Friday, March 30, 2012

Trayvon Martin

I woke this morning before the sun rose with a horror in my mind and a darkness in my heart.  

What if someone shot my son through his chest and the police just let him walk away?

I woke from a nightmare about that itself. Trayvon's parents cannot wake up from their nightmare.  Every time I imagine Dakota as Trayvon, lying with his hands and arms underneath him, face down on the concrete, his snacks scattered around him, the horror and a terrible fury grow.  I imagine the police telling Trayvon's parents that he was shot to death and then trying to explain to them why they are DOING NOTHING, and I feel a disbelief and rage. I imagine the man who shot my son watching TV. Drinking a beer. Masturbating. Waking in the morning in his sheets and comforter. Just days after he shot my teenage son in the chest for walking down the street.

This cannot stand.

I don't know how his parents are coping but the most deeply ingrained part of parenting says above all else protect your child. We cannot accept living in an America where a man can shoot a child and walk away. That is not allowed in Afghanistan; it is a war crime. It's intolerable that it is being allowed here, as Florida law.  I'm ashamed of the police force, ashamed of our system for his family, for the incredible alter-reality they are living in.  If there are two options for reality- one being that a person can kill your child and walk free, and one being a person kills your child and is immediately arrested- what kind of absolute nightmare is that? That is not the country we live in. But this very moment, it is. That cannot stand. It violates our most fundamental rights and protections.

We have to do something. I signed this petition. Every person who cares about living in a decent society where the most uncomplicated and basic morals are upheld needs to do something to speak out and say this is completely unacceptable and cannot stand.

The reporters and bloggers writing 'articles' on Trayvon Martin's 'records' should be ashamed of themselves. Those things are not news, they are inflammatory to the highest degree and completely irrelevant to the fact that he was shot to death walking down the street. It has no bearing what so ever on our laws, Trayvon's right as a human being in America to walk down the street without bodily harm, the proceedings after his death- none of it changes in any way because of anything Trayvon did in his seventeen years of life. Damnit, people, stop writing this drivel. It's embarrassing, like we are children passing rumors in the hallway about how slutty X looked the night she was raped. TALK ABOUT THE MURDER OF A CHILD. Stop talking about if he smoked pot, sold pot, was late too school too much- HE WAS MURDERED.  Talk about that. Put your big girl/boy panties on and talk around the grown up table. Leave the ( completely normal/common/unremarkable ) things Trayvon did behind. It's not about what he did.  He can't do anything now. He's dead because a grown man shot him and walked away and went home and sat his ass down and we are letting him.

If we fail to protect our children from violation or murder and then fail to enact swift and righteous justice when they have been harmed we are failing as a civilized society.

Required reading on Trayvon Martin
37paddington said...

Oh God, thank you Maggie, thank you. You said it so powerfully and true.

I wish everyone would read this!

Caroline said...

Oh Maggie. I agree so much with you here. I will sign the petition too.

And everytime I hear about this story I can't help but think about MY daughter and when she is grown with her dark skin and her thick black curly hair. Will SHE always be subject of suspicion because she is not white? And if, God forbid, she was shot down would the police DO NOTHING as well? Because in the subtext of all of this there is obviously a feeling within the community of people who are NOT white that this is yet AGAIN another sign we are not there yet. And we have to be really honest with ourselves about that if we want to change as a culture.

My heart hurts.

Catherine said...

As the mother of 5 young adult/teen males, it scares me. I have two who are swarthy, and, yes, they get the "eye" a lot more than my fair haired boys. It causes a huge hurt in my chest.

A big problem in this case, and yes, I've read your "required reading" as well as many pro Trayvon sites, is Florida law. The law is flawed and downright dangerous and should be changed. Even scarier are the movements in other states and areas to move to those laws so that just about any one can carry a gun, and if feeling threatened use it with little to no consequence. That is the crux of the problem here.

What also concerns me is the lynch mob mentality against the shooter. This is not the only case where this has happened, and everyone should bear it well in mind that it can happen to your loved ones as well if they should do something foolish that catches the attention of the media. I personally believe the shooter has a lot of liability in the situation, but the laws have to prevail even if it lets him off scot free. The laws should then be changed to avoid future such issues but to make an individual the target of all of this when he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law goes against our legal principles and is a dangerous precedent, even if that individual is evil, deliberate and dangerous. when start skirting the laws that out there due to popular opinion, it leads to anarchy.

So, Maggie dear, much as I agree, I also find the reactions of the media and the desire to punish the shooter (and again, I personally believe that man has some dangerous propensities)is inappropriate to say the least.

I know right now you are looking at your young men who are the ages of Trayvon and thinking of older men as predators when these older ones do stupid,dangerous, bad things, but I tell you, our kids are growing up slower in many ways, and it is entirely possible that your teens will still be more like teens then grown men when they hit that age. That they are supposed to cross the line of adulthood at age 18 is a legal issue, not an actual one.

I've been advocating the tightening of gun laws for a quarter century, and watching the unravel instead, so this case is another sign of what happens when you have civilians carrying guns.

Petit fleur said...

I've signed it already and sent it to as many people as I thought would also sign. I jumped down a perfect stranger's neck today because he decided to be part of a conversation in which he was not invited. He said that "We don't know all the reasons why it was not investigated" and "The truth will come out".

My hub and I have worked in the legal system in FL for years... I can tell you there as many "truths" out there as can be manufactured... namely by cops torturing opps "coercing" confessions out of people. It's sickening.

The thing that REALLY gets me, is that it seems like all the reporters are acting like someone kicked a fucking dog. I mean OH MY GOD! REALLY? I know I'm not the first to say it, but if the races were reversed, that guy would have been toast. Probably beaten by the cops or even killed himself BEFORE he was arrested.

I know the mentality general mentality and culture of Sanford because we have clients in prison in a nearby town which we have visited often. It is a highly bigoted and militant community, most of which work in one of the 3 prisons in the area. The math is not tricky here.

I'm just really sick. Thank you for posting in such a passionate and dignified manner Maggie. I'm just too immature and enraged. You bring a class and heart to the most wretched of subjects and I'm proud of you for addressing them.

Lone Star Ma said...

So true.

gradydoctor said...

True. True. True.

Alexicographer said...


Exactly this.

Annie said...

Hi Maggie,

This whole situation scares me, that a young man can be shot, and the shooter gets away with it because of a flawed law. I've read enough, and I don't believe the shooter. Trayvon was walking, snacks in hand, from a convenience store to a home where he belonged. He was followed and threatened and killed. The shooter should be charged with murder.

Elizabeth said...


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