The Central Tragedy of the Trayvon Martin Case Remains
Al Mohler pens a poignant piece, which begins this way:
As the father of a young man, I know the talks parents have with their sons-or should have. I have had plenty of those talks, and I know them from both sides. But there is one talk I never had to have with my son, and my father never had to have with me. That is the talk about what to do when the police pull you over and you are a young black man. The talk about what to do when you are eyed suspiciously by people just because you are a young black male. The talk about how to act and how to respond when people watch just to see if you are trouble.
America is divided once again in the aftermath of the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The decision of the Florida jury to acquit Zimmerman on charges of murder and manslaughter in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has reverberated around the world. Americans are divided along some very tragic and recognizable lines in the wake of the verdict. But the line that I find most important is this—the line between those parents who have to have that talk with their boys and those who do not.
The central tragedy remains. A smiling 17-year-old boy who had gone to a convenience store to buy a soft drink and a snack was shot to death, and we will never know exactly how or why. We just know that it is an unspeakable tragedy. It is a moral tragedy that even the best system of justice cannot remedy, much less restore. It is a political tragedy, a cultural tragedy, and a legal mess. But far more than these, it is the tragedy of a boy now dead, of parents and loved ones grieving, and of a nation further wounded, confused, and tormented by the color line.
I think of the young black men on the campus I am honored to lead. I think of the faithful black parents whose families I so know, love, admire. I think of what they have to worry about that I never have to think about. I think of the conversations that must come for our nation and for our churches.
But most of all I am thinking of those parents who have to have that talk I never had to have with my son. I pray and yearn for that day when those conversations will not be necessary. May God watch over every single one of them, for they, starting with Trayvon Martin, belong to all of us.
You can read the whole thing here.
See also pieces by Thabiti Anyabwile, “A Personal Take in the Aftermath of Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman Verdict” and Trillia Newbell, “Not Guilty: Now What?”
I also think Will Saletan, “You Are Not Trayvon Martin” and Ta-Nehisi Coates, “On the Killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman,” are worth reading.