Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Trayvon Martins' life matters....."White women are mean, Mommy" ...that's not what I want him to believe....
As a mother of 4 African American males and the wife of an African American male who is a former Police Officer, who wasn't willing to go with the status quo I know the hurt all too well. Though I can only pray that God will allow my children to outlive me my heart aches everyday in this country. As I think of how much I have cheated my children of by raising them in the south among a hatred that never died.
One incident in particular comes to mind...as my son was in elementary school he said "Mommy, white women are mean." This is after having all white female Teachers who just yelled at him year after year. I finally withdrew him and began to homeschool him, because I thought about my wonderful white female Algebra Teacher who genuinely loved me. I thought about my Vice Principal who did everything she could to see to it that I had the best high school experience possible. Or even the white woman who is my sons Godmother and was also wonderful to my husband. They did not deserve this stereotype but the difference was the love in their heart, they did not grow up being contaminated by the hatred of people like the Zimmermans. You have to evaluate the heart of a man. Yet, once again I find myself having to explain why six white women would have the heart to state his life is meaningless.
I remembered when I handled the induction interview for the great Golfer William Zimmerman in 1996 and as I spoke with his wife on the golf course about becoming an attorney. She uttered "It's nice that you people think that way." I too made the mistake I hear Steve Harvey making saying "she really doesn't know any better...because all she knows is having tea etc...." Yet Mrs. Zimmerman knew exactly what she was doing "She was sowing a seed of doubt." Just as these jurors knew exactly what they were doing. They were carrying out what they have always been taught they must carry out.
Please don't make excuses for their hatred, instead use it as an opportunity to open up dialogue. Too many of us sit around pretending that the elephant is not in the room. We pretend to feel comfortable to be accepted by our counterparts. We let too much go when we see young African American men being harassed by the police or others unfairly. It is in us turning a blind eye to the little things that has allowed us to get to a point where this child was able to be murdered for carrying a bag of skittles home for his cousin and an iced tea home. In a world where my son has friends of all races, it is rare now that he encounters the hatred you find in places like Sanford, Florida. It's just a fact that these pocket cities in the south where hatred is still brewing for the blood of our sons truly exist. I felt like I had walked into the twilight zone when I realized "I had moved to Evans, Ga a place screaming about white flight." "Just know that they are no longer wearing their white hoods."