Parenting is not something I can hang my hat on. I have not been blessed with the responsibility of raising a child. I have always been extremely maternal and that is why caregiving for my mother is second nature. Therefore, I know what it is like to worry and give great concern for another person’s well-being. But I have no way of knowing the first thing of what it must be like to be a mother of a boy, especially a young Black male.
Trayvon’s senseless demise may set “helicopter parenting” into overdrive. My friends who are raising young Black men have shared their concerns about their own children over the past few days. They are reflecting even more so now on understanding what it was like for their parents to worry about them growing up and not knowing their whereabouts at all times. From all reports Trayvon was an upstanding young man, who excelled at school. He was a young man who had potential for a promising future. Journalist Roland Martin recently tweeted:
Who says Trayvon couldn’t be president one day. Think about it. Had someone called him suspicious & followed Pres Barack Obama when he was 17 & took his life, history would have never been made.
My thoughts can’t only lie with fathers of Black boys but boys of all ethnicities. When will the cycle be broken where we are not being judged by the color of our skin and stereotypes dictate how we treat one another? Fact: George Zimmerman is a Hispanic male who grew up in a multicultural family. Fact: based on the endless 911 calls George Zimmerman made over the past couple of months he had a fear and prejudice against Blacks. I can only speculate that George Zimmerman knows what it’s like to be discriminated against. Mr. Zimmerman has a family and was raised a certain way, but I choose not to speculate the impetus of his belief system.
All I know is this is madness and it has to stop. Trayvon Benjamin Martin isn’t just the son of Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, but he is a son to all of us.