What we are going to do is grieve Trayvon for a moment. I for one, sit in a quiet house. My happy, healthy, sons have gone off to school and study for the day, which makes me feel both grateful and guilty as I ponder the opportunity cost to society we all suffer at the loss of Trayvon.
As a mother, I am devastated at news reports claiming that Trayvon somehow deserved his fate because of some outfit he wore, a photo they allege he posted on Facebook, or the fact that he asked his attacker why he was being followed. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be his parent and face those kinds of accusations for my dead child. Tears of empathy flow as I read the words of Trayvon's father, “Even in death, they are still disrespecting my son. And I feel that’s a shame.”
Trayvon's dad is right, it is a shame, a pitiful shame that is second only to the fact that we have no way of knowing what Trayvon's future contribution to society may have been. The opportunity of his stolen youth and future adulthood are a vast and immeasurable loss to all of us. I feel absolute sisterhood with Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton who laments, "They've killed my son, and now they're trying to kill his reputation."
As I imagine how difficult it would be to contain my rage if fate had placed me in her shoes, I find myself having trouble believing the rumors about Trayvon Martin if only because his mother has kept her cool during this nightmare. I cannot guarantee that I could do the same in the face of such loss, and I consider myself to be a person of peace who raises peaceful young men. In my mind, several times a day, I send a silent prayer to Sybrina Fulton, knowing that but for a twist of fate it could be my brown-eyed, skittle loving son lost. I stand with her, because underneath skin color and politics, it seems to me that the love between mother and son is universal. After all isn't the future something that all young men, and their mothers, take for granted in one hand while hanging high hopes with the other?
I am not going to pretend to know Trayvon by stepping into his life to dictate to you all of the possibilities that this man's life had. I am simply going to say that we all know that the cost of this life is beyond our society's ability to even guess at. For this reason we as a society have developed a complex system in which we attempt to seek justice. We have a constitution, that not only guarantees the rights of its citizens to stand up and speak out against the injustice of young life lost, it implies a responsibility to it. We have laws that not only guarantee a person a right to a jury trial, they also implicitly say that a person whose guilt is in reasonable doubt must stand before a jury for judgement.
These are the feeble attempts of society to seek justice but I fear that justice, as we cry for it in crowds of hooded grief, may or may not ever be served. I am not a prophet, I cannot speak to the fate of George Zimmerman, but I cannot imagine an outcome that serves justice for the loss of Trayvon Martin. There may not be a fate that could fall on him that would ever really give peace to his family or those of us who have come to love him only in death.
In an effort to make something, out of less than nothing, out of a pile of hate and sorrow... I'm at a bit of a loss. What does one say to a mother who has lost a child? What does one say to a nation that has lost a son?
There is only one thing. Only one choice. We must vow, "Never Again!" Let us each reach out past that urge to divide this and make it only an issue of race or only an issue of politics or socioeconomics. This is about the loss of a child, and his entire future, due to hatred and violence. This is bigger than any thing that can divide us. We all have sons whose blood would run red on grey pavement. We all have visions of our children's future, of the grandchildren, awards, and degrees they'll bring home. When Trayvon didn't come home, and he was delayed indefinitely by hate learned at the hands of our society, politics stopped being important. This blame doesn't lie solely in the Republican House of Fox nor with the allegedly Democratic House of MSNBC. The fact is, a loss of this magnitude is a plague on both our houses.
Show that you'll do your part to reach over the divide, start by signing the petition asking authorities to seek justice for Trayvon Martin, then live every day of your life free of hatred, bigotry, and ignorance so that another mother never has to suffer this kind of loss.