On the day after the verdict of the Zimmerman Trial, I have a heavy heart. Social media has been a mess. Greg and I were out tweeting happy things, not realizing a verdict had been met, then all of the sudden caught up with life and we both got pretty quiet for the rest of the evening. In my head, I kept repeating, “It’s 2013, right?”.
To be clear, as the wife of a biracial man and the mother of a bi-racial son, this isn’t about to be a post on a) trying to pull the race card in the verdict, b) trying to say that as a white woman I understand the issues that African Americans face day in and day out, or c) judging others. This is about the fact that it’s 2013, and I think we are letting the Devil win today.
While I am not sure at what point my thoughts will make sense, I am going to try to put my brain mush into a post in order to find some hope in what we as a society are going through.
Let’s start with my “mom” hat. As the mother of two children who are growing up in not the best suburb of Pittsburgh, my heart breaks for Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton. I cannot imagine one, losing my child, or two finding out that the man who claimed he shot (and killed) her son was found not guilty of murder. Not that I don’t hug my babies tight, but I will be hugging them even tighter from now on. You never know when life can take a complete twist and turn, so I will cherish every moment.
On my social media feeds, I saw a lot of pointing fingers. There were many blaming race, others saying it had nothing to do with race. To be honest? I am not 100% sure where I stand. If you are Caucasian, I have to ask you…have you ever been pulled out of your car and away from your wife and kids just because of your skin color? This happened to my husband. Have you ever been called a “mutt”? This has happened to my son. Have you and your infant daughter ever been almost run over by a car because you were with a man who didn’t have cream colored skin? This has happened to me and Arianna. Thinking of these things, it’s really hard for me to think that race had nothing to do with the verdict. (And in the meantime, I have to remember my parents’ advice about raising my children to love all, regardless of skin color, gender, orientation, skills, whatever…it’s the way I was raised.)
A Facebook friend posted that the Devil is the one sitting back and laughing in all of this, regardless of how we feel, and she’s right. We all need to stop judging, start loving, and take action to be sure that gun violence, racism, and hate are a thing of the past. So, as President Obama urged in his statement today, let’s respect the decision of the jurors, find calm, and do as he asked:
“I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.
“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis,” Obama said. from cnn.com
So tonight, as you kiss your children goodnight, be sure they know how much they are loved. Tell your partner how much they mean to you. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time. Let your co-workers know you’re grateful for the ‘lil things they do day in and day out to make your life easier. Make sure your communities and networks know you are there.
As the days and weeks after this verdict wear on, I am sure emotions will continue to soar. I’ll be participating in a blog event about justice. Surely gun drops will be called for in communities. Teens will wear hoodies, reminding us that they are Trayvon.
Remember, it’s 2013 and whether you believe the verdict was right or wrong, let’s move on. Through it all, let’s remember the important piece–we were all put on this Earth to live and love. Period.