An Open Letter To George Zimmerman
1 year ago
As a mother of young brown boy, my heart Is broken
I have a young cousin who reminds me a lot of Trayvon Martin. My cousin is incredibly smart and interested in science. He says, "No, ma'am" and "Yes, sir." He calls me "his sister-cousin." He's roughly 5'5'' with a medium build, perfect for his spot on the swim team. He attended NASA summer camp. He's an artist. He's helpful and exactly the kind of kid who would walk to the store to get some snacks for his little brother.
Until a few weeks ago, I didn't worry about him. He stays out of trouble and he is a really good young man.
But now my sense of security has been shattered for him and young black men just like him. "Stays out of trouble" doesn't seem to mean what it used to for me or for most of Black America. Being a "really good young man" doesn't cut it either, apparently. Just because he doesn't have a criminal record, it doesn't mean he is safe. Just because he has never been in trouble with the law, it doesn't mean someone won't assume he has been or is out to cause trouble during a simple walk down the street. I cry for him now.
I have not listened to the 911 tapes (I do not need to hear his last moments alive, crying out for help). I feel like I don't have to. We know the facts. Those who have listened to the tapes tell me it's chilling. Haunting. Your self-defense alibi (which has sounded suspect from day one) is literally in pieces now. But I don't really have to tell you that -- you were there.