One of Shetroit’s youngest bloggers, Shirley Bolden, wrote about Trayvon Martin at the time of his death last year. Now, following the George Zimmerman trial and verdict, her invitation rings with even stronger resolve …
Initially, I labored over writing something about the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I was going to use cliches to explain what happened to him … something like ‘boys will be boys’.
Then I thought, how cliche of me to do what I’ve always done as a writer. You know – writers will be writers, so I’ll just throw some catchy words together and send my love from Detroit.
For Trayvon Martin the cliche ‘boys will be boys’ adds a different dynamic because that boy will never become a man. And I’ve decided this writer won’t just write.
We writers spend our time lending words to tragedies like Trayvon’s believing we’ve done some good. Remember the old saying: ‘sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.’ Well, it was a gun that killed Trayvon and my words adding new perspective won’t change that.
But actions will.
So these are not just words. These are fighting words. Words that commit my intention to forever railing against writers who just write about education but won’t tutor inner city kids.
Words that blast city hall reporters who do not vote.
Words that are meant to point out writers who look up statistics on how many people didn’t vote but won’t explain to someone what the verbiage on the ballot means so voters can make informed choices.
Words that are meant for writers who use tragedies as ideas for short stories.
My words here are words of passion, words that carry the spirit of what Trayvon Martin means to me and should mean to you. Our opinions of who was wrong or who deserved to die, or the Stand Your Ground law, or racial profiling or wearing hoodies means nothing if we don’t do something besides what we always do.
Boys will be boys and Black boys will always be racially profiled. White boys smoking weeds are misguided and Black boys smoking weed are criminals.
Trayvon Martins will keep dying and meaningless things will be blamed for their deaths, like the fact that he was wearing a hoodie on a rainy day.
But imagine a world where we committed our skills (and words!) to our communities.
Trayvon was no criminal, he was a kid and you are not just a writer, you are an agent of change. Let’s do something that will mean something.
Peace and love in the city.