Every time I see Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, on the TV news, I feel a kick to my own gut. I’m not just saddened that a mother and father have lost their boy, but that they have to chase down justice in the case—as in many other similar cases where males of color are concerned.
What’s worse is that the information about Martin, that has nothing to do with his death, is being used against him.
There have been recent reports surrounding Martin’s school record in the weeks and months leading to his death. I say, what of it?
My oldest isn’t a teen yet, so maybe others can fill me in: are teenagers supposed to be perfect? If so, I have been led to believe that teenagers may make mistakes and get into trouble. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin are in the lamentable position of having to defend their son’s reputation, postmortem.
“The question should not be why was he suspended from school, it should be why did this man kill him in cold blood," Mr. Martin said, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr. Martin, be assured that I am asking that question.
It seems that George Zimmerman’s statements that he acted in self defense, as he reportedly told police after walking into the precinct with no injuries visible on video, is of little solace to the parents of the boy he allegedly killed.
But it was reportedly enough for the Sanford Police Dept. to decide against seizing Zimmerman. Not only have they not arrested Zimmerman, but it was the police who, according to Mediaite, leaked insignificant factoids about Trayvon’s supposed truancy, and school suspensions over trace amounts of marijuana found on him—and most bewilderingly—a screwdriver he had that was categorized as a burglary tool.
Whether or not Zimmerman was applying Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in the most legitimate sense is a matter for that same Police Dept. to investigate.
So too if Zimmerman allegedly acted on his suspicion of Martin, because he thought Martin looked like he was “up to no good.”
I hope that Trayvon’s parents can take at least the smallest comfort in knowing that the public is forming its own opinion as more facts surface.
Here’s a fact that surfaced early that I keep dwelling on: the boy had a pack of Skittles in his pocket that he’d come out to buy. No menacing screwdrivers, or burglary tools. The same candy my own kids sometimes ask me to buy them.
As my boy, who is almost 10, grows bigger, I wonder how I will prepare him to avoid other people’s guns and intentions while on a trip to the corner store.