I am the mom of two African-American young men. Since the George Zimmerman trial verdict, I have been wondering at the state of our justice system and imagining the message that the outcome of the trial is sending to my sons, and to youths of color everywhere in the United States.
Trayvon Martin wasn’t just a victim of a triggerhappy Zimmerman. Trayvon was a victim of Florida’s bad laws.
He was a victim of a society that criminalizes dark skin, criminalizes poverty and criminalizes youths.
What is the compassionate and just response that is stronger than anger, stronger than disappointment and frustration, and stronger than hate and grief? We must build a movement — a movement to end the new Jim Crow. Love is a force stronger than violence, hate, oppression and grief.
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My sons are angry but not surprised. Since their childhoods in Arroyo Grande, these kinds of outcomes are par for the course.
What saddens me is they have lost any faith or love that they have had for our America — an America that devalues and criminalizes them for the color of their skin.