Trayvon Martin’s mother lost her son and the man who killed him got away.
She has not made an official public statement since the not-guilty verdict was announced on Saturday.
Grief could be beating her into a merciless pulp of sorrow, flesh and blood; maybe her son Trayvon treads noisily in her sleep. Maybe she can’t sleep. Perhaps the buzz of insomnia keeps her awake, blinking in the darkness of a stuffy room. Maybe she’s afraid of the words that could leap out her mouth if she speaks, words with gnarled knuckles and clenched fists.
Maybe her limbs are too weak and the food doesn’t stay down anymore and her jewelry makes her skin itch and the site of 17-year-old black boys sends her back to the mirror where she meets a fright-eyed brown skinned woman. And maybe she’s wallowing in the onslaught of questions: Why my Trayvon? When will this be over? Is this still happening in 2013?
“They always get away,” George Zimmerman reportedly told a police dispatcher that fateful night while on neighborhood watch. Trayvon didn’t get away, and while the law upheld Zimmerman’s right to stand his ground,” Trayvon could not.
A mother is left to wrangle in the aftermath, in the turmoil of injustice. About an hour after the jurors reached their decision (a jury of 6 women, one of them has reportedly signed a deal to write a tell-all book about the trial), Sybrina posted on Twitter.
‘Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!!’”
I may never know Sybrina’s pain. I can only compare it to my own darkest hours. And though Zimmerman’s attorney emphasized that this case is not about race, this tragedy confirms to me that in America, someone will always remind you that you are black. That someone can be an individual, a community, or an entire system. But that someone maintains a power structure befitting for a segmented population.
I pray for Sybrina. I pray she stays strong and I pray we all learn.
by Chika Oduah