Justin Cascio thought he’d be happy to hear that police chief Bill Lee is stepping aside. But he is simply sad for the loss of Trayvon.
When I heard the news that Sanford, FL police chief Bill Lee Jr., 52, who is white, has stepped down, claiming that his involvement in the Trayvon Martin murder investigation had become a distraction, I wasn’t glad; it only made me sad again. As a parent with an 18 year old son, my heart goes out to Trayvon Martin’s mother and father, for how much they have suffered and lost.
On this beautiful spring day, I am out walking through my neighborhood. No one is surveilling me. Along my route, I am admiring the crocuses and the shining bicycles and the students sunning themselves on lawns, and thinking of all the parents who have talked to their kids about Trayvon Martin in the past three weeks, who are afraid for their children in a new way since seeing his face in the news. Commenter Eric M asks,
Anybody know the names of the 512 black boys and men that were killed since Treyvon Martin was? Based on historic patterns, there will be 18 or more Treyvon Martins killed every day indefinitely—unless and until the underlying causes of the despair of black men are addressed, which is very unlikely to happen based on a long history of them mattering very little in our society.
Damon Young at Very Smart Brothas talks about some of those black boys and girls who were murdered. Stories of random violence, and of domestic torture. Bad things happen to everyone, but they happen disproportionately to people of color, and judging by at least some of the comments on VSB, some black people have concluded that no one cares what happens to black children, slactivism notwithstanding.
When I’ve had The Talk with my son, it has focused on other people’s oppression, because I didn’t worry that someone would shame my fair-skinned boy with a slur that struck him to the core, that he would not fit in at school because of his race, or that, as a teenager doing typical teenager things, adults would suspect him of “being on drugs or something.”
When I think of Trayvon, I think of the young people my son’s age. I am thinking about Trayvon’s girlfriend. He told her “some man was watching him,” right before he was killed by the watchman.
When you’ve talked to your sons, what have you told them?
Does the world care about those 512 boys that Eric M mentions?
To read Justin Cascio’s letter to Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, and Lee’s letter back, click here.