When Trayvon Martin was murdered in 2012, many parents throughout the world mourned the loss. Our hearts went out to his parents and couldn't imagine what that pain felt like. And didn't want to know. Almost as quickly as Americans were made aware of this tragedy we started to question the story of the shooter, George Zimmerman. It was bullshit. Obviously. This offered Americans a perspective they had not really realized before. Or if they had realized it, they didn't want to contend with it. Something about that child's innocent face in the hoodie that every one of our children wears, I think, pulled in every parent with a heart. And as we fell in love with that child we realized that he was killed only for the color of his skin. And we, those of us with loving hearts, were outraged.
This tragedy made America aware of another tragedy it had been unaware of. Or ignoring. The racism we had collectively decided was no longer an issue in our country was made evident. We had all believed that it was a handful of cranks and they were never worth a thought. As soon as this child was murdered people started condemning him. Their 'media' offered pictures and then they reposted these pictures of this teenager flipping off the camera or exhaling smoke. That was meant as justification for his murder. It was telling people that he was a "bad" kid and deserved to die. People started raising money for the legal representation this child's murder would need. They knew nothing more than the rest of America did. They didn't know him personally. They knew that he killed a black child who, apparently, had smoked and flipped off a camera in his lifetime. And that was enough to justify raising money to help his killer be set free.
If not for the internet, these assholes would still be on the outskirts of society. These were the ones who were banned to keeping their racism to themselves when in public. With the internet, however, they were able to unite in hatred. They were allowed to enter a community of other low life racists and not be judged for their small-mindedness. They were encouraged to be awful, heartless human beings. And with this unity came an undignified voice and pride that no one wanted to hear and tried to just ignore. Ignoring them didn't shut them up, though, did it?
For the next three years these disgusting creatures raised money to support law enforcement officers who killed unarmed black men. When the rest of America was horrified to see some of these murders which had been recorded, this group of trash took stills from the videos to make memes and joke about the loss. They literally attributed no value to the lives of these human beings. Because they were black.
Every time I see a picture of Trayvon Martin on the news my mind drifts off. I always go to a place that wonders what life he didn't get to have. I always wonder what experiences he was meant to live and which endeavors he was meant to champion. It makes my heart ache. Every single time. And my mind, inevitably, now drifts to the knowledge that the piece of shit who killed this child was not only set free, but after that was arrested repeatedly for violence. Zimmerman was literally, and inexplicably, given a chance to reclaim his life and he chose to continue living a terrible and worthless life. And an innocent child will never have an opportunity to grow up and make his way in this world because he was black.
This really needs to be the time in American history when we take a look at what we, collectively, have created and find a healthy way to sincerely turn things around. We will not be able to do that with leaders who want to literally pass laws to encourage discrimination. We will not be able to do that when leaders who are seeking election only from the type of slug who would raise money to pay for legal fees of a child murderer. Sadly, we cannot annex Alaska and invite them to all make their own new hateful nation (or can we?). We will have to live with these people. But we will also have to find a way to diminish their voice in our country. They disgrace themselves. They disgrace my country. And whenever given the chance, they disgrace the memory of innocent black men. This is obviously intolerable. But we have been tolerating it. It is time that we stand our ground. It is time that this country shows that it has a heart and is not represented by the loudest voices that are screaming out hate in the name of America.