As I write this, I have a sad and heavy heart – a feeling that something is not right and I know why. The man who killed Trayvon Martin is free today. And, in my opinion, that is not right.
When my sons – one of whom is now a grandfather – were young, I worried about them when they were out at night. Back then, the profiling of young black men was so common, that along with good manners, black parents had to teach another lesson to their young sons: how to survive as a black man in a racist society.
And just when we thought things had gotten better, it happened to Trayvon Martin. Only the man who profiled Trayvon was a “wanna be” police officer. And what he saw was an unarmed 17-year-old coming home from the store with candy and a drink. But in George Zimmerman’s distorted view, Trayvon was simply another black person wearing a hoodie (in the rain), and therefore it was enough for him to believe the boy was a criminal and up to no good. It just wasn’t right.
It was not right for Zimmerman to follow Trayvon after the 911 operator told him not to. Zimmerman followed the boy anyway.
As a mother, I saw Trayvon as a frightened young boy, but one who was not going to let the stranger following him take advantage of him. It seems to me that Trayvon was the one who was fighting for his life. He didn’t know who Zimmerman was, nor did he know what Zimmerman wanted from him.
It was not right the way the defense lawyer Don West humiliated 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon’s friend, on the witness stand. West actually asked her if she understood English. Rachel not only understands English, but also speaks Creole and Spanish. And when she responded to a question that she doesn’t know how to read cursive, the defense attorneys should also know that cursive writing is no longer taught in schools. I know of many high school graduates and college students who do not know how to write or understand cursive writing. That is not a stain on Rachel.
On Saturday, the jury declared Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon. And while we have to trust and believe in our justice system, it just doesn’t seem right that Zimmerman is free and Trayvon is just a loving memory. But Justice has spoken. And while some of us don’t agree with the verdict, we must respect the decision. We must not become bitter and hard of heart.
Still, the verdict leaves me, and thousands of others, with a sad and heavy feeling. And this, my friends, is where our faith will see us through.
‘Chocolate Lovers Shabbat’ is Aug. 9
On a sweeter note: It will soon be time for Congregation Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom to celebrate its Chocolate Lovers Shabbat. The sweet event will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at the temple.
The annual Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom chocolate Lovers Shabbat service was started by congregation member Linda Hornik 21 years ago, and has grown every year since. Temple administrators are expecting more than 300 people to attend the special service. Members of the community are invited as well.
There will be a display of more than 100 different chocolate candies, including an abundance of homemade chocolate desserts such as chocolate cakes, pies, and chocolate covered fruits and nuts, all for sampling. The temple is at 9400 SW 87th Ave. in Kendall. Call 305-595-1500 for more information.