Trayvon Martin’s hoodie with a bullet hole through the heart is now displayed in the African American History Museum. This is a reminder of the tragic death of a promising young man some ten years ago, because someone thought him not worthy to walk through a specific neighborhood. In the ten years since his death, there has been too many deaths. The United States has much to give account for in its history but also in its present. Others lovingly preserve the mementos of that tragic day and the aftermath.
Often white people are quick to say that the racial atrocities are all part of the distant past in our nation, and there is nothing that we can do about it now. But this is simply not true. Everyday in America, Black people continue to be treated differently than white people. One only need to look to the inequities in education, wealth, housing, incarceration rates, to see that racism continues to be perpetuated through the institutions of our government and culture. Until we are willing to recognize this as a country, it is doubtful that real progress will be made. We cannot change what we refuse to acknowledge.
Trayvon Martin’s fatal wound to the heart is symbolic of the wound that still bleeds profusely from the heart of this nation. Black people continue to hurt, Black people continue to bleed, Black people continue to die.
His death like the senseless death of so many like him, does hold a promise that a resurrection is coming. In that resurrection justice will prevail. May that resurrection come soon.
In the words of Dr. King,
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be engulfed, every hill shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.”
May this become true for America soon.