Whether we want to admit it or not, Trayvon Martin could be any of us. It doesn’t matter about our degrees. Our fine, tailored suits don’t matter. We’ve made all of the accommodations to fit into this society. We’ve cut our hair. We’re careful about the clothes we wear. We change the way we talk so as not to sound threatening. We’ve got our master’s, our Ph.D.’s. We’re fine, upstanding citizens. Yet, we still are seen as suspicious — and in the case of Trayvon Martin, end up dead.
The national outcry over this senseless tragedy has galvanized African-Americans and others in a way that we haven’t seen in some time. Some say this is this generation’s Emmett Till. Time will only tell if that’s the case.
But what we do know is that we are sick and tired of being seen as suspicious. We’re sick of tired of being seen as a stereotype and not as full human beings. We’re sick and tired of having to give our Black boys “The Talk” and still having to bury them so young.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
For those of you who continue to tout this so-called “post-racial America,” look at this photo. This is Trayvon Martin. You tell him in the age of Obama that is a post-racial America. You tell his parents, Tracy and Sybrina, that their son was judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.
America, no more. We will no longer accommodate your easily bruised feelings by clenching our teeth and praying it will all get better. No more. What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now. If you think for a moment that we will be satisfied with a police chief stepping down or press releases expressing outrage, you have another thing coming.
This, folks, is war. This is war on racism. This is war on bigotry. This is war on stereotypes. This is a call to arms. This is time for the soldiers in the battle for social justice to stand up and say, “I report for duty, sir.”
This is for Trayvon and the many other nameless, faceless Trayvons out there.