450 Days after the killing of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed at a gas station, the feeling of Dejavu sets in. Where have I heard a similar story? This happened in Florida right? Stand your ground. Black Teen. A man felt threatened. He was playing loud music. He said, "You will die". I thought I saw a gun. Shots were fired. A teen dies. End story.
A lot of people will say that the story of Trayvon Martin and the story of Jordan Davis are not the same. But I beg to differ. After the verdict, I kept seeing "Black lives matter" on my Twitter, my Facebook and my Instagram feeds, and I kept wondering why I felt differently. In my heart, I know that my life matters, I know that the lives of my husband and children matter. I know that the lives of my friends and my relatives matter. But in that instant, I felt not only did they not matter, but that they could be tossed aside and thrown away like yesterday's trash. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis are two sides of the same coin. They are two black teens who were killed because their killers felt that their lives didn't matter.
I have two children, a boy and a girl. I sacrifice a lot for them. I love them with a fire that burns so deep that sometimes I am at a loss when trying to explain it. How do you explain something that emanates throughout your body? How do you explain the unconditional love you have for your children? I'd rather do than say. So when I see something like this happen, an empathy comes over me that is so strong that it brings me to tears instantaneously.
I don't want to debate Florida jury instructions. Nor do I want to talk about Angela Corey.
I want to talk about Lucia McBath and Ron Davis and Sabrina Fulton and Tracey Martin. Four parents who were brave enough to let the world see their pain. There are many trials in the US where we see how much black lives don't matter. But these parents stood up and said "YES THEY DO". These families stood up at a time where sometimes all they could do was cry. They stood up at a time where the pain of the loss can be unbearable. They stood up and stood against the "thuggery" of our black boys. And for that I applaud them.
450 Days after the killing of Jordan Davis, and the jury remained hung on the part dealing with their child. As a mother, I cannot imagine the range of emotions of Ms. McBath and Mr. Davis throughout the trial. My heart mourns for them and the parents of children who are killed because they they are deemed "threatening" by 'the other'. As a black child, to grow up with the understanding that 'the other' will profile, assume, or make judgements based on no direct knowledge is disheartening. The US is not post-racial, that I will acknowledge, but I will always assume we are in a constant path towards it. My life and my children's life depend on it. So for this man to openly kill Jordan based on what seems like his own internal demons shows that there is still much work to be done.
450 days after the killing of Jordan Davis, and as a fellow parent, I send virtual hugs to Lucia McBath and Ron Davis and Sabrina Fulton and Tracey Martin. Four parents who have stood together and stood up for our black children.