Publisher’s Note: Justice for Trayvon

Publisher’s Notes

Justice for Trayvon

By Ronda Barber

I cried after I heard that George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of teenager Trayvon Martin. As the mother of three wonderful law abiding sons it hurts my heart to know that in America in 2013, they are viewed simply as criminals and thugs not a law student, or a student-athlete at a Division I university or longtime gainfully employed at a job with vacation time and benefits. White privilege still prevails. 

I remember attending the Million Woman March years ago. One thought provoking memory that I have is repeatedly hearing over the public announcement system, “Women hold on to your kids. Don’t lose your kids.” Children were getting lost in the vast crowd. I took the message to mean more. For me, the message was the call to protect and look out for the children in my community. I took that message home and it became my call to advocacy for my sons and the children in my community. I started a reading program and engaged with the public school system to create an environment that was conducive for all kids to learn and have post secondary opportunities. We can all do something.

The Florida verdict is a call to action. As moms and women we need to hold on to our children and protect them. Our sons are the victims of violent gun crimes at crazy rates. They are the victims of negative stereotypes. We have to stand up and step up for them. Too many in our community are feeling the unspeakable pain of senselessly losing our sons. Getting politically active and voting is a start. Jury members are registered voters. Support and elect prosecutors, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials who value Black life. Hold elected officials accountable for the legislation they introduce and support. 

Our sons are ours and we must protect them from the madness.