Like many, my heart is aching after the reading of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. Although I am not surprised at the verdict, I am at a loss for words, as deep down inside I prayed that Zimmerman would be held accountable for killing this young child, who resembles so many children that are near and dear to me, including my two sons.
Last year, for the first time, during my lifetime, I witnessed hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, from all walks of life, come together PEACEFULLY for a good cause. Through media and social media, I have seen people wearing hoodies, artwork, blog posts, poems, positive music about change, profile picture blackouts & ribbons, clothing, websites, and so much more, all for this one precious life that was lost due to what I believe was the malicious act of another who didn’t believe his life was precious ,as I do.
But the most disheartening thing about this situation is that at the end of the day, now that this trial is over, everyone will go back to their lives, feeling hopeless and having little faith In our country or justice system, and without taking any action in an effort of change.
Trayvon Martin is NOT the only child who was murdered unjustly and sadly, he will not be the last, especially without change on our part. Trayvon Martin was killed by a man of a different race, and while it may have been due to racisim or racial profiling, what about the hundreds of kids who are murdered everyday by someone who is not racist? What about the hundreds of children that we lose due to black on black on black and other same-race crime daily? Are their lives less significant because they were murdered by someone of their own race? If all of the other circumstances remained the same, but George Zimmerman were black, would YOU have made such a fuss about #Justicefortrayvon? Would you have taken pictures with your hoodie on? Would you have “blacked out” your social media profile pictures? Would you have rallied and protested? Would you have followed the trial as closely as you did? Would your heart have been racing during the reading of the verdict? Would you now be screaming “the justice system failed us” as loudly as you are? Don’t worry, I’ll answer for you: Probably not! And THAT to me, is the most important lesson to learn from this case.
Why are we so much more outraged by those who senselessly kill due to racism than those who senselessly kill for other reasons? A life is a life, murder is murder, death is death, and in the end, an innocent child is lost due to senselessness. If we, would come together for every aspect of life the way we did for #trayvonmartin and were as a culture, adamant about educating our youth, showering them with love, being present in their lives as parents, supporting each other in life, love, friendships, and business in effort to fight against ALL senseless violence , rather than having a careless attitude about the livelihood of others, fighting, hating, and killing each other, I promise you, OUR world would be different; we would be unstoppable! But at this very moment, we remain defeated, not by the justice system, but by ourselves. Why? Because things are only important to us for the moment, because we only come together when there’s a tragedy, because we are dependent upon others to make things right for us.
When Trayvonmartin was first killed, there was extreme outrage; during the 44 days that passed before Zimmerman was arrested, YOU blew up social media like never before so that your voices would be heard. As a result of your persistence, Zimmerman was FINALLY arrested and charged with murder, but then what happened?: We rejoiced for an average of 1 week and then became silent. ..UNTIL last month when the trial began, and then all of a sudden…the noise began again. So I ask you, what will YOU do tomorrow and in the days to come? In one week will you again become silent? Or will you still be fighting for justice, not only for trayvon, but for every other child who statistically will likely lose his life due to senseless violence? What will you do to teach the children in your lives about love, friendship, and values? What will you do to ensure that those around you don’t have the hate and anger in their heart like you believe Zimmerman did? What will you do around your own community to bring people together? What will you do to support the next man or woman? If you don’t yet have an answer, that’s okay, but now is the time to find one. Although you can’t change the world, you can change your part of the world. Now is the time to make sure that you are NOT the reason that deaths like that of #trayvonmartin will be neverending?