|Posted by Canaan Community Church on July 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM|
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL."
When he was just a little boy maybe around five years old I am sure, just like most other children, that Trayvon learned the words to this pledge even if he did not fully understand. Interestingly enough, I'm sure as he grew older that the truth of these words felt just as elusive to him as they do to most black and brown boys in this country. Today as many gather all over the country to protest for a civil rights case to be brought against George Zimmerman, I sit and ponder the fact that in a country that has penned some of the most beautiful ideas ever written, we could still have a teenage boy on trial for his own murder? This young boy who was mercilessly hunted because of his race and mistakenly profiled because of anothers hate, lost his life and then was accused of being in the wrong when he attempted to defend himself. I am saddened for the loss of this family which is the unfortunate results of our societys unfair portrayal of the African American male. As well as our own desire to sell our souls and poison our own communities with the perpetuation of that image just for financial gain.
Trayvon was on trial and he was the victim! This is how twisted our "so-called" justice system truly can be when race, class and hate are involved. Sadder still is that we ourselves are on trial as well, now the entire country knows that the life of young black boys in America are only valid as long as they remain where they are told. Remain in your "hood" areas and stay out of our subdivisions, cul-de-sacs and turnabouts! If you are viewed as dangerous we will assume you are a threat and protect our "stuff" at all costs.
I do understand that the blood of our young people in Chicago has been an alarming issue and many are wondering where the outrage is over these murders. I agree but want to say that in my community my outrage always leads to action it is a different kind of action which may not include picket signs, protests or politicians. Losing the young people right here in my city, usually at the hands of their own, leads me to mentorship, providing jobs for young people, teaching in public schools, partnering with the Juvenile Justice System, helping young people get their H.S. Diplomas, providing college scholarships and spending more time walking the streets of my community than sitting in the pastor's office! So, yes there always needs to be a response whether the issue is local or national they all deserve an immediate response. I challenge us all to respond as intently, strategically and passionately to EVERY murder as we have to Trayvon's because every bit of blood spilled is a travesty and further damages our community.
My final question is... Will we continue to let our young people be punished for the sins of the adults around them? Let Trayvon be a reminder to us all that if we do not have the difficult discussion about race in our homes, schools, neighborhood meetings, and places of worship or seek opportunities to purposefully cross cutural lines and dispel our differences we WILL continue to travel this road of destruction. When you are silent you are perpetuating the problem and are raising children who will be facilitators of fear and misunderstanding.
Do not get me wrong, I am very angry, but I am also very hopeful! I have to trust that God has a plan although it is extremely hard for me to see right now! I am trusting that true faith does not require me to be able to see.
Grace and Peace,