My son could be Trayvon Martin.

My son could be Trayvon Martin.

It’s 2:15 AM and I’m still up just thinking about all the implications of the Zimmerman verdict. I watched the trial waiting for some major points to be made: Trayvon Martin had the right to be in a public place without being stalked, he had the right to stand his ground and fight back, and he had the right to get home safely.

Of course, all I can think about is how scary it is to have brought my precious son into a world where the Voting Rights Act can be gutted in the 21st century with the logic that it’s no longer needed because it has worked (never mind that it has worked THIS very year). I’ve brought him into a world where when a man shoots an unarmed teen, the murdered teen has to stand trial, not the shooter. I’ve brought him into a world where the family dynamics of the murdered teen is a key part of the story (just imagine if he was raised by a single mother like me). I’ve brought him into a world where although I don’t immediately leave a movie theater when a weird looking white person comes in for fear that he will shoot the place up, it is considered acceptable testimony to listen to a woman talk about how she was robbed by a black boy, even though that particularly black boy had nothing to do with the case. I’ve brought him into a world where wearing a hoodie in the rain is suspicious. I’ve brought him into a world where even as the unemployment rate continues to decrease, the unemployment rate of blacks continues to increase. I’ve brought him into a world where you can go to jail for firing a warning shot when someone who admits to abusing you is approaching you and threatening you, but not for murdering an unarmed boy who wanted some Skittles and tea.

I pray that I can instill in my son a strong sense of self worth. And I pray that others will respect his worth. I pray that my child will not be seen as a stereotype, but as the bearer of light he is. I don’t even know how to approach preparing him for a life in this world. Do I make sure he wear galoshes and a plastic poncho any time it’s raining? Do I drive him around the corner no matter what? Do I stock my pantry with snacks for a lifetime? Do I tell him to defend himself or to run or to just take whatever is thrown at him JUST in case he’s murdered and he needs to be clearly the victim? Of course, there is NO way for me to adequately prepare him in a place where people are justified in jumping to irrational conclusions.

So, Friday, as I was thinking about the possibilities the verdict could bring, I tweeted this:

So what are we going to do after today? Regardless of the verdict? My issue with marching is that I don’t always see forward movement after the fact.

Can we commit to joining a mentor group and giving back to our kids?

Can we agree to start writing and calling our legislators and staying vigilant about new laws that adversely affect our communities?

And I added these tonight:

Can we agree to start/continue educating ourselves about local and state politics and voting accordingly?

Can we agree to start focusing on building up our communities and knowing our neighbors so we can look out for each other? We are obviously all we got.

Can we stop making excuses for grown people who choose to not contribute to our children and start holding each other to higher standards?

Can we begin to invest in our own businesses and communities and watch where we circulate our dollars?

We can’t afford to be two day/two week warriors. We have to protect our kids through civic involvement and community engagement.

Now is the time to rediscover our own worth and wield the economic power we all know we have but don’t use.

I guess I’ll try to sleep now. But I’m sure it won’t be as restful as I need it to be. Another sad day in America. It’s becoming a norm. What’s next, people?

When the Fighter Is Tired

When the Fighter Is Tired

A couple of nights ago, my mom told me that my aunt Rita wasn’t doing so well. I knew she was starting to prepare me for the worst, but somewhere in my brain I couldn’t believe that my aunt, who has always been the epitome of a fighter, whether for her kids, for her grandchildren, for her nieces and nephews, for her brothers, for her parents, out on the softball field, or for her life—this isn’t her first battle with cancer, would start giving up. Even though signs were pointing to her possibly being too tired to keep pushing through this one, no not my Rita Kaye, who carries tasers and pocket knives on her at all times. So although it’s been weighing on my mind, I couldn’t allow myself to get really upset about the possibility of losing yet another special family member so soon.

Earlier that day, my pastor had sent this text:

Eph 2:8 for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Then yesterday morning, I got this Bible verse of the day.

Psalm 46:1-3

46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah…

Verse 2 really hit a nerve for me!

Then this morning, I got this one.

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…

Then, when I had my daily commute convo with my mom this morning, she told me that my aunt is willing to try another route of treatment, which says to us that she is definitely not giving up. This fight is just a little more daunting than the other times. I didn’t cry when my ma told me she was worried about her, but I did cry this morning because I just want to keep being able to see her when I visit, and I want Frederick to see why I love her so much. And I want Frederick to show her his baseball skills too–add to the family tradition, you know. 🙂 So I am keeping faith that she’ll win again against the ugliness of cancer.

My family seems to be ground zero for cancer. I’ve lost several family members to different variations of the disease, and I have a couple of survivors that I keep in my brain any time I even think I may want to start worrying about whether or not I will fight it myself. And yes, it’s always a slight possibility in my brain–I have had a serious headache for over a week, and I kept steering myself from being afraid that it was more serious than maybe stress. (And, no, I am NOT a hypochondriac!) Turns out it’s a sinus infection. 🙂 But this just speaks to how much family (BOTH sides) has dealt with cancer. And even still, I usually don’t participate in Relay for Life, but how can I not this year with my dad’s only sister fighting for her life as we speak? So I am participating, and I hope you will either join my team, if you are in Atlanta, or support my fundraising efforts. Just remember–someone you know, maybe even you or me, may need the cure in the future.

relayforlife