Ace's View

Dedicated to minority issues, topics and everything in between

Happy Birthday, Trayvon Martin

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Last year on this day, I was not a father, nor did I know that I could possibly love another person that I didn’t make a choice to love as much as I do.

I did not know the joys and terrifying moments of parenthood, nor was I prepared for the highs and lows that would accompany raising a young black man in this world.

What I do know now is this:

God willing, my son will have a chance in this new world.  Because the danger he faces now is not on a path walking to enroll in school, where he can be felled by a sniper’s bullet or an angry mob.

It is not white men in hoods, nor police dogs and fire hoses.

Today, it is two things.

It is a) the appearance of young black men and b) the threat that we face based off of how we appear to those that are threatened by us.

So I write this today on what would have been your 18th birthday, in honor of your memory and out of this new respect and admiration I have for any parents raising young black men in this world where dark skin and a hoodie make you an instant villain.

Out of respect for an A and B student who, according to his English teacher, ‘majored in cheerfulness.’

Out of love I have for another young brother who was just in the right place at the right time–because you had every right to be where you were–and got caught by a person in the wrong state of mind.

Because as I told my wife a few days later, as I fought tears watching your story, in this racist town that we live in, that could have been me.

But instead it was you.  

And so I write this, for you.

I write this for your parents, whom if I could, I would thank them for raising such a young man who by all accounts was a quality individual who, like any young man, was still finding his way in this world and making mistakes, but who was beloved by everyone who knew him.

I write this for the ones that were victimized before you.  For Amadou. For Sean, for Oscar.

I write this for young Jordan Davis, who died at a gas station in your state at the hands of a white man who felt threatened by four teens in a car with tinted windows and loud music.

He was 17.  Like you.

I write this for my son and my nephews and their future sons.

I write this in memory of whoever will be next.  

I write this as a warning that I will teach my son that if we live in a ‘stand your ground’ state, as long as that law exists, he will protect himself using his mind, heart, and if necessary, whatever force he needs to to come home to me and his mother at night.

I write this as he sleeps, safe in his crib next to me, knowing that I have at least 10 more years before society starts to view him like they view the rest of us.

Hopefully by then it will be different and I won’t have a reason to write any more of these.

But tonight, I write this for you.

Happy 18th birthday, Trayvon.


Written by aceviewblogger

February 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm

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