For many of us, Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of George Zimmerman was personal.
In Trayvon, we saw our sons, grandsons, nephews and cousins. In a 17-year-old boy walking home with a bag of candy and a drink, we saw our hopes and dreams. In Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin’s baby boy, we saw our present and our future.
The jury has issued its verdict. George Zimmerman is free. So too, is Trayvon. God’s will be done; for he is the ultimate judge and jury.
Here’s a question for the rest of us: How do we harness the hurt and anger we feel? How do we turn a tragedy into a triumph?
We can hold our sons close and help them understand that their lives matter. We can insist they stand for justice even when doing so seems next to impossible. We can show the talking heads that when violence darkens our door we can stand in peace.
We can help more of our young men graduate from high school and college. We can teach them that drugs, guns and gangs are not the way. That their grandparents and great-grandparents were beaten and jailed for the freedoms we now enjoy. We can be there for them when society puts them in a box based on their age and race.
We can teach our young men that the content of their character is what matters most.
We can fight racism and racial profiling whenever and wherever we see it.
We can create more jobs. We can mentor a wayward child.
We can love one another. We can pray for peace and healing for Trayvon’s family; and for Zimmerman and his family.
We can remember Trayvon Benjamin Martin and what his death has come to symbolize in “post racial” America.
We can vote for people and laws that are fair and just.
We can breathe again and go on.