As I write these words, I have the television on in the background and hearing various opinions on both sides of the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman saga. The verdict was not guilty and those with Zimmerman are in relief of 16 months of the unknown. So now Zimmerman goes back to his family and after the moments of relief, I’m sure there will be some sort of celebration with the legal team and family.
On the other side with the Martin family, you would think there will be disbelief, disappointment, hurt and maybe some anger. But what they don’t get back is Trayvon with their family, and that is the difference maker. A 17 year old young black man is dead and there are those who can only see that he was going home to his father’s house after making a quick run to the neighborhood store. How many times have you done that or sent your son to the store, but you never think that he wouldn’t come back. You would never think that he would be shot by an neighborhood watchman, who was told by the police, ” we don’t need you to do that” in terms of following him.
It’s just a sad day in America and I feel such an empty feeling and feeling of concern about what’s next. I recall, the day the news broke on the four girls were killed in an Alabama church. That occurred in the 1960s, when we were shocked over and over and over about the deaths of major super heroes like, Medgar Evers, Malcom X, Dr. King and others and so many other civil rights volunteers that were trying to make a difference. That’s why today is such a hurting day because it just seems like we have taken a huge step back.
As a father , I can remember the nights I wondered where my son was and the relief when I would hear his booming speakers turn in the drive way, signifying he had made it home. I now have stepsons and grandsons and after today’s verdict in Florida its time for gathering the family and reminding them to be extra careful and even going back to my days as a teenager in the ’60s. Race was always present when I was a kid and I was always aware that it was in play. Today there is a false sense that “we have arrived” and yet there are constant reminders that it is still in play today. 97% of contracts at NTTA go to white males, a U.S. Congressman can yell at a Black President of the United States, “you lie” and a young black male , who is unarmed can be shot an killed by a neighborhood watchman, who got out of his car when he didn’t have to. This is another moment in American history that brings a further divide between the races.
What’s next for Zimmerman, what’s next for the Martin Family, what’s next for us? Only GOD knows and may HE bless and protect us all.