The challenges, hurdles, and demons kids face these days are so immense compared to what was a threat when I was growing up. Unfortunately though, for some, even with the passing of time, the obstacles are very much the same. It’s hard for me to imagine being anything but a white, middle class female. Moreover, I find it nearly impossible to put myself in the shoes of an average, teenage African-American male.
Although I didn’t know him, Trayvon Martin has been on my mind often over the last month. The story of the last hours of his life has been carved into my psyche; I just can’t shake it. Saturday morning I was struck again by the insanity of it all. Walking to the convenience store on the corner, just down the street from my Chicago condo, I pulled up the hood of my sweatshirt to shield my head from the cold drizzle that was falling. Again, a flash, a sad reminder, of the kid in the hoodie walking back from the convenience store with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles candy in his hands.
A month ago today, Trayvon was shot to death in Sanford, Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. To date, no arrests have been made in the killing. From coast to coast, thousands of protestors are holding demonstrations in the pursuit of justice for the 17 year-old who lost his life that fateful night. Many compare the case to that of Emmett Till, the African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi after allegedly flirting with a white woman in 1955.
The bottom line is, whether you side with the watchman who says he feared for his life, or with the teenager who lost his, we are all equal. We should not be judged by our race, our gender, our financial status, our sexuality, our religious beliefs…I could go on and on. As cliché as it might sound, the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall” still seems to be the answer to so many situations. Whether we’ll ever evolve into a less barbaric society remains to be seen.
Because of the amount of photographs I have from this rally, I created a video from them as well. I considered adding music, but decided the images say enough on their own. If you would like to view it, go to: http://bit.ly/GWpdTq. Until next week, I wish you peace.