I still do not know what to tell my son. If a person who he does not know, and with whom he has no business, intentionally follows him, what is his recourse? If he runs, he looks suspicious; if he passively submits to people who choose to follow and detain him, he becomes a target for anyone who would do him harm. If he fights, well… This tragedy is not about George Zimmerman. He is someone who made as series of decisions that ended the life of an innocent young man. Within our society, there is a systemic suspicion that Black men are up to no good. The remedy for that suspicion appears to be laws that side with people who suspect Black men of being up to no good.
It is in this cesspool of ill will toward Black men that we send our sons into life with no rule upon which they can depend to ensure they aren’t unreasonably subjected to danger without the right to defend themselves.
We Black men can’t wait on society to become more fair. We must continue to instruct our sons to be aware of dangerous situations like the one that cost Trayvon his life. We must keep them as close to us as possible so that they develop the skill and savvy to avoid Trayvon’s plight. Ultimately, we must tell our sons to try to see danger before it sees them. I wish the world were a better place, but today it simply is not.
Lloyd Scott, Los Angeles