It's night time. Your son leaves the house to go to the store to buy Skittles and an iced tea. He never comes back. Instead, the police come to your doorstep and tell you that your son is dead. For what? He isn't gang affiliated. He isn't involved with drugs. He walks the streets unarmed. The police tell you that the head of Neighborhood Watch said that he was walking around "looking suspicious." When he left the house he was wearing a black hoodie. Apparently, that is reason enough for the police to come to your door and tell you that your son is dead. In addition, they tell you they won't be arresting the shooter because there is not probable cause to arrest him, and the person who shot him has a college degree. They bid you goodnight, leaving you and your feelings standing there with your mouth agape.
By now we have all heard the story of Trayvon Martin. We've all seen and signed the petition. Right...? Right?
If you haven't, you can click the link and do so NOW http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall
We have heard the story, and we are outraged. We're confused. We're hurt. More than anything, we are wondering when racism will come to an end. Parents are wondering when they should expect this to happen to their children. Can we as parents even allow our children to leave the house? We've heard the tapes. We've reviewed the facts. Trayvon exited the store and began walking. It doesn't matter where he was going. The only things he carried on his person were Skittles and an iced tea. George Zimmerman, the self-appointed head of Neighborhood Watch, is sitting in his SUV and decides that he feels threatened by Trayvon's presence. Sitting in a vehicle, he feels threatened by someone who is walking down the street, minding his own business. Trayvon is on his cell phone, not paying George Zimmerman a bit of attention. Perhaps he felt himself being watched and made eye contact with the person staring at him. That's not really a threatening move. He puts his hoody over his head and kept walking. Zimmerman calls the police on a non-emergency number. If he truly felt threatened, wouldn't 911 be the correct number to call? The police tell him not to pursuit the person who is "threatening" him. Zimmerman gets out of the car anyway, proclaiming, "They always get away...Those people need to pay."
Who are "they?" What people is he referring to?
And then, like all people who truly feel threatened by someone, Zimmerman gets out of his car and chases Trayvon. During his pursuit, he even calls Trayvon a coon. Because he is being pursued, Trayvon calls 911, screaming for his life. It's not use. He is shot in his chest and killed.
There are several problems with this story. For one, how can someone who is chasing a person feel threatened? How can an unarmed person be a threat to a person with a gun? Then there is the obvious issue: Trayvon is a child. Zimmerman is a grown man. The issue of self-defense must also be factored into this. In order for it to be self-defense, doesn't a person have to be attacked? Sitting somewhere in your car puts you in a pretty odd position to be attacked by someone who is unarmed and minding his own business. The law of self-defense states that in order for that to stick a person has to be shot in both legs. Trayvon Martin was shot in his chest. Let's not forget that he was chased down to the final minutes of his life.
People are coming with the weak defense about the way he was dressed. Who cares how he was dressed? Yes, there are some rowdy teens out there. Yes, there are times when men dressed in hoodies make us feel uncomfortable. Those men have to be doing something other than minding their own business to have any effect on me. If those people do something threatening to me, I don't chase them down and shoot them. I cross the street and walk a little faster. It's never what they're wearing. It's their actions that make me feel like I need to take action against them. They don't deserve to have their lives taken unless they first try to take mine. Trayvon didn't do this.
Yet Zimmerman has not been arrested. They say it's not a race issue. Those of us who are not in denial can accept the truth. We can liken this to the story of Emmit Till and realized that nothing has changed between 1955 and 2012. The fact that we have to get a petition signed to get the right thing done causes us to sit here in disgust. As parents we wonder if our child will be next. Why is this child killer allowed to walk free? Because he has a college degree? We don't buy that. As parents we don't want to know if the outcome would be different if the tables were turned. We don't want to think of another child's life to be taken just to prove a point. What we want is an understanding. Why are parents burying their children? What was so threatening about the bag of Skittles he was carrying? Should we stop allowing our children to buy Skittles? First we had to teach our children that Officer Friendly is a bigger myth than Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy combined; now we also have to tell them that Neighborhood Watch is really watching and waiting for an opportunity to take their lives. The people who are supposed to protect them are their worst enemies. We the parents don't understand this. We shouldn't have to. No one should.
Once again, please sign the petition to have George Zimmerman arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, please click the link: http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall