Trayvon Martin’s name has been in the news since his fateful day in February 2012, where he was met by George Zimmerman and his bullet. The story has reached every media facet and both Martin and Zimmerman have been combed over in the media. The details are there. We are now in the second week of the trial and the stories are being retold, the statements are being picked through, and the people are picking their sides. This case is seen as the Emmett Till Trial of the 21stcentury. One that could Rodney King style consequences if its lost.
With this case and the different stories, I as well as many others, have heard about the past of Trayvon Martin. He was a “bad kid” sent to live with his father in Florida because his mother couldn’t “handle” him anymore. He was suspended from high school for smoking weed and he was a common thug. We heard everything short of this kid having the mark of the beast tattooed behind his left ear like Damien. There are many stories that appeared to make him seem like societal sludge that needed to be cleaned up.
Trayvon’s story is not uncommon. If he smoked, then he is an average American because nearly 70% of Americans have admitted to smoking before. We have three states that have passed the law for medicinal marijuana usage, two within the last four years. We live in a country where recent, former presidents have admitted to smoking weed or some sort of drug experimentation yet, Trayvon is a bad kid for doing what most teens have been doing and will be doing before they go on to be successful.
Then, there is the fighting and other behavior problems that had him sent to live with his father. This is also average in a country that has a low marriage rate and 50% divorce rate. Sons with fathers who are not present in their home “act up” with their mothers because they don’t have that strong alpha male influence in the house. There are movies based on it and it is present in every race, not just the black one. Yet, this is another aspect that got him ridden off as a bad kid. However, we know the success stories that come from fatherless homes.
If these are the reason people justify Zimmerman’s need to kill him, because he was a “common thug” then what exactly is our prison system for? A rapist can be convicted and placed in jail for the harm he did to a woman or man and are released after their time to live as normal a life that can be lived. Trayvon was tried, convicted, and sentenced by Zimmerman’s gun and Zimmerman supporters for being an unruly teen, which all teenagers have been, no matter the race or background.
Look, Trayvon could have been any black, young man walking down the street, a future doctor, lawyer, president, politician, judge, or anything else he chose to be. He could have died with the cure for cancer in his mind that will never come to fruition, and that alone is a travesty. However, this case isn’t for him anymore. It is for those young men with a future who are having that “mislead youth” bout in life. The ones who may be pulled over by the cops or another “adult” who utilizes their power over them. This case is for all young men who want to be more than the mistakes they have made while they were young and frivolous. Let’s win this for them.