Do I Look Like a Suspect?
While you're mulling that over, go read my latest for my day job about Trayvon Martin and how although he could be either of my sons, ultimately this story is not just a black issue. Here's an excerpt:
I don’t think my sons are safe anywhere, and I often feel extreme anxiety over what might happen to them when they walk out the door each morning. But my boys don’t believe they can be gunned down like Trayvon. "I don’t think anything like this would happen to us because of the place we live," my 8-year-old told me last night after watching updates about the investigation on the evening news. "We’ve never heard of anybody getting killed on our street."
I'm glad he believes he's safe, but Trayvon was in a gated community, not an urban ghetto. Ruha Benjamin, assistant professor of sociology and African American studies at Boston University, says middle-class black Americans cannot "buy our way out of racial violence." Benjamin, who has two boys of her own, says the reality is that our sons, "no matter how well-dressed, how well-spoken, might be in the wrong gated community with the wrong bag of threatening Skittles and get mowed down by someone who has decided, essentially, they are out of place."