Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mental (Un)Rest

I wanted to find something else to talk about this weekend other than Trayvon Martin but, until today, the case consumed me-- the injustice, the ramifications, the likelihood that any of my children could be just as affected, the realization that I, as a Black mother, have to have a talk with my sons about what it means to be Black males in this society and that I, as a Black woman, wasn't aware that there was a difference between the two genders.

Unlike the President, I do have a son, two of them. My oldest son could be Trayvon; in fact, with a quick glance, he is. So I'm terrified scared shitless of what the future holds for my children until they cross the line of 25 years old, the year, it seems, when maturity catches up to physicality. My heart is arrested with the possibilities and the uncertainty. There is so much hatred in this world, as well as fear. And, sometimes, justifiably so because, sometimes, especially in certain neighborhoods/cities, the bogeyman is Black.

But I have to wonder if the knowledge of knowing you are guilty by pigmentation does not assist in creating the problem. It hurts to be judge by the content of my skin rather than the content of my character. But, with the news and the stories from Black men detailing similar situations in which they were unfairly regarded as something to fear, I'm realizing Black men have it far worse. It's hard not to have a chip on your shoulder, to not fulfill the prophecy because everyone already thinks they know how the story goes, so why not give it to them. And I'm going to have to somehow let my children know the rule of this game called Life without making them feel less than because of the circumstances of their birth.

How do you do that? How do you tell them to behave less than without making them feel less than? How do you tell them that their difference is dangerous and detrimental to their well-being because of some perceived notion that has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the scary nigger stories told around white/other campfires or the lies laid out in white/other living rooms? Not all, mind you, but enough of them, enough to make cases like the Trayvon Martin tragedy reverberate through Black households all across the nation, inspiring men to reveal the silent degradation they had to endure, inspiring mothers to reveal their fears for their children.

I wanted to talk about something else, to not allow my fear to take hold of my mind, to live as if that day never happened. But it did and I can't talk about much else-- not the GOP's War on Women, not the Miami Heat winning over Orlando or getting slaughtered by Oklahoma City, not even the fact that I'm not sure that I want to continue blogging under this page now that my students have stalked me and now read up on my thoughts (that'll be another post, maybe. I hate the thought of having to censor myself).

The Miami Heat showing support.
This case, well, not a case seeing as how dude has YET to be arrested and, apparently, his whereabouts are unknown (safe for him I suppose. No neighborhood watchman to be on the alert for). Anyway, this tragedy has given me a reason to not sleep at night. I am now a parent who worries about something I can't change:

My son could be Trayvon Martin.

Rest in Peace/Paradise, Trayvon. <3

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