I’ve spent the last several days processing the Trayvon Martin case. I’ve read some, I’ve discussed some, but publicly I’ve mostly remained silent for a number of reasons. Save for a brief tweet Sunday morning–which offered just enough information for me to acknowledge it, but really not so much at all.
Then I began quietly watching Twitter, Facebook, blog post threads. Who was talking. Who was retweeting. Who was angry. Who was speaking up. And for the most part, save for my die-hard liberal political friends and celebrities of the Always Willing To Put Their Asses On the Line nature, it was Black people. Again.
Not all. But enough that the disproportion was evident in my feed.
When I posted a link to this amazing article on Trayvon Martin, Racism and the NRA by Robin D.G. Kelley which a friend sent me, I can see the number of retweets (not many) versus the number of clicks (a holy hell of a lot).
We White people–I think we are scared to talk.
So I’m trying.
Because as I learned from my brother when he so eloquently put it to an NPR reporter in college when he was marching on Washington with me and my mother for a so-called “women’s issue” during the Bush years: “if I don’t speak up people will think this is a woman’s issue. It’s not. It’s everyone’s issue”
(I’m glad he went into politics. We need more like him.)
Racism is everyone’s issue. The pathetic excuse for gun laws in this country is everyone’s issue. A prejudicial justice system is everyone’s issue. (Keep an eye out for the name Jordan Davis) Poverty is everyone’s issue.
Because we all live together. One village.
And so, Trayvon Martin is everyone’s issue too. And to me, it’s every mother’s issue. Because any mother’s loss is every mother’s loss.
Opinions are strong and discussions can get heated. I know that makes some of us back away. But please. Talk about it. Talk about it quietly with family or loudly with friends. Talk about it publicly or on forums or petitions or articles like the Kelley one. Protest peacefully. Add a post to the We Are Not Trayvon Martin tumblr. Support those other people who are penalized for speaking about it. Or for singing about it.
We need to keep talking, especially with our children, so that they can grow up to change things for good.
And if you’re not Black, and you see a box like this, next to an amazing article like that one on Huffington Post by Kelley:
don’t ignore it. That’s what I would normally do. Hell, I would probably not even see it. Because, well, I’m not a Black voice. But then I remember, these are everyone’s issues. I need to know more.
I need to stand my ground.
Thank you to all the news outlets that mentioned this post: CNN, Huffington Post, CBS The Talk.
But more so, thank you to the commenters here–well, the 99% of them–that have been respectful even in disagreement.