In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been inundated with the mistreatment of black men – a hard truth to swallow. Pat, my cousins, and I were standing on line for ice cream at Zwahlens in suburban PA when the Wall Street Journal pushed an article to Pat’s phone. Trayvon Martin was found guilty for his own murder. We all stood there dumbfounded and rushed back to the house to put on the news. It was quite true – a jury of Trayvon’s not-peers found that he should not have been walking unarmed through that Florida neighborhood with Skittles and iced tea, and that GZ had every right to shoot him dead. I was nauseous. It’s more than three weeks after the verdict, and I still feel upside down.
To make things even worse, Pat and I went to see Fruitvale Station two Fridays ago. I hadn’t even heard of this story before watching the movie. Kind of scary knowing that my current events knowledge is controlled by the media and whatever powers are behind them. If you haven’t seen Fruitvale, see it. It’s meant to unsettle you. Pat and I are convinced that our life’s work should be directed toward eliminating these injustices – it’s hard to feel otherwise in the face of such tough truths.
Earlier this year we also watched Central Park 5 – another example of young black men being unfairly criminalized. We were children living in NYC when the Central Park jogger had been brutalized. It was a horrible event that framed our youth. I never wanted to go to Central Park and was always afraid for my safety. But we never heard the follow-up story – the part where we should have learned that the police and prosecutors got it wrong and sent 5 teenage boys to prison during their most critical developmental years. We’re still not hearing about the ongoing story.
We think about the people who are being abused, and we don’t take for granted our own fortune. We ask that you don’t as well and find your own way to fight the injustice plaguing our children.