Jamilah Lemieux writes in an opinion piece for Ebony that she’s troubled by the idea that the slain teen’s parents should have to take on the “good victim” role.
I became sick to my stomach upon hearing that Sybrina Fulton, mother to murdered Trayvon, had stated this week that she felt that her son’s shooting death was “an accident.” I understand that Trayvon is her baby, not mine, and that a grieving mother should not only be given the space to mourn and emote as she sees fit … but that her emotions during this time can lead her to say things that the rest of the world can’t quite understand or co-sign. I get that. I also appreciate that Fulton had the opportunity to recant her statement later on HLN’s Nancy Grace, stating that she believes George Zimmerman had an “intent” in mind when he approached her son and “carried out that intent.”
It’s still worth noting how Martin’s initial suggestion that Zimmerman had shot her son in what was simply a bad encounter that got “out of hand,” speaks to a classic response to racist crimes. We—Black folks—are so quick to forgive, so afraid of being perceived as unreasonable or uncivilized, that we tend to deny ourselves the very human right to be enraged. We’ve been told so often that angry Negroes are bad that we have come to police our own emotions just as quickly as others have policed them for us.
Read Jamilah Lemieux’s entire piece at Ebony.