Trayvon, and Those Beautiful Boys

I've been thinking a lot about Trayvon.  But it really didn't hit home until a friend posted on Facebook that she didn't want to have to worry about her two black boys as they grow up.

I know those boys.  The older was a friend of my son's when they were younger.  The younger I know only as a baby, and what a beautiful one.  To think of these precious children at risk just because they're boys, and black, stopped my heart for a minute.

But that's what all this is really about.  The stigma and dread black boys and men live with every day of their lives.  As President Obama said yesterday, he, too, has been followed in department stores and heard locks click on cars when he was walking by.

How can you live this way?  Yet we expect members of the black race to endure this, no, expect this, when they go out into the world.  President Obama also gave voice to the fact that very often, it's black men who are committing the crimes.  But how else would you feel if you grew up knowing the world expected you to fail, to be someone to fear, to be less than the rest of the world?  To not ever count? I'd commit some crimes, too.

Trayvon drove this home to me.  Here he was, an innocent young man, out for a walk, and he's profiled -- and oh, yes he was -- by some bully wanting to look like a big shot -- and harassed until he goes to defend himself, and maybe he did beat George Zimmerman up, and that's why Zimmerman shot him.  But he didn't ask for this, he didn't go looking for this.  He went out looking for Skittles.

And now he's dead.

What must it be like to grow up knowing you better walk, and walk slowly, never run, when you're near white people? Or have to worry about what you're wearing?  I know mothers who forbid their sons to wear hoodies.  Who lives like that?

Black people.  Every day.

I was watching a guy on MSNBC Saturday night who showed clips of the anchors on Fox, all berating Obama for "inciting violence" with his remarks.  How could you be so off?  The MSNBC anchor was saying this is a chance to start the talk about racism, to maybe finally look at ourselves and see how we can make things better.

I was so angry and upset, listening to the Fox anchors.  But then I realized this is America, and this is what we sound like.  And if we don't stop this, somehow, some way, there will always be Trayvons.  I pray, not my friend's beautiful boys.



Comments

  1. I agree and disagree with what you say. I understand your sensitivity, personal concerns, and perspective. My experiences, and maybe yours, began in the Stamford Public Schools. Mine included going to Roxbury Elementary and being pounded in the back by a black classmate, to Cloonan Jr. High and being bullied, harassed, threatened, intimidated each day, beaten, mugged (yes mugged) with personal property stolen, to West Hill High School and being surrounded by 6 black students(one who I knew from Cloonan) and pushed against the wall with pocket being rifled through for money. I asked Reggie, "Reggie, what are you doing?" Unlike the President, I was born white and experienced the other side. I was a child victim of desegregation and was bussed into black neighborhoods from 1967 to 1970 to achieve so-called racial balance and equality. My education taught me these UNITED States will always be DIVIDED on race relations. However, I took the high road and raised my children to be color-blind. My daughter dated a black fellow for 5 years, and my son is currently dating a Taiwanese girl going on 7 years. Curiously, my son one day asked why it was only 1 or 2 "African-Americans" were in his classes throughout his grade school years, and how this seemed wrong. He can blame me for protecting him and sheltering him so he could thrive in school, NOT be victimized by some social experiment, to become salutatorian, and make something of himself that I could not. I watched the news too. I like a mix of media outlets including Fox News. I never understood why the President choose to see the facts of the case based on what reflects in the mirror. This wasn't about race. It was about being pounded to the ground and being afraid for your life. And then living in a state that allows you to protect yourself even if it means taking deadly force. I can relate to this event in a way where my sympathies go to Ronald Zimmerman. Shame shame shame on the President, the Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons for injecting race into a non-racial event, and keeping these UNITED states DIVIDED. I think Zimmerman deserves an apology for being racially persecuted from the President on down. Deb, I enjoy your writings and appreciate your thoughts.

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