This is my boy. He turned 8 just one week ago. In 9 short years he’ll be 17. All of the teenage rites of passage are in his future: getting his license, falling in (puppy) love and deeming his parents embarrassing as much as possible. He’ll also be subject to the extreme racism and prejudice of this country. He’s just a dangerous black boy, after all. He may turn into a scholar, an athlete or a theater kid, but to most he’ll still look like a thug. A threat. A brown-skinned hoodlum.
In the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the murderer of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, I can only feel guilt and, admittedly, regret. As a mother of 2 brown-skinned children, I secretly think “why did I do this to them? Why would I choose to bring these angels into a place where they are seen as second-class citizens?” Is this what all mothers of African-American sons imagine?
This is my boy. He’ll walk to the store on his own and wear what he wants while doing so. If he’s gunned down in the streets, some may cry, some may be angry but lawmakers won’t flinch. According to our American judicial system, his life is meaningless. If someone decides to “Stand Their Ground” and take him from this world, the law is on their side, not his. This boy who loves science, technology, and history will be treated like every other brown-skinned boy in America. This boy, who is the most sensitive and kind being I know, will be treated like HE was the criminal.
Something is wrong with this world and we need to fix it. Together we can change this, whether you’re the mother of a beautiful brown-skinned child or not. Instead of wondering why, it’s time to do. If you were at all affected by the outcome of the loss of Trayvon’s life, vow right now to make a difference. Vow to take a stand and be accountable. You may not have known Trayvon Martin, but now you know my son. This is my boy, Brandon Martin. And his life is worth fighting for.