Captain’s Log. Daddy Chronicles. Diaper Date 1653. Serious post. This is one of those days that I simply can’t reconcile as a father. By now you have probably heard of the case (or lack thereof) of Trayvon Martin. His murder (termed reluctantly as such by the City Manager) has set off a number of emotions. According to the details that are out now, it seems this young man had done no wrong. There is debate as to whether or not this is a racially motivated crime. I say that doesn’t matter. There is a set of parents burying their child. Their child. It doesn’t matter what the motivation was – this is a pill too tough to swallow.
There is another daddy blogger, Scott, who has an excellent post about this story. Scott is also a teacher and found this to be a teachable moment for his students. It is worth the read and the discussion if your kids are of the appropriate age.
I have been followed by security, police officers, and “staff” at “high end” stores. I have had my intentions questioned when I have done nothing wrong. No one ever put their hands on me, but I found it degrading nonetheless. I found that frustrating. It made me angry. However, I was always told not to do anything disrespectful or antagonistic – even when right. Without getting in to details, I was taught that it was possible to be “dead right”. This scared me as a kid. It scares me even more as a father.
In the Martin case, a young man died. And again from all the early reports, it sounds like the only thing he did wrong was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If I was angry about being singled out, imagine how that family feels about losing their son.
But here is what gives me hope – thousands of people, literally, gathered to protest. They gathered to seek the justice they felt was being ignored. They gathered peacefully. I have heard no reports of riots, violence, or moblike behavior. Tension? Absolutely and understandably.
Dr. King once said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
There is another case in the news, a hate crime, that seems to illustrate this quote. In this case, a 19 year old teen was convicted of murder. The teen faced the death penalty. However, the family of the man murdered asked the prosecutor not to pursue the death penalty. Wow.
My mom used to always say, “Don’t grow up too soon because once you are grown you are grown for good.”. This is definitely one of those days I miss the bliss of youthful ignorance – where my biggest concerns were finding my missing Legos or cleaning my room.
I pray for the families involved that they are able to find peace and continued strength.
Hug your little ones, or big ones that used to be your little ones. Encourage them to spread the love and not recycle the hate.
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