There is another side to Trayvon Martin’s death
8/16/2013, 6 a.m.
Some have pointed out that Zimmerman profiled Trayvon, but that is not news. Everyone profiles young black men because if you do not, one could make you real dead. It is how you decide if you should call the police when a battery of them loiter in your neighborhood. It is how you determine if you should hustle to your car and get out of Dodge when one with menacing countenance, disorganized dreadlocks, and gravity-controlled trousers is friend or foe.
We are left with the context that neither was Trayvon a buttoned-down A student, or at 17 years was he free of all the prerequisite calling cards of young black men who are headed to their first armed robbery.
It has become clear that Trayvon’s parents were failing to sensitize him to the dead-end life of thugism, multiple school suspensions, ganja chic, pornography, gun-modeling rabble-rousing, racist diatribes and all the other stuff that the society depends on parents to stop and stop cold – no pun.
These two parents were failing Trayvon. That is a fact. Love and parenting do not end with hugs and facilitative visits. Those are important, but surely not the whole story of child raising. Every African-American knows Trayvon Martin before he committed his first serious felony. So, why do we pretend that in America, today, the die had not been cast for Zimmerman to have serious misgiving about Trayvon’s presence in the community – even withstanding the instructions from 911?
Do not forget that the backdrop to Zimmerman’s intensity was a rash of community burglaries, from which young black men were seen running away.
Do we chalk it up as bad luck if we go out to march for Trayvon Martin and come back home to find that young black men, like Trayvon Martin, have ransacked our homes looking for flat screens, jewelry, cash, and Xboxes?
Do we say “this is different,” if we go out and march for Trayvon Martin’s memory but are carjacked by young black men, like Trayvon Martin, as we pump gas?
The answer lies in getting real about the context of Trayvon Martin’s death.
There will be more Trayvon Martins as long as we continue to avoid these contexts.
Elrado Ramsay lives in Decatur.