I’ve avoided this topic for as long as I could. I didn’t want to believe that I live in a time in which an unarmed kid could be shot simply because. I can’t even bring myself to think about the racial part of it. Forget the fact that he was black and the shooter isn’t. In my mind, all I see is a kid and an adult. A young man with hopes and dreams, walking home holding a bag of skittles and some iced tea and a monster. I don’t know, I suppose they’re making skittle bags to look like semi-automatic rifles and iced tea must look like a machete. Yeah that’s it, Trayvon ran up to the man, pointed the bag of skittles at him and said “give me all your money” then threatened to chop him up with the iced tea. That had to have happened. Otherwise, I struggle to understand the fear and suspicion a kid holding candy causes. I see teenagers daily, holding candy, cell phones, ipods, skateboards etc, and call me naïve, but I’ve never thought that looked suspicious…I deemed that to be normal teenage behavior. Would Trayvon have been less suspicious if he was carrying an apple and a bottle of water? Please excuse the cynicism, I’m seriously trying to understand the “suspicion” of a teenager walking and holding skittles and iced tea. Even if Trayvon didn’t know anyone in the community (which he did), what’s the harm in him walking down the street minding his own business?
My 15 year old sisters cheerleading team purchased team hoodies this fall. Often times she wears it if she’s just running some errands with my mom and needs to throw on something quickly. Or if she and her friends are just going to walk around the neighborhood. I’ve known them to venture into other neighborhoods, just because. They’re not bothering anyone or causing any problems. They are simply walking and talking. Do you mean to tell me that I have to fear for her life, if she happens to have on her hoodie and decides to go for a walk carrying something like I don’t know, a bag of skittles? Would she look “suspicious” to some random adult that has never seen her? Would they “fear for their life” to the point that they would kill her? Would they be able to claim self defense if she’s unarmed; excuse me, I mean armed with a bag of skittles, and can be heard screaming for her life? Or would the bag of skittles be considered a violent weapon and her screams not mean anything? I can’t…I struggle to understand…I don’t want to believe it’s 2012 and children can’t be children. Maybe he should have been carrying a gun, maybe then I could better understand this whole scenario. I still wouldn’t condone killing a kid, but at least then it would make a little more sense. I’ve said this time and time again, parents shouldn’t have to say goodbye to their kids. It should be the other way around. I know I’m not God and I don’t have all the answers or make all the decisions, but this is crazy.
As a kid I always heard, don’t drink and drive, don’t do drugs, don’t have premarital sex, don’t be a follower. Never did I receive the warning about walking while holding skittles and iced tea. I have some skittles at my desk, let me take them to the car before I get fired for having weapons at work. Better yet, let me go register these skittles so I can get a permit to carry them.