Black Parents: Let’s Make The Death Of Trayvon Martin Stand For Something!
(ThyBlackMan.com) My grandfather use to say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” How appropriate this wisdom in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Trayvon was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain posing as a self-appointed neighborhood vigilante. The shooter, George Zimmerman, told a 911 operator, Trayvon, who was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, appeared suspicious, before fatally wounding him.
My question is: Is there a 2 tiered system of justice in America based upon race? As an African American male I’m inclined to believe there is. According to a recently published book, The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, “There are more black men in prison than enslaved in 1850.” Accordingly, a report by the renowned Advancement Project concluded: “Black men in prison in America have become as American as apple pie. There are more black men in prisons and jails in the United States (about 1.1 million) than there are black men incarcerated in the rest of the world combined.”
This writer was arrested in the late 80’s by the United States Secret Service (the people who protect the president of the United States), on a charge of aiding and abetting fraud of a previous employer. The case was later dismissed by what prosecutors called a case of mistaken identity. By the grace of God and a sharp attorney, I was able to put the incident behind me. I swore on the day of my release I would do everything within my power to dispel the myth that African American males are pre-disposed to violence and crime.
I know first-hand, because of my incident, what it’s like to be subjected to scorn, ridicule and slander in the face of complete innocence. I can identify with Trayvon Martin to that extent, however, my prayers go out to his parents having lost a son to a vigilante, cowering behind Sanford, California’s “stand your ground law.” As Executive Director of an after school mentoring program, From Boys To Men Network Foundation Inc., and author of a recently published book, Not All Teachers Are Parents But All Parents Are Teachers!, designed to address “literacy” issues confronting African Americans, with a view to parental responsibility, I’m confident progress is being made. However, African American parents can no longer sit by and wait for our “day of reckoning,” we must find new avenues to police ourselves and our communities by saying no to drugs, crime and acceptance of decadent lyrics in rap music making reference to women as bitches and ho’s. No, George Zimmerman has not had the last word because evil triumphs only when good men and women of all faiths, races and cultures in urban centers of America do nothing.
As a staff writer for ThyBlackMan, I’ve addressed this issue in a previous article titled, “Baby Mama/Daddy Drama Does Not Excuse My Parental Responsibility.” The title says it all.
Staff Writer; Stanley G. Buford