The reality of being a parent guarantees there will be fearful moments in our life. The verdict in the Zimmerman trial brought out intense feelings from thousands of people. It’s heartbreaking that a young man is dead, and one goes free, without being charged with any crime. Legal justice and morality are different. You cannot equate the two. One is a system, one a value.
If you’re a parent of color or have children of color, you already know about racial bias. There’s no need to spell out the statistics. I’m a parent of three kids, of varying shades of brown. My college education, socio-economic status, and career in law enforcement haven’t shielded my children, or myself, from racial or gender injustice.
As mothers, we want to protect our kids from the kind of situation Trayvon Martin experienced. As a community, we are sick of situations like this occurring.
We may think we can offer little protection to the realities of life. That is a very scary thought and makes some people fearful.
We can’t succumb to fear. This is not an option. Fear hides, courage doesn’t. And this is what we can offer our children, the courage to take action and do something positive to ensure moral justice is served.
Individuals around the nation have signed petitions for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Zimmerman case. Some bloggers started a “We Are Not Trayvon Martin” blog, encouraging dialogue:
“It’s not enough to know you aren’t Trayvon. What will you do to change our country?”
A call to scrutinize the 2005 “Stand Your Ground,” Florida law was initiated.
Hundreds of community leaders have called for peaceful protests on this case. With the exception of a few, the numerous protests have been peaceful.
Stevie Wonder said he won’t perform in certain states, “I decided today that until the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again…As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.”
All of these peaceful actions take courage. This is what helps our community; this is what helps our children. This is what can help the legal system, criminal justice and morality to come closer together.