It's raining hard in Charlotte this morning. As if Mother Earth is attempting to wash away the sour aftertaste left by three weeks of a "nothing's off limits" trial and a late-night verdict finding George Zimmerman NOT GUILTY in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Without question, it's been an agonizing three weeks for the Fulton, Martin, and Zimmerman families. For a racially divided nation, a time when our ugliest social blemishes surfaced in full view for the watching world to see.
As mom to two beautiful brown sons who look a lot like Trayvon Martin, days of nonstop prayers for justice and reassurance that the African-American community can finally trust the judicial process to protect our civil liberties.
July 13, 2013 - Sanford, FL, USA: A mother reacts to the not guilty result with her children outside the Seminole County Courthouse during day 2 of jury deliberation in the trial of George Zimmerman, Zimmerman was charged in 2012 for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman was found not guilty in Sanford, FL(Credit Image: © Romeo Guzman/Cal Sport Media/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Needless to say, it was a heartbreaking night for many.
Just after 2:00 AM, when my 14-year-old Justis finally dozed off, I gave in to the ache in my chest. I literally cried and prayed myself to sleep.
Awake now, but with a profound sense of emptiness, where do I go from here? What do I do with the frustration, hurt, and disappointment I'm feeling?
Action must take root somewhere, and I can't imagine the financial toll the past 18 months has taken on Trayvon's parents. I'm supportive of a scholarship fund in Trayvon's name and future advocacy work for other young victims of violence. So I began with making a donation to the Fulton/Martin family via HopeMob.org.
Next, I signed up to volunteer with the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation. Not sure of when or where future TM campaigns will take place, but I'm committing to support them however I can.
Finally, the mantra I woke to via Twitter, "Turn a moment into a movement" resonated with me! I'm anxious to see where the open, cross-cultural dialogue happening EVERYWHERE leads us!
How important is it for us to NOT cower in fear and give up the belief equal representation under the law is achievable?
How vital is it to our children, that we NOT allow this verdict to defeat us? They need to see us standing and advocating for what's right. For what's just.
The demonstration our children need now is how to turn tragedy into action.
Yes, it's a painful lesson for my sons to witness, but a powerful one all the same.
Just as being a black male in America impacts their daily lives, the events we've just witnessed will impact their future.
As their loving Mom and a citizen vested in my American Dream, I'll do everything possible to assure the seed of this tragic experience yields good fruit.
We have work to do.
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