I have to interrupt the usual stream of silliness and bitching, y'all. It's been a long ass while since something on the news has fucked with me this badly and I'm having all kinds of FEELINGS about it, which is one in a bunch of reasons why I'm not dead asleep right now.
This is going to get long and nasty and thorny and opinionated, and I highly suspect some folk are going to squirm/be triggered/get pissed at me reading it. I'm not cutting it. I'm only barely feeling considerate enough to place a trigger warning in the title. Deal. Or scroll.
So let's talk about this kid for a minute:
This is 17 year old Trayvon Martin. He was shot and killed in Florida on February 26 while walking to a 7-11 to get some candy for his brother. Why? According to the man that shot him, "he looked suspicious." ...Uh huh. I'm totally paraphrasing, by the way, his actual words were far more... chilling
is the wrong word, but it's all I've got. No I'm not quoting them, google it.
Earlier this evening police released 911 audio of eight calls made at the time of the shooting. After reading the description of their contents here
, I've opted to not listen. I know I wouldn't be able to handle it, and I'm having enough trouble sleeping this evening. The description is enough to have me in some ugly tears.
I wouldn't say there is enough coverage of this out there by way of Twitter, blogs and the news, because there isn't, and frankly, there never is when a kid of color dies. (Pretty confident a lot of you are hearing about this for the first time via this post.) However, most of what I could say about this has been said by people far better at this whole expressing outrage and grief on the internet than I am. The #TrayvonMartin hashtag on twitter pretty much covers it, as well as completely breaks my heart six ways from Sunday.
I will say this though. Between this case, this kid's picture (he don't look like anybody's 17, I'm sorry), all the points people have brought up about the (non)value of black boys in our supposedly post-racial society, looking at the way my sisters and friends of color raise their kids, especially their sons, and all the things I hated but completely understood about how my ex used to behave as a large black man in a 90% white public? I think I'm finally okay with not having children in this lifetime, because this is all shit I would have to deal with and worry about every single day
as a Black mother, and y'all... I can't even. I don't know how some of you deal with this and still manage to let your boys out of your sight to live their lives, knowing that they run the VERY FUCKING REAL risk of having their LIVES ENDED for having the audacity
to walk down a street in a way that upset someone paler than they are, and 9 times out of 10, said pale person wouldn't catch jack shit for it. Because this isn't an isolated incident, y'all. I wish it was, but this shit's been happening almost every day since most of us brown folk got dragged here in chains. And you know what? It's pretty fucking rough just dealing with that day in and day out, just knowing if you slip up and take a shortcut through the wrong town at the wrong time,* it'll cost you in at best harassment, at worst grievous bodily harm, possibly including death. All because you happen to be somewhat more sun-resistant than Freckle McBlonderson over there. And then add the fact that you have to worry about your kids as well? Ffffffffuuuuuuucccccccck.
Y'all who never have to worry about this shit as you raise your kids? Give some serious fervent thanks to whatever power you hold dear that you don't, cause it sucks
. And I'm not going to lie, tonight I resent your privilege in this department more than a little bit. Nope, no exceptions, sorry, I'm not writing any Black Friend Passes today and just as a heads up, the window may remain closed at least through the weekend. Too upset, and fuck you if you don't get why.
I'm not at all optimistic about there being any kind of positive outcome in this case, and it is almost a moot point because even if key people managed to get their collective heads out of their asses and some kind of legal justice was served, Trayvon is still horribly, senselessly dead. The media and the Internet being what they are, his death won't necessarily spark nearly enough outrage to really change anything either because in order to get people outside of the niche that is, say, #blacktwitter to give a shit about black boys dying, some white guys have to make a video about it and make it go viral. Bonus if they then get busted for drug use and public masturbation. That's what makes people pay attention. One sweet-faced teenager just getting his brother some candy and getting shot for his trouble? Well like I sad, Trayvon died on the 26th of February. Why did it take twenty damn days for this to get widespread press? Shit.
All I want to do right now is hug the stuffing out of my nephews and tell them I love them. And cry buckets that it's still so fucked up out there that shit like this can still happen and no one'll say boo, and even if someone does? deaf ears.
Wellp. Until next time, folks. Sadly, there will be one. * seriously, look up "sundown towns" and "The Green Book" sometime. You'll learn stuff.