Remember Trayvon? He would’ve been 22 by now. He more than likely would have graduated from high school and entered college by this date. If he studied hard, maybe he would have entered an Ivy League school, graduated from Harvard and entered the spaceflight-training program during his downtime between law school classes.
I’m sure there are wypipo reading this and commenting how preposterous this sounds; that we are making a superhero out of a regular child. They would say that we have ascribed supernatural powers to a regular-ol’ 17-year-old and that it is highly unlikely that a child like Trayvon would have become a lawyer or an astronaut.
This criticism can be answered with the simplest logic and the least complex rationale:
How the fuck you know?
Five years ago, while walking home after buying candy and soda, Trayvon Martin was lynched in public by an overzealous, half-crazy, racist neighborhood watchman who was not in the neighborhood watch. He was killed by a grown man who stalked him with a gun and—after being told by a 911 operator to leave Trayvon alone—somehow shot the teen in the chest.
Then he went home and took a nap.
We have all heard that old saying, “Time flies when you are living under the rule of a dim-witted dictatorship,” but it doesn’t seem like Trayvon has been gone for half a decade.
Remember when the outrage wasn’t about how George Zimmerman wasn’t convicted of murder, but about how long it took for cops to simply arrest him?
Remember how white people found it perfectly plausible that a 17-year-old jumped on a man 20 years older and 50 pounds heavier than he was?
Remember how simple the Zimmerman case seemed? Remember how we thought the prosecution only had to ask two questions:
- If George Zimmerman hadn’t bothered him, would Trayvon still be alive?
- Is Trayvon still alive?
Remember when people were so upset about how Zimmerman killed a boy and went home, they created the phrase, “Black Lives Matter”?
Remember how they demonized him for wearing a hoodie? For gold teeth? For being 5 feet 11? For being too imposing? For being too black?
It has been five years since the senseless slaughter of an 11th-grader happened in Sanford, Fla., and the world erupted. We shouldn’t forget about the fight for black lives, and we should always recall what happened to that little boy with a pocketful of Skittles, walking home and talking on the phone.
He was 17.
Wherever you are on Feb. 26, whatever the weather, grab a hoodie out of your closet and wear it. Eat some Skittles. Drink some AriZona iced tea. Fight for your life.