant to the facts of this case.

      Additionally, I think that the 911 call from Zimmerman does lend itself to the perception by most of the media and the public that there is a racial bias involved. He immediately referred to Trayvon as “a real suspicious guy,” then made comments like, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something…” and “These a**holes, they always get away…”

      I don’t understand how he could deduce all that while sitting in his vehicle in the dark, just from seeing a young man walking down the street with a bag of candy and a bottle of iced tea.

      But I do appreciate your comment…we all have different opinions and theories and perspectives, and I welcome them all. I like a healthy, diverse discussion!
      Kristin recently posted..Febreze made this family’s dream come true!My Profile

  • Denise McDonuts

    Ugh all this makes me soooooooo mad….

    I hope their family gets justice… I Can’
    this whole situation.

    I can’t stand how this country is still so secregated!

    UGH UGH UGH IT ALL T’s ME OFF!!!

  • Misty

    I agree its so terrible what happen to that poor kid

  • KristinaMarii0125

    I don’t like when people of ALL ages die like this ..

  • LaTonya

    Great article! Yes being Black Always matters take it from a mom of 3 black sons. Thank you so much for this wonderful article!

    • Thanks so much, LaTonya. It does always matter. And, boy, do I hate having those arguments that we’re playing the “race card.” As you and I both know, it sure shouldn’t be phrased in a way that makes it sound like a game. There is nothing fun or light-hearted about fearing for your children’s safety every single day.

  • tamimhasan101

    “Its really nice. This page contain a huge amount of material. I think it would be more and more effective for all.
    Personally I like this job. Thank you for sharing. ”

    • REALLY? Someone with a website called “Princess With a Gun” tried to leave a comment on THIS POST to get a link to their site with the keywords “concealed carry permit???”

      SERIOUSLY??? Do you have a soul?

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