Trayvon Martin murder: To be young, black and male in America
Seventeen year-old Trayvon Martin. PHOTO/Martin Family/AP
The shooting to death of a young teen – Trayvon Martin, in Florida three weeks ago is every parent’s nightmare, what might happen to my child when he’s out of my sight? And for African American parents, this scenario is even more terrifying.
Trayvon Martin’s death has triggered an outpouring of anger, with protests, petitions and calls for justice. It has also triggered some wrenching commentary from parents who say that to raise a minority in this country, particularly an African American boy, is to live with the understanding that the child will be arbitrarily mistreated. It is also to live with the burden of explaining this reality.
Writing for The Post, Jonathan Capehart this week described how his mother took him aside before his first day at a predominantly white school:
“Reading about Trayvon reminded me of the list of the “don’ts” I received after my sheltered existence in Hazlet, N.J., was replaced with the reality of Newark when my mother remarried in the 1980s.
“Don’t run in public.” Lest someone think you’re suspicious.
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