At the risk of bringing down the wrath of the entire population of my fellow forward-thinking, freedom-loving, equality-supporting, open-minded peers, I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer.
Can we not admit that Trayvon Martin had it coming?
Wait!!! And I say wait just a minute knowing that I am addressing those of us with conscience and a solid sense of responsibility.
Think about it.
It doesn’t matter that he was a good kid. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. It doesn’t matter that he was innocent, young, sweet, undeserving, full of life, caring, compassionate, smart, or going to be ‘someone.’
The only thing that matters is that he scared some idiot with a gun into thinking he was a thug.
No, it’s not the boy’s fault that the man shot him. And there, yes, I agree fully, completely, and 100%, with the heavy heart of a mother, that Zimmerman should pay for his actions. (I do, however, believe that he will pay a bigger price than any of us yet realize.) There is no other way to look at this but that the death of this young boy is the fault of George Zimmerman.
But racism isn’t hate, people; it’s fear.
And from that point of view, some of the responsibility must fall into the hands of the victims.
Is it my fault if the car hits me in the street? Of course not. But it is my responsibility to wait until the coast is clear before crossing. The driver will have a hard time dealing with the incident. But he will still be working. Walking.. Living… I, on the other hand, will pay the bigger price.
In a perfect world, children should be able to play outside unsupervised, women should be able to walk about naked if they choose, and a black kid should be able to wear a hoodie at night in a gated community.
But until we have actually created that perfect world, we have no choice but to be responsible for our own actions and take the necessary precautions. I know that tiger will eat me; I keep my hand out of the cage – no matter how much I think I should be able to pet him.
Maybe we should all stop pointing fingers and start trying to make amends. Make ourselves more likable instead of walking around wearing our rights over our faces so others feel the need to fear. If keeping myself safe means I have to use a little discretion in how I present myself, it’s a small price to pay. And while I present myself in a likable fashion, maybe I’ll take the opportunity to share some of my more liberal views with my willing audience.
It might not be my fault, but it’s my responsibility.
The first time I heard one of my kids defend a choice with, “I don’t care what other people think of me,” I saw the bigger picture and had to disagree.
“But you have to care, kiddo. Because that’s how they’re going to treat you. And you DESERVE to be treated well.”