Ever since we made our involuntary trip from
Africa, our black men have been murdered and lynched. On February 26, 2012, it happened again. At first, it seemed like it would go unnoticed like the many other incidents that preceded it, but then something happened to change that. People heard the screams of Trayvon Martin on that 911 tape and hearts shed tears for a young man who was murdered in cold blood.
People began to rally around Trayvon and our voices became a force to be reckoned with on social media. Today, we received a slice of justice when we found out Zimmerman will be charged with second-degree murder. I never thought I would feel so much joy for a person I never met. Every time I looked into Trayvon’s big, black eyes, I saw the thousands of men whose lives were taken before Trayvon’s…the men who were lynched for no reason at all simply because they happened to be black and in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Make no mistake about it, coming from the projects, I saw it all…men who were indeed on the wrong side of the law, so I weigh things carefully before I jump up to defend someone. But when a young boy gets killed and the only thing he has on him is a bag of Skittles and a drink, something is most definitely wrong with that picture.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: Zimmerman was on a mission to assert his self-proclaimed power when he killed Trayvon. And, like a bully, he picked on someone who was no match for him. A child screamed for his life on that fateful day. That made me come to Trayvon’s defense. That made me think about all the black men who were shot down like animals because they happened to look “suspicious”. That made me think about the ugly racial divide that always pops up when there is an incident involving black and white.
Many white people were quick to claim Trayvon’s murder had nothing to do with race. When I heard those claims, all I could do was shake my head because it had everything to do with race. Had that young man been a white boy with a hoodie on, Zimmerman would have said “hello” as he passed him on the street and kissed his ass. It had everything to do with race.
I couldn’t let Trayvon’s story die. I rallied behind him. I championed for him, along with the rest of the world. When it seemed like his story would get lost in the media, I’m glad people kept the pressure on that wound, kept talking about it, kept tweeting about it. And “when spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion”.
We did it. There’s still a long road ahead of us, but today justice got a little sweeter. I feel good right now and I hope you do, too. Hopefully, a vigilante will think twice before they shoot one of our innocent brothers again.