Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 19, 2013

HAMILTON: Trayvon, Zimmerman & the sympathetic jury

Niagara Gazette — Could Zimmerman have walked because people like you didn’t do your duty, but criticize others for doing theirs?

Some of you can ‘empathize’ with how Trayvon Martin’s parents must feel, but having lost my own 14-year old son to an assailant’s bullet, I more closely ‘know’ how they feel. And while President Obama suggested that if had a son, then his boy could have looked like Trayvon, mine did. They were even about the same size.

In reality, even though I was in the room at 3:15 in the morning awaiting my son’s birth, I was really his godfather, but he declared me as his real dad.

Unlike the racial disparity between Martin and his assailant George Zimmerman, my boy’s assailant was not only a so-called friend, but both of them were black, though my godson was actually a black Hispanic. But my son’s assailant is still serving time in prison for the 1991 shooting.

As it was with me, there will be some bitterness in the Martin family for some time to come. But like the waves that wash against the shore, and then evaporates under the warm summer’s sun, the shape of things change in time. Even the waves’ mist rises and then rains again as teardrops within the soul.

When my godson was shot, like Trayvon, he was deemed someplace where he should not have been. But in my boy’s case, it was because the school system, that was supposed to have been serving his best interests, would not take him back after he had served his time in a state boy’s facility for what his mother says was him being attacked by a physical education teacher and the boy got the best of him. 

I shudder to think what might have happened if that teacher had a gun.

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