I usually pride myself on being a pretty decent writer. However I have found that I can not write with any degree of eloquence about the Zimmerman case. I can not write about the killing of Trayvon Martin. Partly because I am a mom and I am a mom of children of color. I grieve with and for the Martin family.
I also grieve over the fact that many of my friends don't get it. They think my position is over reacting. That stand your ground may be wrong but they don't see that it disproportionately impacts people of color. They don't see that our justice system in general is far from color blind. Disparate impact is a phrase that gets me blank stares.
Some have told me that the protests are "taking things too far." I wonder if they would have felt that way if it was their son. Their cousin. Their nephew. I have been told that the black community "always makes things about color."
Really? Have your children been followed in a store by a suspicious clerk? Have you watched the look on the clerks face when this white mama went up one side of them and down the other for tailing the kids? Have your kids been accused of shop lifting just because they were the only kids of color in the store that day and mom had stepped away from them? (incidently they had nothing in their hands, I had their purchases.)
I have white friends who think Trayvon's death only happened because of the state he was in. Hmmm, may I introduce you to DWB which is very much alive and well in our state?
We have miles to go before we achieve racial equality and true justice in our courts. But first, we have to educate a white majority that these things do not presently exist. That, I think, is the hardest job.