Thinking About Trayvon. Where Do We Go From Here?

There are some days where what I do feels incredibly difficult (even though what I do is actually incredibly easy). What I do is write about beautiful things; I share information about things that inspire and uplift and make you want to shop and try things on and enjoy all the pleasurable, happiness-enhancing things in life. When ugly things happen in the world, sometimes it is difficult for me to find inspiration in the beautiful things that I’m supposed to be writing about. Ugly injustice ruined this weekend for me and many others.

Following the news of the Trayvon Martin verdict, I found myself sinking into an abyss of hopelessness and depression. I kept asking myself, HOW. How could this be?

Trayvon-Martin-protesters-march-in-Sanford-4I182P5A-x-large

(Image via USAToday in 2012)

I am obviously not a lawyer, but I understand that cases have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and the prosecution appears to not have been able to do that in this instance. I understand that. I also understand that Florida’s laws as they currently are allow for this kind of thing to happen. Just because the courts have spoken doesn’t mean that justice has been served. And this particular outcome certainly feels like injustice. This outcome has ripped off the scab to a very deep wound in America. It’s revealed a divide that many of us don’t want to acknowledge.

TRAYVON_MARTIN_NEW_PHOTO_1

I woke up on Sunday morning not wanting to get out of bed, feeling adrift and unhappy. And the first thought that came to me was, if I feel this way,  then how on earth do Trayvon Martin’s parents feel following this verdict? I can’t even imagine. I can’t fathom the pain. And now what? What do we do now? We’ve got to do something, and there’s so much for us to do.

I currently live in a city that is plagued by violence. The city that people are quick to bring up in arguments to support the Zimmerman verdict. I live in a city that some people are calling Chiraq, because of the extreme numbers of young bodies piling up this year. I hate that we are at that point. I am blessed to live away from the epicenters of this violence, but that does not mean that I have not been affected by what is happening in my city.  That doesn’t mean that the violence isn’t creeping closer and closer to where I live every day. I wish I knew what to bring about the change that needs to happen here. I wish I knew how best to help. From the senseless murders of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis in Florida, to the killing of Hadiya Pendleton and Jonylah Watkins, a 6 month old baby  who was murdered in Chicago.  Too many young, hopeful lives lost so senselessly. I wish I knew what to say or do to end the violence everywhere. All I know is, change needs to come and soon. Change on many, many levels.

What can we do to make this change? What can we do to make Trayvon Martin’s death not have happened in vain? I don’t know the answers. I’m a beauty blogger. I wish I had some kind of viable solution to offer. These are just the words I felt the need to say before I could even say or think of anything else. These are the burdens that are resting heavily on my chest today.

Maybe the solution begins with this feeling, this wretched feeling of being unsettled and angry and unable to rest. Maybe the solution begins by the outraged dialogue that so many of us had over this past weekend. Maybe the solution begins with this awareness of injustice, and the knowledge that things need to change. Maybe the solution begins with these questions that are rattling around inside of us.

 Click here to sign the NAACP petition for a civil rights case.

Click here to read the brilliant words of David Simon and Ta-Nehesi Coates and Andrew Cohen and Charles F. Coleman for Ebony.com.

And if you know of any solutions for this epidemic problem we are having across this country please feel free to vent or share or unload your burden in the comments section. I feel empty, hurt, disillusioned and devoid of suggestions right now, to be honest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. C. A. Lewis says:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    Change & Solutions

    Trayvon Martin, 17 year old boy walking home from a convenient store in Florida after purchasing a snack and a tea was shot and killed after being seen by his killer walking home wearing a hooded jacket, was followed in by his killer in an SUV, pursued on foot by his killer, and murdered by his killer who was acquitted claiming he killed in self-defense in February 2012

    Medgar Evers, WWII veteran and civil rights activist in the Jim Crow South was assassinated, shot and killed while exiting his car in front of his home late one night. His killer was acquitted and later found guilty after multiple trials in the 1960’s

