What if I Wore a Hoodie? Meeting Trayvon’s Parents

Tonight I met parents with the saddest of stories to tell. They are the parents of a teenager whose name is so well-known. It’s Trayvon Martin. To me that name – Trayvon – is a symbol, of injustice, unfairness, and racism. But to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, he was their son. A real boy who was really killed because of the color of his skin.

They have written a book about their son, and they don’t make any claims that he was a perfect boy, but their grief is so perfect it hurts to hear about it. Tracy described that grief in one sentence that tore me up. “This isn’t our story. It’s our life. Sybrina has a hole in her heart. I have a hole in mine.” Beautiful souls forced to remember their son’s lost soul and lost life every day. They have channeled their grief and disappointment at the verdict into a movement to educate all of us about the menace of gun violence and how our racial biases can make us jump to dangerous conclusions.

It’s hard to believe that some in our State Legislature would rather see more guns rather than fewer guns. They are even hoping to see more of them in schools of all places. We have plenty of guns already in Florida. Something close to 1.4 million people have gun permits. It seems like that should be enough.

All of us, not just some of us, must be able to walk the streets safely.

P.S. You may want to hear them in their own words during their conversation with Nadege Green on WLRN. If you’re a reader, Books & Books has copies of Rest in Power.

Rest in Peace. Rest in Power.

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