Trayvon Martin: Victim of the Violently Vicious
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” – President Obama
Have you heard of Trayvon? No? Well, you will. Trayvon Martin was a teenage boy gunned down in Sanford,FL on a rainy evening coming home from the store. Why was this young man killed? Because he was black, wearing a hoodie, and looked like he was ‘up to no good’. According to the neighborhood watch Captain Zimmerman, it was self-defense. But here’s the wringer, Trayvon was unarmed. Yup, unarmed. Captain Zimmerman shot a boy to death who was simply going home in the rain with his hood on from the store.
Am I miss something here? Don’t we live in 2012? This story sounds like it’s straight from 1955… Oh, you don’t know what happened in 1955? A young 14 year old boy named Emmett Till was taken to a barn, beaten, shot in the head, thrown into the river and tied down to a cotton gin. He was found three days later. His mother, grieving, decided to have an open casket funeral service to show the public what had been done to her boy. I’m sure you’re asking, why was this boy so violently killed? He was reportedly flirting with a white woman at the small town grocery store.
It is still evident that much of the country sees things through a colored prism – racially and sexually profiling human beings who are ‘created equal’. The Black-White paradigm has become far more complex. Now an intense 3-D chessboard that includes Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered. Each of those segments having to tread lightly or risk succumbing to some bitter, painful demise. Matthew Sheppard. Vincent Chin. Luis Ramirez. Waqar Hasan. And many, many, many more.
Regardless of what Trayvon looked like, Trayvon should have never been gunned down. A teenage boy wearing a hoodie does not make him a ‘gangsta’. Emmett Till should have never been shot in the head. A teenage boy flashing some good manners to the locals at a grocery store does not make him a sexual predator. Matthew Sheppard, Vincent Chin, Luis Ramirez, Wagar Hasan, and many others should have never been victims of brutal hate crimes. Their lives were taken away from them too soon. All because they were different. Different sexuality. Different ethnicity. Different religion. We live in a country that should embrace differences, not virulently attack them.
Have we come to a point where we still have to teach our children the Black Male Code? Or the Muslim Male Code? Or the Asian Male Code? I doubt that our society, which has progressed so far and diversified so much, should need to do so in order to ensure our children’s prosperity. Our children should be able to walk on this earth and live full, amazing, breathtaking, memorable lives. To have the ability to become adults, grow old, and die of natural causes. Because that is the true order of things. Not to be shot down on a rainy evening on his walk home from the store, shielding his face from the rain with his hoodie.
This week’s Villian of the Week goes to Captain Zimmerman … And the individuals, like him, who shoot before asking questions, who fail to recognize the value of a life, who prey on the ‘uncommoner’, and who refuse to acknowledge the significant power of diversity. Shame on you for not recognizing how many there are of us — the-rainbow-coalition-types — versus all of you.
We shall continue to rage against the machine until you finally ‘see’ us.
R.I.P. Trayvon Martin
‘Til the next time,