Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

28 March 2012

Do I Look Suspicious -- God Bless You Trayvon

I have been silent lately,
but my heart is full.

I would like to say something about the shooting
of Trayvon Martin,
but I think the students at Howard University have said it better:

What follows is a modest attempt at commentary:

I recall when I moved back from Turkey to the USA,
in 2003,
my first position was a one year stint at a historically black university
in Mississippi. 

As someone who lived the bulk of my current life
in the North East, I found that year to be just as culturally illuminating
as four years in Turkey, if not more so.
Indeed, my culture shock recovery was deferred by a year,
as I moved into another culture, and was shocked even more profoundly,
NOT because of the experience of teaching primarily black students --
they were students, and they had dreams and goals,
and I was happy to help them, in whatever way I could --
but rather, I was stunned when I saw,  very vividly,
in grocery stores, empty swimming pools, churches,
and on the street,
that racism continues to be the biggest challenge facing the United States.

Every now and then, something happens like the murder 
of Trayvon Martin,
and that hidden illness surfaces.

It is our biggest challenge to face that illness
and find constructive, peaceful ways
to heal it.

Rest In Peace, 
dear Trayvon,
and best of luck to the students who made this video,
and all of the students in the USA,
who seek only peace
and respect,
as they work to create
a better future.

1 comment:

laurak@forestwalkart said...

how did i miss this one?!!

living in FL...the whole Trayvon thing has been on ALL our minds...and in our hearts.

it's an emotional thing...that MOST of us...nation wide...maybe even world wide...may take on very personally.

all i can say at this that FINALLY Trayvon's shooter has been arrested...and now things will take its course.

deep in my heart, i can't help but feel that IF this incident had been a African American man...or teenager...who had shot dead a White man...he would have been arrested on the spot!

(and the FAR-right minded say too many people are turning this into a racial thing. it's mind boggling. and sad.)