Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zimmerman's Acquittal is not Ours

On the day that George Zimmerman was acquitted of homicide in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, I wrote the following words on my facebook page:

I was not in the courtroom. I did not see and hear the evidence and the testimony. I cannot speak to this verdict based on the evidence. What I can say is that if my son were black, then tonight as I looked in on his sleeping face nestled into his beddings, I would feel an adrenal rush of fear, a heightened anxiety for his future. Because he is an unthreatening shade of pink, I feel instead the shame of my own relief.

And then I fell silent. I didn't rush to this blog, as I sometimes do, to elaborate--and not just because I've been deliberately neglecting this blog this summer to focus on other priorities.

I fell silent because I didn't know what else to say. I didn't know what my perspective could add, what I could say that wasn't already being said better by others or wasn't already expressed in my earlier post in the wake of the shooting. I didn't know how to answer the question that burns for so many in this country:

What now? What do we do to move forward, to help heal the social fault-lines highlighted by this tragedy and its aftermath (including the trial and subsequent acquittal)?