Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Call B.S. On Both Sides, Trayvon Martin Tragedy


 So here I am a white boy living in New Hampshire, just north of Boston. What do I know about Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman's life? One thing I know for sure is a young kid died, that is about the only fact I know. A tragedy, yes. I could not imagine losing a  child for any reason, being a father of three myself.

   I sit with my boys eating breakfast,  Good Morning America on in the background  listening to what happened to this  boy Trayvon Martin.  What is being heaped upon this man George Zimmerman. I know  it is just a story of people being scared and the male ego taking over.

   I also know that Trayvon probably was not perfect and that  Zimmerman was not the worse person that ever lived. Yet I still sit with my boys and they ask.What do I tell them?

 Questions every morning  like "Dad, why haven't they arrested that guy Zimmerman?"
As I eat my English muffin and check my email I contemplate a response. "Well maybe from what the police have found, they don't have enough evidence?"
Knowing full well this issue is a lot bigger issue  than evidence, and what people in the northeast or "up north" think.

    What do I tell my boys?

   So after I have breakfast with my boys (6,8 and 9) I tell them I love them, and I head off to work at my family's business, which  my dad built from nothing. Note about my dad;  he grew up poor  in the projects just north of Boston. A very racially charged area in the 60's and 70's.

 I drive five miles to work every morning and in those five miles I go from three bedroom middle class houses worth $250,000 to  three family houses worth $40,000. From  America to working  America. Over the past few months at work I have asked my two friends at work Chris and Isiac. "What do you guys think about the Trayvon Martin thing?"
At first I had to remind them what the story was. As we talked about it  one of my friends said " Maybe the kid was just being a wise punk and attacked the guy and he had to defend himself ?"

Maybe that did happen.

Maybe it didn't.

   What do we think about Trayvon in the real middle of America? I am talking about  people who live in the privileged  world at home but the working world in the day.As we are truly in the middle. Both have problems that neither could even imagine. The privileged  probably do not even know they are. Compare your issues to those where I work and you might.

Have you ever had to worry about your kids safety at school?

No, probably just  whether they were teaching math or reading correctly.

"First world problems" is what my friend Ed calls them. Things like "Was your chicken raised free range?"

"What kind of hops does your beer have?"

These are issues that  people in other communities would love to have.

They have to worry about things like whether.

"  Will 911 come within a half hour if my mom has a heart attack?"

"Will someone shoot my kid on my front porch?"

You can talk all you want about whether people should be better behaved and control themselves, but there are a lot of places in America where you can't make those decisions.

    This is one of the most polarizing issues that I have seen in my lifetime. The media is not helping things out at all, a well known national broadcast channel edited Zimmerman's 911 call, to make him appear racist. I understand Trayvon's  parents wanted Zimmerman arrested because he killed their son. But how does anyone  else know exactly what happened? We do know the dispatcher told him to stop following him. Maybe Zimmerman was just making sure Trayvon left the neighborhood.  Trayvon probably got scared because some guy was following him. I thank you for reading this and would appreciate any comments you leave below.

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