Dear Trayvon (Happy Birthday)
In 2013, at the time of the Trayvon Martin decision I was in the police academy as a recruit. I remember our Criminal Law teacher facilitating what I thought was a great discussion on how the verdict would have played out here in Washington State. After the going back and forth between emotion and logic he told the class it would have played out the exact same. How our laws are very similar but worded differently. As you could imagine my day was ruined not only from the terrible news but from coming to terms with the fact that this same thing could happen in my own back yard.
I had a spot near the water I often traveled to in order to regain peace of mind. I opened my phone and I began to write a letter to Trayvon Martin through poetry that I titled Dear Trayvon.
I work for a government I don’t support, What does this mean?
To some yea, but to me I’m a man with a dream
See I want to be the change I want to see
Because I’m tired of people dying who look just like me.
A badge for honor, but a heart without dignity
It’s like a man whose soul is helpless and empty
Killing is one thing, being murdered another
We march for white on black
At the same time condoning brother on brother
Death is death with just the pull of a trigger
But it hurts a little worse when you see him as
Just another nigger
See society is backwards, because its not the death we mourn
Yet the injustices that leaves the streets torn
A flawed system but the people make the rules
What people? Is it them? Or is it you?
So what is it that people are left to do?
Besides breed injustice and watch the malice in us reproduce.
Like oxygen on a tree, from sea to shining sea
Sweeping away kids, young boys,
And people trying to watch a movie
It seems as if we are surrounded by tragedy
One nation under God said now seems to just be blasphemy
God is on the minds of many
In the hearts of few
But in the mouths of all when troubles brew
Tell me why are we surprised that society acts out
What we think and see?
The actions in our heads are just episodes on T.V.
So in a sense we have made society into habits
And T.V is now WE
Who tried to form a more perfect union
With deaths that are unjust
While domestic tranquility went out with the dust
While in came a common defense
Neglecting the welfare of those who had different colored skin
While the blessings of liberty and prosperity came
To those of the future generations who weren’t in chains
Only to keep systematic oppression engraved
Into those less fortunate
While being mentally ENSLAVED