Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman:
Caught in the Fear
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. (Khalil Gibran)
Sometimes, I just can’t understand.
I’m a believer, and though my heart is in pain, I have faith in the words of Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I find myself without words to explain. I’m a 62-year-old female whose grandparents were from Russian and Germany.
I couldn’t possibly understand the pain, anger and fear that run through a young, teen-age, African American male upon seeing an adult, white male following him, enough to turn on him and strike a blow.
I couldn’t possibly understand the arrogance, rage and fear of an adult, white male who decides to ignore police authority and repeated warnings, and track a young, black male, inciting an incident that ends in that young man’s death.
Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were caught in a web of fear, anger and pain. And during a few awful minutes, they couldn’t understand each other.
And one of them had a gun.
We cannot continue as a nation to be deaf to the experience of others. We cannot afford to blind ourselves to the realization that people are still treated differently (and by differently, I mean “less than”) if people are not male and straight and white. We are cruising up the River DeNial if we really think this is not true.
In the aftermath of Martin/Zimmerman, America is still taking sides. It is still ugly.
Except for a few saner heads.
And Trayvon’s mercifully gracious and blessed parents.
And one, anonymous, online blog commenter, who wrote, “If George Zimmerman had offered Trayvon Martin a ride home in the rain, we wouldn’t know either’s name.”
And Sophocles: One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.