Who was Trayvon Martin?
The banner of angry demonstrators read: “We are all Trayvon.” Are we? Who was Trayvon Martin anyway, and is he really “us”? We were all shot in the heart on that dark night in Sanford, Florida. This is a very sad story about the state of the United States. The truth is Trayvon himself never got to answer the question “Who is Trayvon Martin?” I don’t think even he knew. He died from a gunshot wound before he could find out. By the way, 440 school age children were shot in Chicago in 2012 (300 killed in three years). They never had the story of their short lives on CNN or Fox News. But today the spotlight is not on the Windy City; it is still on a published picture of a black boy wearing a hoodie, which the President of the United States said looked like the son he never had. Some will want to make him into the face of a new Civil Rights movement or into the patron saint against injustice. Who was Trayvon? Was he the cute little Tray his broken-hearted parents remember who went out for Skittles and soda-pop never to come home, or was he the pot smoking thug who posted images of a gang banger on the internet? Did he really see the world as black and white? Testimony from a friend about his last phone conversation, suggested that he did.
Celebrities will be calling for Justice, and Politicians will be talking about guns, racial profiling, and immigration (especially of white Hispanics), and then step back from the lights and microphones into their “gated communities.”
In 1963 I was taking a shortcut home as night fell on West Babylon, Long Island. Suddenly I saw the flashing lights of a police car in the distance which stopped and then jumped the curb and raced across the grass of the outfield in my direction. I scanned, and looked around to see what was going on. I was alone. The car stopped. Where was I going? Why was I where I was? Who was I? The policeman asked. Before I knew what was going on I was in the back seat of a patrol car (did you know that there were no inside door handles in the back of a patrol car?). I sat there for what seemed to be a very long time. Then the radio squawked to life. Seems they found some kid that matched my description (profile) and confirmed him as the suspect they were looking for. “10/4, copy.” The cop got out opened the back door and said, “get out.” I did. He got back in the squad car and drove away without saying a word. I was profiled.
The truth is Zimmerman profiled a hooded youth and a hooded youth profiled Zimmerman. The media profiled the police, and police profile everyone. Every mother loves her children and love always thinks the best. Parents tend to be blind to their children’s bad side (profile). Every child is on the lookout for the big bad wolf and little Red Riding Hood should never had gone to Grandma’s house by herself. In Mark Chapter One and verse 13 we find Jesus Christ, God’s Son, somewhere in the wilderness. Satan and the wild animals are on one side and ministering Angels on the other. That’s where we are in the Trayvon Martin story. What happens next depends on which way we turn.
As teenagers we were told “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” We saw the “Authorities” feed the military industrial complex with a million draftees. Robert McNamara wrote a memoir after the Vietnam War in which he basically said, “Opps, my bad.” One thing our generation learned in history class is: Just because the “Authorities” tell you to get into the box car and then into the shower doesn’t mean you should. The “Authorities” don’t always tell the truth (ask Nixon). Now we know that the “Authorities” are responsible for the economic meltdown, the mess in the Middle East and Windows 8. Seems the “Authorities” don’t know what the heck they are doing. The “Authorities” in Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, and in the United States are wondering what in the world is going on. From Wiki-Leaks to the NSA leaker (whistle blower/traitor), to Hezbollah and Fidel Castro the “Authorities” have been exposed as incompetent and inept and often evil. The “Authorities” make us take our shoes off at the airport, and take away our bottled water if we want to fly on an overbooked cattle car with wings. The Democratic Party wants to legalize marijuana, gay marriage, and register dead people to vote and the Republican Party came within a hairsbreadth of giving the United States a Mormon President. This is proof that the “Authorities” don’t have a clue. Germans found out what the “Authorities” were doing when the concentration camps were opened. The British are just learning what the “Authorities” did to indigenous people through-out the days of the British Empire involving shameful practices. We were shocked to see what the Authorities allowed to go on in Abu-Ghraib. Demonstrations have erupted across the globe from Egypt to Rio de Janeiro and like something out of a Victor Hugo novel, young people have taken to the barricades. The “Authorities” once said black folk had to sit in the back of the bus and lest they might change that seating arrangement Jim Crow laws made sure they could not vote. Now the “Authorities” sitting on the Supreme Court are tinkering with the moral laws of the universe. Some Conservatives are calling their constituents and for Christians to man the barricades to save humanity. Chicken Little is sure the sky is falling. Take a breath. First of all, a Christian has one Authority: Christ. He is the First and Final Word in our life. Jesus is Lord. When He stood before Pilate, who boasted of “having authority,” Jesus reminded him that Pilate had no power or authority that was not given from above. In other words Rome, Assyria, Egypt were small bit players and side shows in the greater scheme of things. If every State in the Union endorses and approves gay marriage it should not matter to a man or woman of faith. If abortion is legalized in every city and State a woman of faith would not be changed in her convictions one iota. If the law of the land becomes such that every male child is to be smothered to death at birth, God knows how to deliver Jocabed, baby Moses, or an entire nation of slaves. Speak the truth in love and then do right until the stars fall. Paul said, “None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry I received of the Lord Jesus to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.” –Ingimar DeRidder