Reflections on Trayvon Martin
From Graig Meyer.
I would like to believe that Trayvon Martin would not have been killed had he lived in Chapel Hill. I would like to believe that we are a safer, more peaceful, more tolerant community. And maybe we are.
But Chapel Hill has not been immune to the impact of Martin’s killing and Zimmerman’s acquittal. My students are talking about it… a lot. They’re writing about it in the Blue Ribbon Summer Writing Institute. They are confused. They want to believe in a world that is fair, just, safe. But as black and brown children, they are scared, angry, and their trust has been violated.
My friends, adults, certainly aren’t suffering from a loss of naivete as the kids are. Their sadness is more about having such a public reminder that our nation remains so far from our ideals.
The media has overfocused on the response of the black community, but I’ve shared feelings with just as many white friends as black. We all have some common questions… How do we talk with our children about this complex issue? How do we respond to the injustice in today’s social and political climate? Most importantly, how do we keep our young men of color safe?
I am at a loss. There are lots of answers to these questions, but they all seem so imperfect, inadequate. And I’m afraid that today’s emotional urgency will dissipate before the summer is over.
This commentary is no opinion piece. This is an emotion piece. I am sad. I am angry. I am confused. I feel vulnerable. I feel helpless. I feel very, very appreciative to know so many people, young and old, who share this experience with me. This is a fantastic community.
As recorded for WCHL 97.9FM. Listen here.