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.

Dear Trayvon,

I work for a government I don’t support, What does this mean?

Sell out?

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

I no longer work in law enforcement. Instead I chose educating and healing my community so that we can remember our young not in the wake of tragedy but in the glory of their triumphs. In my community, Federal Way, I have lost youth to the system as well as the grave. I am ready to start losing them to colleges, trades and their imaginations to go and explore the world. So as we remember our brother, Trayvon on a day he should be here to celebrate. I am here not to mourn but inspire you all to get out and serve. Get involved with the schools and communities. We can eliminate these type of tragedies amongst the many others we face in our division. It is only in our unity that the freedom we deserve shall be.


Evan CookComment