The George Zimmerman trial is the worst fear of every black family
The Trayvon Martin case has been nothing short of heartbreak from the very beginning. Regardless of what anyone believes about Trayvon’s past, his innocence or George Zimmerman’s, the fact remains that a teenager is dead. I honestly didn’t think I would get emotionally broken up more than I was over the story that Rachel Jeantel’s friendship with Martin stemmed from the fact he was one of the only people who never picked on her. The story painted such a tragic picture of friendship and two people whose lives will never be the same.
Then came this week’s testimonies and reactions from Trayvon Martin’s parents to leave me – and so much of America – floored. On Friday morning, Sybrina Fulton took the stand to talk about her son. As part of her testimony she had to identify her child’s screams in his finals seconds of life. Later in the day, Tracy Martin had to sit in court as the medical examiner, Dr Bao, explained how Trayvon died in severe pain and was alive for minutes after getting shot in the chest.
Essentially, Friday – almost as much as the day Trayvon was shot – was any parent’s nightmare. Trayvon’s parents had to come face to face with their son’s murder while Fulton got questioned over whether or not her son actually deserved to get killed. Tracy had to sit in the same room as the man who shot his son in the chest, unable to retaliate or let the rage he has to be feeling out.
Yes, this is the worst imaginable day for a parent. But it’s one the parents of an African-American child has been conditioned to accept as a possibility.
I have a son who was born in October, a couple of weeks before the prosecutor and defense met in court to argue if Martin’s school records should be admitted so the case was in the news again. As I watched more details about the case emerge and the argument that a child’s prior school record may be used to justify his death, I would feel a sense of hopelessness.
There are always fears about being a parent, but raising a black male in America brings about its own unique set of panic. Growing up, my parents and older siblings made sure to warn me about places where I’d be profiled and could face danger as often as they warned me about neighborhoods known for crime. But in the end, no planning or words of advice can save me or my son from getting wrongfully gunned down while trying to buy a bag of candy.
While most parents are up at night wondering how to protect their children from the uncontrollable like drunk drivers or muggings, Trayvon’s parents, my parents and parents of black males across the country are also living in fear that their children won’t come home because someone thought they were dangers to the community.
So there they were, two parents of a black male, sitting in court living out the culmination of that fear. And the realization that the man who shot their child could get off for killing him. To make things worse, they had to hear the defense question their parenting, whether or not Fulton actually knows what her son sounds like and field online reports that Tracy may not have been the best parent.
Since Martin’s death, the boy these two people raised, loved and saw for his beauty as a young male has been portrayed as a thug. A violent kid. A pothead who couldn’t behave in school. Someone who, according to the defense, caused his own death.
It’s all just excruciating to watch. My heart breaks for Trayvon’s parents and watching them in court this week has brought all of my fears of being the parent of a Black male to light. We’ve watched them look at a picture of their son’s dead, bloody body sprawled out on the Florida pavement. We’ve watched Trayvon’s mother struggle to compose herself while hearing her son’s last screams.
As my son gets older and out into the world, I’ll always have the memories of Trayvon and his parents. And the fear that one day, America will put us through what the Martin family is enduring.
"Yes, this is the worst imaginable day for a parent. But it’s one the parents of a Black American child has been conditioned to accept as a possibility that there is a very high chance that our black child will be killed by one of our own" ..when someone follows a statement of truth with the word "but", they do so in gross error. Whenever, you use "but" you just nullified everything you said before "but". To so blantantly state that blacks somehow live with a cloud of impending doom overhead regarding their children, that other parents don't. To so boldly voice that blacks should be warned about going in to certain areas and neighborhoods where they could be targeted, and to not realize that non blacks have been warned of the very same dangers. The ignorance of the writer is not surpriising. To actually claim that blacks may suffer more, hurt more, struggle more, and live in fear for themselves and their children more than others, is just irresponsible.This writer only further perpetuates the division, the huge gap that separates us by race, instead of uniting us as one race, human.
What a nightmare for the parents to have to go through in their grief - this is horrible - a travesty - My son passed away and I know all to well the magnitude of their grief and having to listen to these shitheads they aer stronger than I would ever be - I don't know where they are finding the strength to deal with these assholes (they are inhumane)
July 9, 2013 at 2:16 PMI worry about my male family members the most especially my nephews. :( I hope when they grow up things are better.
I don't know anyone who doesn't agree this is a tragic situation.
What I don't agree with in this article is that TM was selected because of his race.
Nothing in what GZ said during his recorded call to the police indicated that he profiled TM specifically for his skin color. The first words out of his mouth had nothing to do with race - it was only when the operator asked GZ to describe TM when GZ said "I think he's black."
TM just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time matching the description of a previous intruder. If all the previous break-ins were by white people and Trayvon was white - would people all be screaming racisim then? No.
The only part that racism plays in this is from those who have political agendas and who preach their propaganda to those weak enough to believe them.
Yes there IS still racism out there in this beautiful world, but THIS case is not related to racism.
Save the drama and the fight for the real cause - Don't make every incident that involves a black teenager who wasn't doing anything wrong, about race. THIS case is just a tragic case of mistaken identity.
Take your witch hunt elsewhere and find the REAL racists...there are plenty out there to find - just not here.
I think that Zimmerman brought all his own fuck ups to the situation. Failed at becoming a cop, failure at MMA training - but he could own a gun, and be part of the Neighborhood watch.
His pattern of phone calls over "these assholes" or whatever it was he called the black men he was sure were criminals says to me that he - HE - was very capable and did profile people based on race.
Trayvon was a black male in a neighborhood where being a black male was suspect. Zimmerman, to me, was on the lookout for problems. Why? He states burglaries. IMO, he was hyper alert because of his own shit. He might not be able to be a cop, he might get his ass kicked in grappling - but he sure as shit will protect the neighborhood.
I think he was looking for a black male, and Trayvon happened to be there.
Since only one of the two had a gun, the one with the iced tea ended up dead.
And just as an aside, I grapple. It's part of my martial arts training. If Zimmerman had any skill, he would have been able to hold his own in a physical confrontation. I think he tried to get tough with Trayvon and started an altercation he could not sustain. I think that's part of why he shot him. He realized he was going to get his ass beat because he picked a fight with someone who could fight back.
And since Zimmerman, IMO, had some issues over what he saw as failures in his life, he wasn't going to get his ass beat. No fucking way, not this time.
And Trayvon was shot.
Can I prove this? No. But I've been watching a bit of the trial, and just what I have been reading - this is what it suggests to me.
I am not a fan of making everything race based. I think in this case, though, the person who shot already had a basis for thinking about things along a racial line. Coupled with the issues I think Zimmerman already had - if it hadn't been Trayvon, it would have been another black man.