I am the older SISTER of eight black men.
I am the AUNT of seven black boys.
I am the GODMOTHER of two black boys.
I am the MOTHER of a young black man not much older than Trayvon Martin.
Hundreds of thousands have chimed in on the validity of the trial, the strength of the prosecution's case, the credibility of certain witnesses, etc...but the most important question I have is, how can 6 women, 5 of whom are MOTHERS not take the opportunity to serve George Zimmerman justice. I hear the arguments about the way the law is written, the importance of Stand Your Ground, who the burden of proof falls on, the definition of "reasonable doubt", the fact the police screwed up the evidence...I hear those arguments, and none of them resonate for me.
There is only one thing that matters to me: A KID WHO WAS DOING NOTHING WRONG WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY A MAN WHO PURSUED HIM.
I have a son. Quite frankly, one that would "open up a can of ....." on you if you ran him down at night. I just don't understand how 6 women/5 mothers could ignore the simple fact that somebody's child was minding his business and walking home and a man caused someone to bury their child. All of the courtroom presentations, the reading of the verdict choices, etc. would have sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher...INAUDIBLE and thus, irrelevant.
In my mind, any woman would feel the weight of that sorrow. And any woman, with the weight of that sorrow would have found a way to hold the killer accountable. My only rationale as to why these women didn't connect with the humanity of this child and his family in a way that would move them to make a choice that would hold the killer accountable is: the race of the child must have created a barrier to them connecting with Trayvon's humanity.
Audre Lorde was trying to explain that while all women can come together on some common ground, there are some differences in the fears that white women and black women have for their children:
"Some problems we share as women and some we do not. You [white women] fear that your children will grow up and join the patriarchy and testify against you. We [black women] fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down a street and YOU [WHITE WOMEN] WILL TURN YOUR BACKS ON THE REASONS OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING."
Clearly these jurors viewed Trayvon differently. The rest of us see Trayvon as somebody's child, somebody's baby, the beat of some mother and father's heart. And it's absolutely heart-wrenching to know that he died senselessly simply because someone JUDGED him as suspicious.
Despite the fact that the verdict in the trial may send the message to our boys that their lives have no value, that anyone who decides to do so can take their lives without consequence, let's wrap our arms around our boys and affirm that they are loved, valued, and they do matter.