As of today, it’s been a year since Trayvon Martin’s murder.
For a year, he’s been dead, cold and buried while his parents mourn. And his murderer hasn’t been tried. He’s out on bail, living. Albeit, he’s probably not living as he’d like to be living. But he’s not in jail. Nor is he dead and buried in the ground.
And nothing has changed.
Over the past year, we were initially outraged. Many people spent the first few weeks pounding their fists and demanding justice. Then quietly, it’s all sort of gone away.
George Zimmerman’s face appears on the news scene every once in a while. But there’s no outrage anymore. Quietly, we’ve all started to forget that a year ago, an unarmed 17-year-old boy was murdered on the street by a grown man who simply thought he looked suspicious.
Oh, there will be a trial eventually. Zimmerman’s team of lawyers will play it out as if he was defending himself against an angry, murderous man.
But the fact remains, Trayvon Martin is dead because of the way he looked. It’s that simple. And he’s dead. And nothing has changed.
When I look at the past history of this country, slavery, Jim Crow laws (separate but equal), affirmative action, school busing, all of it. I see a country trying to change. Laws demanding that we must start treating people equally.
But really, nothing will change until we begin to see people equally.
Imagine if Trayvon Martin was white and walking in the same neighborhood. Would he be dead? We don’t know for sure, but I feel certain that he wouldn’t. I think he would have gone unnoticed.
The fact is, in this country, when we look at black males, we see criminals. We fear. They are the wild cards in this country. We make them into something they are not. And that’s what George Zimmerman did that night.
And until we start looking past skin color and truly seeing people for who they are, nothing will change. No law can change prejudice.
It’s been a year.