What I KNOW To Be True…

My son at a "Justice For Trayvon Rally" on July 20, 2013
My son at a “Justice For Trayvon Rally” on July 20, 2013

Just so we are clear:

Just like I did not know Trayvon Martin personally, I do not know or care to know his murderer personally either.

However, I have been black for 27 years and I do KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that racism is real. I do know racial profiling exists. I do know black men and women are exposed to a life many others CANNOT and will NEVER relate to. I do KNOW that the reason many of us are in an uproar is because of our identity as black people and what this not guilty verdict really means to OUR future as a people.

I KNOW I am raising a black boy who will one day be a black man whose life I am fearful for.

I KNOW I am nervous any time my husband tells me he is being pulled over by a cop…so nervous, I demand he calls me ANY TIME they are behind him so I can listen to the entire conversation.

I KNOW the world has this perception about black people because they are mainly exposed to our culture based off of Hip Hop lyrics and videos.

I KNOW my life is NOTHING like a Hip-Hop music video.
Or the 5 o’clock news.

I KNOW I am a black woman who has never been a stripper, who isn’t a ho, and who CAN formulate complete sentences.

I KNOW I am not a baby mama.

I KNOW I am raising my children to respect ALL people regardless of skin color.

I KNOW they will encounter the offspring of racists who have been taught they are worthless because they are black and so they will one day have their own experiences with racism—as I have.

I have not lived a sheltered life BY FAR, but I KNOW this case has opened my eyes to a harsh reality I have been able to avoid focusing on thus far. I honestly have not had to think about my son’s future outside of his constant announcement that he will be an NFL player, a preacher, and a police officer.

I KNOW I am now very much aware that he will one day be 17 years old and I may very well be walking in Sybrina Fulton’s footsteps.

I KNOW there will always be a lady clutching her purse or her pearls (or both) when he steps into an elevator.

I KNOW there will be doors locked as he walks by certain cars on the street.

I KNOW there are people who do NOT understand this reality but I also KNOW it is one I cannot escape— we cannot outrun our skin.

And though we are proud to be black…FOREVER PROUD… I KNOW there are some who will NEVER accept US for the very reason we love ourselves.

I do not know the details of this case but I KNOW there is NOTHING I will see about Trayvon Martin that will alter my perception of this case.

He could have been a gang-banging drug dealer 364 days out of the year… on that day, he was a VICTIM.

I am so tired of posts online of people mentioning he was suspended from school. Lord, if I could post my school records I guess there would be some people who believe I deserve to be shot as well. I hear he was “aggressive” and fought a lot. Lord, if I could count the many times I fought— hell, my very own flesh and blood sisters can attest to that—my very own mother can attest to that!— I guess I would have been the cause of  my own death to.

The things people say are truly a reflection of the crazy world we live in.

Here is what I do know— for those who claim this isnt about race— ZIMMERMAN DID NOT KNOW ABOUT TRAYVON MARTIN’S SUSPENSIONS FROM SCHOOL. HE DID NOT KNOW TRAYVON MARTIN HAD JUST GOTTEN INTO A FIGHT SOME TIME BEFORE COMING TO SANFORD. HE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS MADE UP CONCOCTION TO CREATE LEAN OR WHETHER THAT THOUGHT (newly reported by some other site who believes he deserved to die) WAS ON TRAYVON MARTIN’S MIND.

He ONLY knew Trayvon Martin was BLACK.

Point. Blank. Period.

Please stop debating whether it was about race. Just admit it. Whether you believe the verdict is accurate or not is irrelevant. NO ONE can deny that this black boy was profiled because he was black. NO ONE can deny this black boy was “suspicious” because he was black. NO ONE.

Well, you can deny it but you can’t honestly deny it AND MEAN IT.

I dont know the specifics but knowing ONLY what Zimmerman knew at that point— I KNOW Trayvon Martin’s ONLY CRIME that day was walking while BLACK and that is a crime I have been guilty of since I learned to walk…

A crime my son may one day be killed for…

…if some fool deems him suspicious.

And I KNOW I cannot sit silently and let this injustice become yet another chapter to add to the big black book of “What To Expect When You’re Living Life As An African-American”.

I cannot bury my son…

And I will do EVERY THING within my power to make sure another Trayvon Martin doesn’t take place. We have to make sure this world we live in is SAFE for our children. It is our DUTY as parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and friends. It is our DUTY to not let this get swept under the rug. I dont care who is tired of hearing about it. I dont care who feels Zimmerman’s verdict was accurate.

We ALL should feel some type of way about an entire race of people who have to fear whether or not their sons will come back from the corner store…

Period.

//

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