Michelle Bernard: George Zimmerman Case: Women Will Now Decide

Source: Michelle Bernard / The Washington Post

I am a black woman and I am a mother of two, a son and a daughter.

Ask mothers of black boys their opinion of the killing of Trayvon Benjamin Martin and we will tell you what we believe to be a self-evident truth − that our black boys are all alone in a world of white men, many of whom see them as George Zimmerman described Trayvon, as  “[expletive] punks. These [expletive]. They always get away.”

If they survive their childhoods, our young black boys grow up and become black men, similarly feared, loathed, challenged, and always at risk of facing a slew of possible injustices− unequal access to an excellent education; unemployment or underemployment; imprisonment; depression; suicide; and even murder. For too many of our sons, the threat of being shot in the heart as Trayvon Martin was is more likely than being elected president of the United States.

As black mothers, collectively, we all wish for justice for Trayvon, whose only crime was being born black, walking home after purchasing a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea, and defending himself  after being followed by George Zimmerman.  To me, justice for Trayvon would mean justice for all black boys.

There has been much testimony of witnesses for the prosecution and the defense – the parents and friends of Trayvon Martin, the parents and friends of George Zimmerman, a 911 dispatcher, a former neighborhood watch coordinator, police officers, an audio analysis expert, a gym owner and MMA fighting expert, a forensic pathologist and law enforcement trainer, and the 7-Eleven clerk who sold Trayvon Skittles and iced tea the evening George Zimmerman shot and killed him.

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