I feel quite certain that all of you have heard of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I have been reading about it and hearing about it on NPR for days now and I haven't said anything because this space has mostly been about our new grandchild and family things and that is valid but I have to admit that it has been at the back of my mind this whole time.
If there are any of you who do NOT know about this case, it's the story of a seventeen year old boy in Sanford, Florida who was on his way back to his daddy's house with some Skittles and iced tea which he'd just bought and who was murdered by a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch guy. And the most shocking thing about the case is that the murderer was not arrested because he claimed self-defense.
Trayvon was black, his killer was what they are calling a "white Hispanic."
Well. The whole world is now watching and the police chief has "stepped aside."
And I have nothing to say, really, because what can I add to what has already been said? You know what I think- the same thing all of you think, which is that times have changed but not nearly enough. That it is still dangerous for a black youth to walk down the street, even in broad daylight. Even armed with nothing but a pack of candy and a can of tea.
Owen came over today. It was so lovely. He fell asleep on his way over and I carried him in the house and took off his shoes and he laid down on the bed and he slept for hours. I am sure that this new brother of his has shaken his world to its core, or at least, as he perceives it, and here he was at Mer-Mer's house where he takes such good naps, and he slept and it was beautiful. He got up and we went out to the front porch because the chickens were out there and he hasn't seen his chickens for awhile and he was so happy to see Elvis and the hens and we fed them some bread and while we were out there, a young black guy walked by the house. Lloyd, where I live, is a very mixed community. We are black, we are white, we are a multi-colored flock and there are college professors and there are changers-of-the-oil and tillers-of-the-soil and here we all are and we mostly get along fine but when something like the murder of Trayvon Martin happens, I can feel all of us open our eyes a bit wider.
It all affects all of us, whether it is the election of our first black president or yet another example of how racism is still alive and well in our country. In our STATE!
And this guy walked by and I said, as I usually do, "Hey, how you doin'?" and he looked me carefully in the eye and he said, "Fine. And you?" Polite as I'm sure his mama taught him. And then he said, "Hey," to Owen but Owen is shy and wouldn't look up and I said, "He's shy," and the guy smiled and went on but it got me in my heart.
I felt as if I should apologize to him but of course, that's ridiculous. There's no part of me which would shoot anybody for any reason I can imagine but still.
We ain't right yet. And it's not a joke and it leads to the murder of some one's child and it means that a young black male can't walk down the street where he lives on a beautiful spring day without having to wonder if someone (an old white lady in overalls with a little boy and chickens on the porch?) is a threat.
Okay. I've said my piece for now. Sort of.
Owen was a joy. Here he is on the tractor, showing me how he can steer with this entire body.
Here he is, playing with a "big boy" hammer on the floor of the kitchen with his Bop.
And here's a picture of Gibson, our newest boy, with his beautiful, proud Papa.
These are MY boys and Trayvon was someone's boy and my heart breaks to think that babies are still growing up in a world, in a country where the color of your skin makes you guilty before proven innocent. Where the very act of walking down the street can be perceived as a threat and you can be shot and your killer not arrested.
But here's the good news, if there is such a thing in a situation like this: The whole world is watching and you can't get away with shit like this any damn more. There WILL be an arrest and there WILL be a trial. You can count on that. And then...well, we'll see if justice is served or not but at least the process will be honored.
Eventually. I hope.
And I hope that the world my grandsons grow up in is a better one. At least when it comes to blind violent hatred. And dammit, that EVERY ONE'S grandsons grow up in a better one. And grand daughters, too! It seems like in so many areas we take one step forward and then one step back but slowly, slowly, progress HAS to be made so that everyone can be seen as a human being whether they are male or female, black or white or Hispanic or whatever. Gay or straight or bisexual or transgendered. Differently abled, rich and poor and in between. All of us, dammit. We are all part of the human race and we each deserve what anyone else deserves. Which is love and the ability to just be able to walk down the damn road without fear of being shot and killed.
Yours in peace and hope...Ms. Moon