BY AL KING
Being Black and unarmed is a tragic mix that has become so common inside our Black Communities. We have been dealt another blow in the wake of the unfortunate murder of unarmed, 17-year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. As we have all been forced to demand justice for the arrest of his murderer 28-year old George Zimmerman, we have also been forced to face the fact that racism is still very much alive. Being black……wearing a hoodie, walking in a gated community—was enough motivation for this neighborhood watch captain to use a law to exert his racism and cowardly characteristics, to end the life of an innocent being. A mother and father now have to bury their child that could have been a significant contributor to our race while we have to endure another senseless act of savagery in our culture.
As a Black Man, I know that this is something that none of us are exempt from experiencing as we are constantly profiled and stigmatized—we are ALL Trayvon Martin. I can’t help but be brought back to Dec. 14, 2004 when a close friend of mine was unarmed and murdered by police in the Bronx. You see this is nothing new but this has become something that is alright to savagely take away a human life. Families are destroyed and the possibility of what significance these lives could have contributed is instantly diminished at the hands of a gun. I will never know how it feels to be a white man without the pressure of being judged before you can say anything or react based on the color of your skin. I do know how it feels to not be able to go into a store without being followed, drive without being unnecessarily stopped, walk the streets and be harassed. I could only imagine what was going through Trayvon’s mind in his last minutes as he was being prejudged and misunderstood by someone with a gun that would eventually take away his life.
One thing I will say is that justice will be served because the God we all serve will not allow this young person to die in vain. I believe that blessings do come from pain and this will be a reason that this “Stand your Ground” Law will be placed under scrutiny. Going forward, we can avoid another innocent life from being taken from us all. My heart and prayers go out to the family and spirit of Trayvon Martin......may he rest in peace!