For years, I considered not becoming a mother. I thought being a good mother to my kids meant not becoming a mother at all. Let me explain.
The world is so cruel and it gets crazier by the day. I thought, why would I subject my children, the loves of my life, my little hearts, to this place? Obviously, I changed my mind. I get scared sometimes though. I’d been able to push those feelings of fear aside but, they all came rushing back over a week ago. The name Trayvon Martin was mentioned to me by my husband. He’d read a story about a young man, who happened to be black, walking through a neighborhood on his way back to his father’s fiancee’s home in a gated community. He was there to watch the All-Star game and stepped out to get a snack. Seems innocent enough. From all accounts so far, it really was just that innocent.
Innocence apparently means nothing. All it takes is one over-zealous, seemingly trigger-happy person to decide that you’re a threat. And just like that, you’re gone. He’s gone.
As a mother, this story hit me hard. I have been trying to process my thoughts. I have been trying to bypass the anger I feel. I have been trying wrap my mind around why this keeps happening – over and over again. At what point is skin color not a crime?
As a mother to a black little boy my heart is heavy. I’ve seen way too many cases of lives of black young men snuffed out because someone decided that they weren’t worthy. This quote from a CNN article said so much of what I was feeling but didn’t want to say out loud.
“I know America is the land of liberty, but my child has to understand he’s just free-ish.” –Christy Oglesby, quality assurance manager for CNN
My outrage was only fueled by the fact that the shooter, George Zimmerman, was still walking free. His claim being self-defense. A claim that went unchallenged. No shred of evidence supports his claim. Certainly not the bottle of iced tea and package of Skittles found on Trayvon Martin.
What the evidence does show is that he followed Trayvon relentlessly. He was determined to make him pay for the sins of others as he spewed racial slurs and other angry comments. Even the police told him to stop and let them do their jobs. He didn’t listen. As a result a 17 year old’s pleas for help was met with a gunshot that ended his life. No matter what happens with Zimmerman – Martin is dead. His parents have lost their child. Their baby. A baby they likely gushed over the same way I gush over my child on this very blog. He’s gone and they are left to grieve while no one is giving them the answers they deserve. Even if race is taken out of the equation, nothing about this is right or OK.
Tweets from @mochamomma encouraged this post. She talked about how the silence of bloggers in this matter was deafening. There were conversations with friends and colleagues that also let me know I couldn’t sit silently any longer. Twitter is overflowing with posts from mothers of every color who can no longer contain their outrage that this has happened. That up until this week, it was just written off as an act of self-defense. That Zimmerman is not sitting in a jail cell. I’m adding my voice to the cry for justice. The mother in me wouldn’t have it any other way.