Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 21, 2013

JACKIE DAVIS: Now is a time for civil discourse

Niagara Gazette — This is a story I did not want to write. This is a situation I wish had never happened. It is heart-breaking, and far too close to home for me. I look into the beautiful ebony eyes of Trayvon Martin, donned in a snowy white hooded sweatshirt, and I am instantly stabbed with the painful reality — there but by the grace of God go any one of my four, fine, excellent sons.

When I ponder this devastating loss of life I ask, how many times did my children walk or ride their bikes to our local 7-Eleven for Slurpies or treats? How many summers of “National 7-Eleven Day” did they enjoy on July 11 when Slurpies were free? As they grew through the teen years into young adulthood, how many nights did I prayerfully release them to go, spread their wings and fly into a world that might hurt them? How many times did I kiss them “good-bye” with the reminders, “Make wise and Godly decisions” and “Be safe”? No one could have ever known that Trayvon’s trip to the 7 Eleven would be his last, on that Florida night.

I dry my tears as I write this. I pray for, and feel for Trayvon’s parents who have shown such dignity, courage and grace — especially now in the face of a not guilty verdict for the man who shot their son. I commend those Florida people of faith who chose to unite in prayer before, during, and after this difficult trial, calling for peace and for civil discourse. 

I rebuke that “anonymous juror” who sought to capitalize on Trayvon’s death by accepting a book deal. (I found her interview too deplorable to finish watching.) I am certainly glad that her book deal has been revoked. Zimmerman may have been found ‘not guilty,’ but he is certainly ‘not free’ to return to his prior life.

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