    Emmitt Till, 14 year old black boy was dragged out of bed in the middle of the night by 2 men, beat brutally, and murdered with a gunshot to the head after it was rumored he whistled or spoke to a white woman in a store while visiting his family in the south in the 1950’s

    An estimated 2,462 black men, women , and children were murdered by mobs of mobs of predominantly white Americans who strung blacks up with ropes around their necks and hung them from trees. Appropriately dubbed as “strange fruit”, this roughly occurred throughout America from 1880’s – 1930’s

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    The above occurrences read like a bad American resume. I have not touched on the Middle Passage, Willie Lynch, Chattel Slavery, “Black on Black” murders, Black Wall Street, Civil Rights movement, NAACP, Black Panthers etc etc. all worthy words and phrases to input into your search engines at some point in the near future.

    This is now OUR AMERICA. We are here. Judging by the rally’s, demonstrations, social media, and more it is safe to say we obviously are not content with the way things are. So what are you going to do to change things? Change can happen. We know this because we’ve experienced one of the greatest changes that has happened in the world. We’re alive to witness the monumental 2 terms of America’s first Black President. This is not, however, the wand that magically healed all the ills of America’s past, present and future. It is not the end of hatred and injustice.

    I happen to like my America I live in. I enjoy freedoms of speech, higher education and opportunities to dream chase and work hard and obtain things in life that I desire for myself and my 2 sons. I, however, do not like the racial profiling and assumptions about my life or my attitude or the glass ceilings and closed doors I encounter unfairly and unnecessarily because of who I am. I regularly find myself explaining to my son that it’s nice to say all men are equal and it’s nice to think everybody gets a fair shot at being productive citizens in life, but the reality is that you have to walk a straighter path than some of your classmates because of the way you look. You have to and will overachieve if I have anything to do about it. You are great and you will be an exceptional man with integrity because if you exhibit anything less than that, there is a great chance you will find yourself behind bars or dead. I say these words often to my 8 year old son. Words I doubt my white counterparts on the Parent Teachers Organization feel they have to beat into their children’s psyche.

    With that being said, we need change. There’s a problem and it needs fixing. Nobody’s perfect, therefore no country will be. I’d also like to recognize that although be it extremely hard and it takes a conscious effort followed up with actions, CHANGE has occurred in the past can come about in the present.

    4 Basic Problem Solving Steps:

    1. Understand The Problem – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere”
    2. Devise A Plan – Take accountability for your own actions in the undesirable part; and change. Also, after looking at how this great Capitalist America works, plan to boycott where it will affect the decision makers and force a desired change. You desire a level playing field? Buy Black & circulate money in the black community as much as you do in the white community to keep it thriving
    3. Carry Out The Plan – Be the change you want to see. Live it.
    4. Look Back And Evaluate – Has the desired result been reached? What can be done differently? Identify new problems. Repeat the steps.

    My views are my views. They may be different than your views. I respect that no 2 people are alike. I actually find some solace in knowing that people can think for themselves and make their own conclusions about what’s happening in the world around them. The people I call friends and give hugs to and would drop everything and go help don’t all look like me, black. They’ve shown my son’s and myself respect and love and I value that the most.

    What I don’t respect is one who bashes, disrespects, rants, and gets on their high horse to address issues in the privacy of their own homes or on public platforms, including social media, yet sits and does nothing to back up what they’re screaming about. Closet racist have evil hearts and the computer thugs/activist have no heart. If you hate me, let it be known you hate me so I can steer all the way clear of you (or boycott). If you have a grievance about something, do something about it!

    And because I am a Bible believer, I conclude with the following:

    James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
    14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
    “Faith Without Works Is Dead”

    Cherrell A. Lewis

    • I will be passing this on…

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
      (If people will take the time to read there is no excuse for not knowing about the past…)

      ” You are great and you will be an exceptional man with integrity because if you exhibit anything less than that, there is a great chance you will find yourself behind bars or dead. I say these words often to my 8 year old son. Words I doubt my white counterparts on the Parent Teachers Organization feel they have to beat into their children’s psyche.”
      (This is a wonderful lesson for moms…Thankyou)

      I’ll be passing on this post.

