One of the burdens of being a black male is carrying the heavy weight of other people’s suspicions. One minute you’re going about your life, the next you could be pleading for it, if you’re lucky. And far too many aren’t. That’s why the the Feb. 27 killing of Trayvon Martin has black parents around the country clutching their sons a little closer.
By all accounts, Trayvon was a good kid. He helped his father coach Little League. He had dreams of becoming a pilot. He was good at math. The Orlando Sentinel said that Trayvon’s English teacher described him “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” And now he’s gone because, as Charles Blow wrote on Saturday, “a man with a gun and an itchy finger” found Trayvon “suspicious.”
What we know is that the 17-year-old, visiting relatives in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., was on his way back to their house from 7-Eleven with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. That’s when he caught the eye of George Zimmerman, a crime watch volunteer who called 911. Listening to that call made my blood run cold.
[We don’t follow the logic there, either.]
Update, tangentially related: Two Chicago teens charged in shooting death of 6-year-old girl
Fortunately for the adult-aged shooter, she was of their own ‘race’ and appears to have been an accidental victim.