We have all been mourning the untimely and unjust death of Trayvon Martin across the nation and now internationally as well. The case itself is so heavy because it is not a unique travesty but a manifestation of race problems long unresolved in America. Yet there is some beauty arising from the ashes. In the wake of this tragedy the nation is witnessing a pulling together of diverse groups to rally against hate.
Obama aptly stated that if he’d had a son he would look like Trayvon; the statement drew upon the deep connection we are all feeling with the case. Trayvon hits home with us because he represents a life lost too soon as well as the lives of Black men that are stifled by the same hate that killed him.
Needless to say It needs to be said how saddening and unnecessary Trayvon’s death is and I am empowered by how many are saying just that. There have been rallies in a list of states including Florida in protest of the lack of due process against Zimmerman and more broadly against America’s original sin: racism. High profile individuals (see above) from politicians to athletes have joined us in keeping Trayon relevant by donning hoodies or hashtagging #iamtrayvonmartin via social media. While some see this trend as simple bandwaggoning, what a wonderful wagon to jump on? I see it as a place for purposeful solidarity amongst youth and potentially across generations and races to really really pursue dialogue and preventative action around the circumstances and attitudes that permeate all that we claim to value as a people.