    • Dear Afrobella, I feel you.I was travelling, on Amtrak, from Los Angeles, to San Francisco, last Saturday, and we’d just pulled up to Santa Barbara when someone called me on my cell and told me the Zimmerman Verdict. It sickened me. I had to function on automatic pilot, making sure to gather my things and make it to my next connection. Being near the ocean soothed me. Knowing that my son, who is 18, was safe, calmed my nerves a bit. Once I got to San Francisco, I had to lay down, couldn’t really go anywhere, just pray and sleep. Trayvon Martin is all of us. He represents our past and our present.

      Flashback to April 26, 2012

      Thinking about the Justice for Trayvon Martin – LA Rally last April 26,2012, where we, the community, met at a local church – West Angeles Church of God in Christ(Rev. Charles E. Blake. I’m not a member, but wanted to be concise)
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/justicetm/sets/72157629935531893/with/6983480122/

      We, the community, met and embraced Trayvon Martin’s parents and the attorney’s representing the family, which also included Ben Jealous(NAACP), Rev Al Sharpton, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Magic Johnson, the support of Stevie Wonder, and the Leimert Park/ Inglewood Community. The pain that I felt for the Martin Family’s loss was so deep. The sisters, Mary Mary sang a song Acapella, to sooth our minds hearts and souls. We cried together, we talked and we prayed together. We planned our strategy. Trayvon Martin is gone, but not forgotten. We all agreed then, on 4.26.12, that his death would not be in vain. But something went wrong July 13, 2013 when the jury, all female jury, acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and of manslaughter charges. Lord have mercy, he even gets his gun back…

      No truer words were ever spoken, Cherrell A Lewis, and I appreciate your thoughts and strategy. Thank you Afrobella and everyone for putting to e-pen your thoughts. It helps me to exhale….Love & light to all of you.

  2. Felicia Yvette says:

    I’d bet that most of us are feeling the same way. Once I heard the verdict, I felt like my heart stopped beating. I couldn’t breathe. I got angrier each second that I watched. I didn’t understand why everyone was so happy. I don’t see how any of this warranted a celebration. Sure, GZ is free and I’m sure his family is very happy to have him home, but he killed a CHILD (after profiling and pursuing him) and that is unacceptable. I’ve been wondering the same thing since Saturday night. What can we do? Another question I have is, how can we expect others to care about us if we don’t even care about us? It’s scary out here.

  3. Tabitha says:

    check TariqNasheed on twitter – good solutions found there

  4. Trayvon was again murdered by this recent result in the matter. To me gun possession/control is at the heart of this issue – until that is fixed there will continue to be such incidents. USA needs to pray.

  5. As someone who lives in Florida and has a brother around Trayvon’s age, I’m scared for him. I’m scared for my daughter and I’m scared for myself even. This verdict meant that anyone has the right to play cop and engage with someone they feel doesn’t belong – aka minorities. It means that it’s okay to go back to the days when we as African Americans can be questioned and even shot for “not belonging”. The stand your ground law has made people around here very trigger happy and I can’t lie – I’m starting to feel like I can’t be safe unless I’m packing too. I think now we as African Americans need to turn this anger into positive action – educating our young men and keep this dialogue going.

  6. Candiew says:

    All I can say is this: Zimmerman and his family will not suffer in remorse, because he obviously doesn’t care about what he did, but will suffer in fear. His brother has already said that they as a family fear for his life and his family, because he has received numerous death threats via social media. ‘He will be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life’, his brother was quoted as saying in the New York Times.

    So be it. The stress of walking around with that burden will be upon him, regardless of what the prosecution was unable to prove.

    We all know that stress is a killer, and Karma is a bitch. For what it is worth, the Zimmermans have been warned.

    So be it.

Speak Your Mind

*