Weeping May Endure for a Night…

17 07 2013

Today’s post was not supposed to be about Trayvon Martin. It wasn’t supposed to be about the not guilty verdict given to George Zimmerman. In fact, I think it was going to be about something silly like dancing for your guy or some kind of shoe post. But since watching the verdict Saturday evening with my family, I haven’t been able to think of much else. It’s been weighing on my heart so heavy, not because I’m shocked by the verdict… but mostly because I wasn’t.

This past weekend, in the middle of all this, I had the pleasure of christening my Godson, and it was such a beautiful celebration. Holding his little body in my arms and knowing that I was standing there, dedicating myself to love and look after him was such a surreal experience. I’d done this before, for his sister, but still – it took on an even more significant meaning as I looked at him, wanting to protect him from anything bad that could ever happen to him. Hoping that he wouldn’t have to grow up in a world where people will automatically see him as a threat just because of who he is.

And yes, even in this joyous occasion, Trayvon was on everyone’s tongues. Maybe even because of the joyous occasion, Trayvon was on everyone’s tongues. We talked about the verdict at the party after the church service. We talked about how Trayvon must have felt that night, scared of this grown man following him. We talked about how unfair it all seemed and how his parents must feel. And when I got home, my mom and I continued to watch the coverage – neither of us able to tear ourselves away from it. Growing angrier and sadder by the minute, but feeling helpless about what could be done.

I, like many others, obviously have no relation to Trayvon Martin and his parents. And yet, it feels like a family member’s death has been justified by the American judicial system. It feels personal. It feels demoralizing. And it makes you, more than ever, want to hold the children in your life close and never let them go. It makes you question the things you think you know. Because as a friend of mine said on Facebook soon after the verdict, “what do I tell my son now? That he can be walking down the street and some stranger think he’s a threat and it’s OK for that stranger to stalk him and take his life?”

It’s unreal.

And yet, still… even in my sadness and my anger, I’m not shocked. I’m upset that my cynicism was once again proven right. I’m angry that I even hoped for a different outcome, knowing what it would probably be. My heart aches for his parents and the people who knew him and loved him. And all those emotions have continued to spill out of me since Saturday.

I didn’t write a post on Monday because my thoughts were all over the place after the verdict. Scratch that, I’ve been heartbroken for quite some time over this whole case. I mean, the fact that a young boy can be stalked, racially profiled (and make no mistake, he was definitely racially profiled), and it seem like some people think that means nothing? It hurts. To the core. How do you reconcile that within yourself? Knowing that there are people in the world, in your country, who place no value on your life just because you’re black? What do you do when that hits you straight in the heart?

Sure you can mentor and volunteer and work with youth. I do all of that, but it doesn’t seem enough right now, does it? Nothing seems enough right now, and I think that’s one of the worst parts of all of this. I think when it comes down to it the feeling that so many of us are feeling right now and can’t quite comprehend is helpless. You can march. You can fight. You can protest. But a jury of George Zimmerman’s “peers” told the world on Saturday that it was OK for him to kill Trayvon. And I’m not sure how to deal with that. I wasn’t sure how to deal with that and write about it in time for Monday’s scheduled blog post, that’s for sure.

And honestly, I still don’t have any answers. I’m still angry. I’m still hurt. But I saw a tweet by Awesomely Luvvie that struck me to my core (even though she wasn’t technically talking about me). She said:

I needed to write this post. It may not be the most eloquent post I’ve written, but it was important to get it out. It’s important that we all do our part. It’s important for me to say that this verdict was not just. And that I am saddened for my country in the wake of it.

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