Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in the Million Hoodie March for Travyon Martin. If you are unfamiliar with the story, the short version is: he was shot dead while walking home by a guy named George Zimmerman. Trayvon was unarmed, and the only thing he had in his hands were a bag of Skittles and a Arizona Ice Tea. Zimmerman was never taken into custody, and claimed self-defense. Trayvon was only seventeen years old.
This story hit me especially hard because I have a seventeen year old brother that could have easily been Trayvon. Anyone’s child could have easily been Trayvon, and you would think that in this day and age, racism wouldn’t be such a problem. But the fact is, it’s still a real issue! If the tables were turned, and a black man killed a white boy, the black man would have been taken into custody immediately. Yet, George Zimmerman was never taken into custody by the Florida Police Dept.
“I don’t play the race card. It was given to me”
“Snacks can’t defend against a handgun”
This is the first time I’ve had the privilege of being a part of something so special. There were so many people: black people, white people, brown people, etc., that came together for such an important cause. It made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. I was a part of group of people who said, I am not going to take this anymore. You can’t just kill us off because we are black, poor, or other minorities, and get away with it. So this wasn’t just justice for Trayvon, but justice for every other nameless person that was killed in an unjust way. “We are Trayvon Martin.”
(sorry the video uploaded a little blurry for some reason. I never claimed to have excellent video editing skills)
The energy from this march made me feel excellent. It made me feel like our future has a chance. There were boys Trayvon’s age that marched. There was also little kids with their parent’s that chanted and marched. It is this kind of resilience and tenacity that the youth need to have. No one can stand up for us, like we stand up for ourselves.
The best part was walking past people who had NO IDEA what was going on, but wanted to know. Some of them decided to join in, some honked their honks, but some of them looked at us like we were crazy. They were irritated that we blocked traffic, and made their commute home more difficult. But imagine how Trayvon’s family must feel. Those commuters have the luxury of going home, no matter how long it took. Trayvon will never step foot back into his home.
Trayvon’s mother speaks
I am truly so honored that I got a chance to be a part of this. This is one of the reasons I wanted to come to NYC. New York is a place that usually takes action when it comes to issues like this.
I arrived at Union Square by myself not really knowing what to expect, and I was greeted by people who felt the same way I felt. People that came together to speak up against wrong doing. I hope each and every one of you that reads this can find compassion in your heart to sign this petition to make sure that George Zimmerman goes to jail for murder! I also hope that we all can find a voice to speak up not only against racism but killing of any kind.