Poopies, I feel obligated to share this piece I wrote about Trayvon Martin. As a parent, I’m really struggling with this. The weight of our responsibility here cannot be undervalued or overestimated. It is, now more than ever, up to us to raise our children with the utmost compassion and respect for everyone. Trayvon’s tragic death must be a lesson and reminder to our generation that we can finally get it right. We can reverse the racism that has infiltrated so many of the generations that have come before us. We can be the parents who make the difference by always setting an example for our children that everyone is equal – all of us are the same, all of us are human beings who deserve to be seen as individuals and treated with compassion, love and tolerance.
Remember Trayvon: Teach Your Kids Compassion, Love, Equality & Respect for ALL.
Racism is learned. Bigotry is taught. No Child is ever born with hate in their heart or ignorance in their mind.
Since the February 26th fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, our national discourse once again has turned toward the problem that continues to plague our country: racism. It is a festering, open wound that has yet to heal. And how could it? How could healing ever possibly come when we still live in a place where, as Toni Morrison puts it, “American means white and everybody else has to hyphenate.”
As a mom of two young children, I cannot help but think of Trayvon’s parents and all the things they’ll never get to experience with him, the joys they’ll never share, the life cut so tragically short that will no longer be. And when I think of them, I don’t see black. I don’t see different. I don’t see other. I see pain. I see sorrow. I see grief. How could one see anything else? They are a mom and a dad who loved their son, Trayvon. A son who was there one moment and gone forever the next.
The loss of a child is the most unbearable pain there is. How one moves forward after that seems incomprehensible. The death of any child is utterly senseless, but something about what happened to Trayvon Martin strikes an even deeper chord in our national consciousness because that’s where our racism lurks. It is kept in the dark, hidden from plain view, disguised by espousing socially liberal views and by electing a black president. But it’s still there and it’s never completely gone away. And no one really wants to talk about it or address why it still exists. Oh no, that would mean admitting ignorance and moral deficiencies in ourselves and who would want to own that? It’s much easier to go on believing we’ve come so far, and save for a few idiotic bigots out there, our nation is no longer suffering from racism.
But we are suffering. We are suffering from something much deeper and far worse than racism. We are suffering from a lack of compassion and humanity. And that lack of compassion and human understanding is what breeds ignorance which is what leads to racist tendencies in the first place. If we could just stop identifying ourselves with those “hyphenates” of which Ms. Morrison speaks, then perhaps we can all finally see one another for what we truly are: fellow human beings who must show more compassion toward one another. Moms. Dads. Husbands. Wives. Brothers. Sisters. Daughters. Sons. Friends. Lovers. Humans. That’s all we all are. No one race or religion any more superior or inferior than the other. It’s the identifying labels that are literally killing us. Killing us. Trayvon wasn’t a black teenage boy. He was a teenage boy. A boy, who was just walking home from grabbing a snack, unarmed and wearing what millions of other teenagers wear.
If we are ever to move forward from racism in this country, the labels must go. This isn’t to diminish the importance of one’s proud heritage or to deny one’s cultural or ethnic history. Those things are essential and should be taught and remembered. The diversity of our nation is something to be embraced and celebrated without a doubt. No, it is to secure a safe, thriving future for all our children so that we finally produce a generation of truly compassionate human beings that never see color, but instead only see the beauty of the individual.