CAIN’S CORNER: I am Trayvon Martin

Like every concerned person across the country, when I became fully aware of the situation that happened to Trayvon Martin, I became upset, angry, sad, disturbed, confused, remorseful and then engaged.

I found myself researching facts, looking for any information that perhaps would lead to a different outcome; I was hoping that perhaps our black leaders were over reacting. I was wrong.

Like any other black man that doesn’t walk around with a gun on his waist, I wanted answers.

I took the “Hoddie” challenge.

On Saturday, March 24, I ‘hooded up’ and set out to experience what it was like to be perceived as a thug or a threat.

In more than 85-degree weather, I made stops at Stein Mart, Sports & Co., Best Buy, Northpark Mall and Newks.

I received stares, frowns and looks of amazement. I could hear the whispers. I was asked to remove or lower my hoodie when I visited Best Buy, but I ignored the young lad that made the suggestion. I ignored him because I wanted him to approach me so that we could have a discussion. That didn’t happen, so I remained in my hood.

I was asked by the young Asian lady that did my pedicure if I was cold, my response was no…she looked surprised. I held a 30-minute conversation with her about Trayvon. She was sad.

I saw a dear friend of mine in the mall; she looked up, clutched her purse, held her head down and began to walk briskly…almost running. I followed her, not to frighten her, but to make her recognize me. When she did, she said, “thanks for representing so well.”

Her words did little to comfort me, and I shared some rather harsh words with her as it relates to how black folk treat each other.

After this experiment, I realized that I didn’t have to wear a hood to be treated differently. I came to fully understand that everyday I wake up; I have to think about being black. I have to think about my decisions; my actions, my facial expressions; my posture, my attitude, and I have to think about ‘driving while black.’

Facts are still forthcoming in this case, but as I write this, it has been exactly one month and two days since Trayvon was gunned down and his killer George Zimmerman has yet to be arrested.

Here’s what I know for sure:

• This wasn’t a shoot out.

• This wasn’t some innocent victim being robbed at gunpoint.

• A neighborhood watchman was simply stalking this young man as he was on his way to his father’s house.

• This is the case of an armed neighborhood watchman shooting a black man who had nothing to defend himself with but his fists.

• There is nothing illegal about Trayvon fighting Zimmerman if he was indeed being harassed or physically assaulted for no reason.

• Trayvon wasn’t hitting a police officer; he was hitting a neighborhood watchman.

• Neighbors had long complained about Zimmerman being an over-zealous watchman who took his job too seriously.

Yet, these neighbors decided to leave Zimmerman in his post as watchman and he claimed the life of a young innocent black teenager.

This teenager had dreams of going to college, getting married, pursuing a long career, having children and perhaps even grandchildren.

This will not happen for Trayvon…his life is over.

I recognize clearly, but for the grace of GOD, there go I.

I am Trayvon Martin.

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