Stand Your Ground vs Skittles and Ice Tea: “If I had a Son He’d Look Like Trayvon”
It almost a month later. The death of Trayvon was no accident. The police knew about it, and yet there has been no arrest. I hadn’t touched on the issue because it was a state matter to me.
But the fact is, I learned more on Facebook. Everyone started to do their pictures with hoodies. At first I didn’t understand it. I saw a lot of women in hoodies and I wasn’t getting the picture. Then I saw a good friend in a hoodie, and then another. Before long I saw at least 500 people taking a picture in a hoodie and I got it.
Trayvon but for the grace of God could have been me. Trayvon didn’t have a gun. He had skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea. Heck, I love Arizona Ice Tea. I get an Arizona just about every other weekend. Primarily I buy it because its 99 cents. You can’t beat that price. That said, I alway wear a hoodie. I have worn a hoodie more in recent years than any time in my lifetime. I’ve been in areas in that hoodie that were not my home neighborhood. In that time, I ran into police in my
hoodie without a thought of an issue. The fact of the matter is, if a police officer approaches you, you treat it differently.
However if someone just started asking me a question and didn’t identify themselves as police, then we are going to have a problem. Fact is, I could have been Trayvon. I have two sons and either one of them could have been Trayvon. At the end of the day, any of my good friends could have been Trayvon.
My closest friend past and his mother had to deal with that death. It was a pain I couldn’t imagine her having to address. Trayvon’s mom is dealing with a death that was neither expected nor justified. To loose a son to illness, tragic. To loose a son to foolishness, is preventable.
President Barack Obama stated, that “If I had a Son He’d Look Like Trayvon.” He did this in a press conference dedicated to introducing the new head of the World Bank. Yet across the twitterverse and every place else “If I had a Son He’d Look Like Trayvon” became a theme.
Geraldo Rivera on the other hand; a Fox News fair and balanced commentator, blamed the hoodie. In Rivera’s opinion, the hoodie is as much to blame as Zimmerman. The through of Rivera about the hoodie sickens me but also shows a level of insensitivity to a matter that is profoundly larger than clothing. It is like saying to a rape victim “you shouldn’t have worn that outfit as you walked down the street. You knew what men would do when they saw it.’
The insensitivity of Fox and the sensitivity of everyone that truly feels “If I had a Son He’d Look Like Trayvon” is like the vast difference between the rich and the poor. We are obligated to focus on raising our children to the best of our ability. We are not obligated to subject our children to unwarranted violence and disrespect.
I pray for the mother of Trayvon. I believe Trayvon’s Father will be ok. But Trayvon’s mom lost her little boy. And Trayvon’s mom’s heart is hardened. She said that on the Rev. Al Sharpton show and it was repeated on other show’s including the Rachel Maddow show.
Three times in the book of Hebrews, we are told, “harden not your heart” (Heb. 3:8; 3:15 and 4:7). It was the first thing I heard in my mind when I heard Trayvon’s mom speak. What is it exactly to harden your heart? In this case, Trayvon’s mom wants justice. She wants her son’s known killer to be placed in custody. The challenge is, that still will not bring
“For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways”
Personally I can not imagine what Trayvon’s mom is going through. No words will provide solace or comfort. What I do know is we must be vigilant to protect our children. And we must appreciate every moment we have with them. For tomorrow is not promised and yesterday is gone. Our best hope is to embrace this very moment and hold it near and dear to us as we do our children. But for the grace of God, any of our sons could have been Trayvon
1.Maddow, Rachel “MSNBC: The Rachel Maddow Show” Video March 22, 2012
2. Seitz-Wald, Alex “Fox’s Gerldo Rivera Blames Hoodie For Trayvon Martins Death , March 23, 2012