So I had been pretty quiet about the Trayvon Martin case. I felt like I didn't need to explain to the world how I felt; it was more important to explain to my son why people would single him out...think the way they did about him etc. This was a "home" moment. However, after hearing that Trayvon himself called 911, it made me think about what exactly was killing my spirit about this situation.
I remember the Rodney King trial. I grew up in Orange County, CA...LA is 15 minutes away. I can remember coming home from school and watching the Channel 7 news when the verdict was read. I had not ever in my life felt like a "nigger" until that point. That was my ah ha moment. And than the looting began...
I cannot describe 20 years later how horrible it was seeing the smoke...watching the news of the looters. What damage they would create. What permanent damage the whole incident created in my life. My boyfriend at the time was sent out to Orange County to spend the night because his house was right in the middle of things. Friends were no longer friends of mine because of it. Like I said...I was now "just a nigger"...
So out of the madness, I found Spike Lee movies. I helped start a black student union at my high school. I choose my college based on how many Black students attended. I tried to figure out how to be Black in America.
Fast forward 20 years. Trayvon. I now have an eleven year old stepson. His mom is Mexican. I'm having to explain SB 1070 and this bullshit to him. When we talked this weekend, he asked me "did he get killed because of racism or bullying?". After a pause, I said both. Because this child was stalked (bullying) and killed because he was Black. I can't wax poetic about it. That is the bottom line.
So though his father and I work hard to provide a certain life for him, in the eyes of society...he's just a nigga. My concern for him gets more and more complex the older he gets because while I want him to enjoy growing up, I need him to realize that not everyone sees him as a kid. Some people view his hoodie buddy's as a threat. They view him as a threat.
I have many males in my family and while I see them as cute and sweet...society is still seeing them negatively. As a parent...as a woman...as a Black person...I don't know how to raise them to be anything other than themselves. I do not want to stifle who they are. I don't want to teach them to hate anyone based on their color. To be concerned with how the world sees them. I want them to be free to be them. Isn't this the same things our forefathers wanted though?!!
I have no solution. I have no solid answer for my son. All I have is love and compassion and knowledge to share with him. All I can do is love him and hope that the best in life is what is in store for him. And while that's beautiful...it may not bring him home tonight.