Thursday, April 19, 2012

Taking Sides

I've been meaning to say something about the Trayvon Martin case for a long time.  It's just been hard to get it out in a calm and rational way.

When I first heard that a young man was shot and killed for no real reason and the one who did it was let go on his own say so I was appalled.  What?  I just presented what happened in a biased manner?  I'm not being neutral?  I'm not acknowledging I don't really know what happened?  

Damned straight.  Because I am also appalled at the number of white people, white Christians, white ELCA members committing on Bishop Anderson's statement one facebook and the number of white ELCA pastors who all of a sudden are so interested in nuetrality and not taking sides.  Who are so unwilling to listen to the vast experience of African Americans when they say "HEY! Racism is alive and well.  This IS a race issue!  This happens more than you know!"  

And I'm so overwhelmed and discouraged that we can not move forward with race relations in this country.  And I don't know what I can do.  But I can do this.  I can take a side.  I can look into the grief filled eyes of a mother, the grace-filled, dignified face of Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton and believe her.  Because one of the consequences of being on the margins of society is that no one believes you.  Well I can believe her.  

I'm not a judge or a jury so I get to make a judgment.  I get to take a side.  And I choose to believe Sybrina Fulton when she says her boy was an innocent victim.  I believe her when she says she knows that is her boy's screams on the 911 calls for help.  She doesn't believe her boy attacked George Zimmerman and I believe her.

I mean seriously.  Everybody felt free to judge that Casey Anthony was guilty of killing her daughter, even after she was pronounced not guilty by a jury of her peers.  But now all this "caution" for the sake of George Zimmerman.  Let's not rush to judgment for him.

Now I don't know that I believe Zimmerman consciously killed Travyon because he was black.  I think Zimmerman is a man who needed to feel important and strutting around the neighborhood watch with his gun made him feel important.  Tracking down a thief made him feel important.  I kind of feel sorry for him.   Yes I believe he got himself into this mess but I think of him as a sad little man who just wanted to feel important.  I think Trayvon died so he could feel important.  I wish there was some other way we could have made George Zimmerman feel important.  

I am convinced race had everything to do with the Sanford Police taking Zimmerman at his word, dumping young Trayvon in a morgue and making absolutely no effort to find out who he was until days later his parents had to file a missing person's report to find out where he was.  I do not believe for one second a white boy would have been treated that way.

I'm taking sides.  I believe Trayvon's mother.

1 comment:

  1. I'll accept that the way you've written it. (I'm a mom in a mixed race family, but we haven't dealt with the issues in this case.)