In Sanford, Florida, a seventeen-year-old black boy, Trayvon Martin, was visiting his dad when he decided to walk to a convenience store. He was sauntering down the street when the captain of the local neighborhood watch, a man named George Zimmerman, decided that Trayvon looked "suspicious." (No one has ever said what was suspicious about Trayvon, so I am assuming it was his African ancestry.)
Zimmerman called police to report the suspicious character soiling his neighborhood. The police instructed him to do nothing and wait until they could come and investigate. Apparently, Trayvon look so dangerous, Zimmerman couldn't wait for the police. In his car he followed the boy, confronted him, then killed him with the 9 mm concealed gun he had a permit to carry. When the police arrived, Zimmerman said he shot Trayvon in "self-defense."
Trayvon was not armed and probably didn't even understand that the color of his skin could get him killed. Zimmerman, who is white, was not arrested.
As soon as I heard this story, I knew immediately that the young man was black and the killer was white. How did I know this? Because it happens regularly somewhere in America and the white killer usually gets away with it.
These kinds of stories remind me of two things I find despicable: America's love affair with guns and America's refusal to acknowledge and confront racism. I am sick of both of these issues. How many people will have to die before the racist monster is satiated?
I am working hard to keep an open, loving heart, but stories like this infuriate me so that I know I have more work to do.