Whether or not you are living in America, regardless of whether your skin is black, white or brown, putting aside the fact that you may or may not keep up with current events, you have heard about Trayvon Martin. It is impossible to step foot outside your door, turn on your television or radio, or surf the ‘net on your smartphone and not have come across an article or five pertaining to the recent tragedy in Sanford, Florida.
A Black male is gunned down, senselessly, because he was thought to be threatening. Sound familiar? Too often, we come across stories such as this, where we sympathize with the victim, feel anger and resentment toward the aggressor, but that’s it. When the story has run its course, we continue on as though nothing has happened and these men and their families are filed into the recesses of our brains until it is brought into the media spotlight for another fifteen seconds. We brush these crimes off as “just life”.
Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am hurt. Yes, I am tired of my brothers falling victim to the system and to those who believe we are inferior. I am fed up with Black men killing Black men, setting forth a cycle of never-ending destruction. I am also tired of nothing being done about it.
We, as African-Americans, wait for the next Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X to save us from ourselves and this unjust system that will charge, prosecute and convict a Black male before he is old enough to walk. We sit idly, no one being brave enough to make the first move for fear of ridicule from those like us, and fear of retaliation from those that still want to oppress us.
Understand that I am in no way a racist, a bigot or prejudiced. In fact, I am the complete opposite. But, being a Black woman, raised by a Black woman, I have brothers that were failed by the same judicial system that was designed to protect their rights as American citizens, but didn’t because they are viewed first as Black men. I have cousins and uncles and friends and neighbors that were gunned down vengefully by those they called brothers.
The killing of Trayvon Martin has awakened something inside of me that has been stirring for years; the need to get up and do something. I cannot, and will not, sit and watch another Black man be taken away because of the way he dresses, speaks or acts. I am proposing a solution: the Million Mother March. Contrary to what the name suggests, this event will be open to anyone and everyone that has been affected by tragedies such as Trayvon Martin, or even Jordan Miles here in Pittsburgh. I want us to come together to demand an end to the injustices that have been, and are being, done to the Black men in our communities, both by those that swore to protect them and those they walk with every day. I would like for mothers and fathers that have experienced the loss of a child to gang violence, police brutality or senseless murder to come and educate people about how serious this issue is. I would like for the Black community to come together as one for a greater good, a common good. I would like for unity and peace to be restored to the African-Americans in this country.
Dommia M. Crawley