Forgive me, but I’m a little angry right now. Today is Trayvon Martin’s birthday. He would’ve been 19 years old. I still remember July 13, 2013 like it was yesterday and those feelings are consuming me again. Anguish. Frustration. Pain. I’d say betrayal, but that would imply that there was a trust in the American judicial system to begin with. The verdict destroyed me. I didn’t feel like marching or protesting. I didn’t want to express my anger by rioting either. Why? It felt hopeless. It felt like further confirmation that yes, people like myself are still treated as second-class citizens whose lives are disposable. Because, of course, even our children are “scary” and hey, fear of Blackness is all that’s needed to justify murder.
And now, I see that his murderer (I refuse to speak his name anymore or allow myself to even type it) is cashing in on his “celebrity” status for becoming somewhat of an American hero for killing an unarmed Black child…by announcing that he’ll be boxing beleaguered rapper DMX. It’s quite obvious that the timing of this announcement is not merely coincidental. And yet, the diabolical disrespect will be publicized, consumed, and yes, even praised by some as this individual continues to revel in his status as the mascot for the violent legacy of anti-Blackness still deeply entrenched in American society. I’m sickened.
I’d like to think that collectively, we will look the other way and ignore this pathetic ploy for attention, but I know better. Some, selfishly shortsighted, will want their pound of flesh and tune in whenever this event is broadcast, not realizing that no result will ever replace the justice stolen from Trayvon’s family. Others will tune in because this individual represents a kind of sick validation; an assertion of their supremacy over “those people” whom they fear and racistly assume to be belligerent thugs, even as children. I just pray for Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin and their continued strength as America continues to allow the killer of their son to prosper and figuratively laugh in our faces.
Please note that this is the first and hopefully last time I’ll speak on this “celebrity boxing match”. I’m wishing others would do the same and stop indulging Trayvon’s killer.
Lusia Harris, a Black woman, became the first and only woman ever drafted by the NBA in 1977. The New Orleans Jazz selected her in the seventh round after her successful career at Delta State.