On the night of February 26th, 2012, a 17 year old boy by the name of Trayvon Martin was shot in Sanford, Florida.
Many details of the case have been released and it turns out the man who shot Trayvon followed him because he looked suspicious.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t follow someone who looks suspicious.
You stay the hell away from them.
I know that people say that race has nothing to do with it, but people are wrong.
Race always has something to do with it. You see, if Trayvon was a white man, this case would have been a classic case of first degree murder, and because Zimmerman was Hispanic, he would have been looking at life in jail.
But he wasn’t.
Why did the case hit me so hard? Because I am 17.
I could have been at the wrong place at the time and wearing a hoodie, talking on my friend on the phone, and someone could have followed me and shot me.
And the only other reason why he would shoot me, instead of tackling me or knocking me unconscious, the only reason why he would follow me and bring a gun, is because of the colour of my skin.
I could have been Trayvon Martin.
We all could have been Trayvon Martin.
So I would like to dedicate this entry to Trayvon, and to all the beautiful Black people out there, because we haven’t had it easy.
God knows we haven’t had it easy.
But let me quote a brilliant man, James Baldwin, talking to a brilliant woman, Maya Angelou, on how we survived.
‘’We survived slavery. Think about that. Not because we were strong. The American Indians were strong, and they were on their own land. But they did not survive genocide. You know how we survived? We put surviving in our poems and into our songs. We put it into our folk tales. We danced surviving in Congo Square in New Orleans and put it in our pots when we cooked pinto beans. We wore surviving on our backs when we clothed ourselves in the colours of the rainbow. We were pulled down so low we could hardly lift our eyes, so we knew, if we wanted to survive, we had better lift our own spirits. So we laughed whenever we got the chance.’’
No matter what happens, no matter where it happens, we get through. Survival was built into our bones. So survive we will.
I found this letter to George Zimmerman online, and I think that it is the perfect ending to this blog entry.
Until next time,