The names of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have been cemented into our nation’s history. Forever wrapped in controversy and raw emotions, the simple mention of either of these names is practically synonymous with “political correctness”.
Regardless of whether or not one believes Trayvon Martin was under the influence or initiated the fight with then neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman; to his parents, THIS was and will always be Trayvon Martin.
Regardless of the accuracy of the gas station surveillance video showing Michael committing strong-armed robbery or the truthfulness of Police Officer Darren Wilson’s claims of felony assault on a Police Officer; to Michael Brown’s family, THIS was and will always be Michael Brown.
As a father, no matter what anyone could say, my kids will always be special and undeserving of harm. Even if people showed me videos of my children committing crimes, I would still think there had to have been extenuating circumstances. After all, I watched them grow. I know them better than anyone, or so I would like to think. No matter what stupid things they could do in the company of their friends, they would always revert to the innocent babies we’ve always know them to be. Point being, I understand the parents and their troubled emotions. I understand their disbelief in the testimony and “proof” others have submitted against their precious children. I also understand the children doing things they would not normally do in front of their parents, while attempting to fit in.
Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown’s parents lost their babies. No matter what anyone says about them, they will always be their babies. They have the luxury of thinking Zimmerman and Wilson didn’t have to kill their children. They could’ve fired a warning shot, they could’ve “taken their beatings like men”, they could’ve shot them in the arm or leg…anything but kill them. Ultimately, the parents weren’t there. Not one of the people up in arms rioting and looting was there. They weren’t inside Zimmerman or Wilson’s head, as they believed they were being forced to use deadly force.
Neither were demonstrators and political activists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. They did not know Martin, Brown, Zimmerman or Wilson. They do not know whether or not Zimmerman or Wilson have an ounce of racism in them. They simply swooped in and in a moment of loss, pain and anger, perverted everything into a racial issue.
Lets for the sake of argument take everyone out of the picture. No rioters, no peaceful protesters, no looters and no damage to other people’s property. It’s just Martin’s parents vs. Zimmerman and Brown’s parents vs. Officer Wilson. There are feelings of loss, pain, anger and frustration. There is disbelief and feelings of helplessness. The parents of the victims will never accept there was nothing else Zimmerman or Wilson could’ve done. Ask yourselves, if you were in their shoes, would you? Despite the fact that the Courts and juries of their peers agreed the Law was on the side of the shooters; in the eyes of the parents, their babies were the victims, not the other way around. It’s as simple as black and white to them. “They killed our babies, they deserve to go to jail.” It doesn’t matter that the Law wasn’t on their side. The Law’s Justice wasn’t the same as their Justice. In that dark world of pain, anger and desperation, the parents found comfort in others. Comfort, which was perverted and twisted to include issuing of the notorious “Race Card”.
Protesters, walk for the end of violence against women and children and I’m right there with you. Picket for equal rights under the Law for gays, lesbians and transgender individuals and I support your cause. Demonstrate to end child hunger and homelessness, walk out for equal pay for men and women…magnificent. But if you lift up your hands in protest, do it FOR ALL LIVES, not just Black lives!
“Hands Up! Don’t Shoot! Black lives matter!” they chant in support of Michael Brown. What about “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot! Lives matter!” in support of the gas station clerk gunned down during a robbery, the child hit by the stray bullet shot during a drive-by, and the witness killed before testifying? What about the lives lost due to Black on Black, Black on White, Black on non-White crime and vice versa? What about lives lost to drugs, gangbanging, violent crime and domestic violence? Who’s blocking traffic for them? Who’s walking out for them? Who’s picketing for them? If you are going to value Black lives, not valuing ALL lives is incredibly hypocritical.
We are not Trayvon Martin and we are not Michael Brown.
We ARE Marine LCPL Christopher O. Grant, age 20, who died October 20, 2013 while serving his country. We are NOT teens reportedly caught with a locker full of stolen goods or who allegedly robbed a gas station. We ARE a nation formed on hard work, sacrifice and caring for others. We are NOT the glorified “gangbanger” or the embodiment of “Grand Theft Auto”. We ARE a country built on the legacies of our heroes, who triumphed over the evils and injustices of this world.
We ARE Derrick Jordan, who at 6’8”, was one of four black men who stood armed with an AR-15 outside of the Conoco gas station in Ferguson, MO, owned by Doug Merello.
We ARE the 8 year-old boy accepting a folded flag at his father’s funeral. We ARE a nation of people who don’t care about the color of one’s skin, but about the reflection of one’s actions. We ARE a nation of people who ask, “Is this RIGHT?” We ARE people that go out after natural disasters to help our friends and neighbors. We ARE a country that bands together when facing terrorist attacks. We ARE people who sacrifice for the protection of others, for peace and for justice. We are NOT Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown. WE are the people. WE are AMERICA!