July 14, 2013 by CJ
I avoided watching the trial. Something about it made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t want to know, I didn’t want to be a part of it. I just wanted it over.
Last night, I watched the verdict. I didn’t have much of a choice. The show I was watching was interrupted. My immediate response was anger and outrage. A 17-year-old kid, minding his own business, shot and no one is at fault. That doesn’t click in my head as ok or right. Then I started feeling ill, sick to my stomach. Thoughts of my own son, could he scare someone someday. Will someone look into his sweet face and see something to fear?
I eventually went to sleep and started thinking about how I was going to talk about this with my own children. We discuss topics in the news all the time. We talk about how to avoid these situations, how to make better decisions, don’t do drugs, don’t hang around with people who do bad things, don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive. Most examples are easy to point out the faults, the wrongs the person did and say, “Hey, you don’t do this, this and that and you’ll be ok.” But with this, I didn’t know what to say or how to explain.
After some thought I decided I had to take race out of it. We will never know if Trayvon was white, asian or anything else, if the outcome would have been different. He was wearing dark clothes at night, I’m not sure if George Zimmerman even knew the race of the kid he started to follow. But to tell a child that wearing a hoodie can get you shot, is just silly. The hoodie didn’t cause this, a multitude or errors caused this. When you take race out of it, you have a kid, anybody’s child, walking alone at night…what do you tell your child to do?
If you feel you are being followed call the police. Let them know you are a child and a creepy man is following you. This is not the time to be brave or prove your own manhood. If you feel as though you can fight him (which most teens believe they can fight anyone), ignore that thought. You don’t know what he is carrying. Gun, knife, taser…you don’t know. If you don’t have a phone, go to someone’s front door and ask for help. Point out the guy. If no one answers scream fire, rape, kidnapping, anything and everything to bring attention and get this person away from you. And don’t forget, while screaming, say your name over and over again. You need people to know that you, the child, is screaming for help…just in case.
What do you tell your gun friendly neighborhood watch friend?
Invest in a night vision app with zoom for your camera phone. Once you give a description of the person wandering your neighborhood to the cops, listen to them. Go home. GO home. GO HOME!!! If you must, drive past, at a safe distance, and take a picture of the person. If this person does something wrong, at the very least you have a picture of him.
Would these steps have avoided Trayvon Martin’s untimely death? I don’t know. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think this happened for some reason, some lesson is here for us to learn, something is here for us to build and grow and become better. What that is, I don’t know just yet. All I know is I don’t want this to happen to my son, brothers, friends or anyone else.
Rest in peace Trayvon
- Zimmerman….. Not Guilty??? (lets-talk-aboutit.com)