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Speechless! He Was Our Son Too...

A message from Kuae Kelch Mattox, National President of Mocha Moms, Inc.

Shock. Anger. Utter disbelief. Sadness. Pain...the kind of pain a mother feels when she has lost her son. Trayvon Martin was Sabrina Fulton's son, but he was our son too...and when a "not guilty" verdict was handed down in the State of Florida vs. Zimmerman trial over the weekend, our hearts collectively sank. We did not understand. We could not comprehend. We were rendered effectively speechless. How could one of our sons, with Skittles in one hand and Arizona ice tea in another, be gunned down as he walked to his father's home...and how could the man who said he pulled the trigger be set free with nary a slap on the wrist? Whatever you believe about the prosecution and the defense, and whether this all female Seminole County jury made a just decision, this case hits to our very core as mothers. A young, African American teenager is dead. One family...two families will never be the same. A child will never be held again. His breath will never be felt again. A father and a mother weep...and we all bleed from our wounds, the wounds that have cracked and bled and festered in our community for far too long...

So after this...what do we say to our sons about who they are and what is their value? We can hug them and hold them and protect them all we can. We can sit them down and have "the talk"...you all know what I'm talking about...about what to say, how to dress and how to walk...not too fast son, but wait, not too slow. Yet, a world of institutionalized racism awaits, ready to pounce, ready to dig, ready to taunt, and today, despite an African American president at the helm and a growing national population of people of color, we continue our struggle.

Mocha Moms, Inc. believes in the United States judicial system, but we believe in a fair and just system that doesn't disproportionately arrest and convict...a system that holds people accountable for their actions. Our hearts and prayers are with the Martin family during this tumultuous time. Mother's, Trayvon was our son too.

Many of us have only heard stories from our parents about the Civil Rights Movement. We know it's in our blood, yet we haven't lived it. But we know having lived today that the fight is not over. It has peaks and valleys, but it's not over. Mother's, if you have not done so yet, it is time to figure out your place in the battle for justice and peace for our children. There are organizations in our midst that continue the good fight, and Mocha Moms, Inc. stands with them in denouncing injustice, both large and small. Mothers, we cannot stand idly by and let this continue. We must do our part, speak up and stand up for what we believe for the sake of our families, for the love of our children. Look outside your homes and decide what you can do. If you need to be educated, do it. If you need to march, do it. If you need to sign a petition, make your mark. If you need to shout into the sky, let the planets hear you. Whatever is your place, whatever you decide, DO SOMETHING...but do it peacefully and with good in your heart, for our children are reaching out to us, the small ones and the grown ones. They need us...to hug them, to hold them close, but also to hear our voices and know that we are with them.

President Obama's statement, issued July 14, 2013

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy.  Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America.  I know this case has elicited strong passions.  And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher.  But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.  I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.  And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.  We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.  We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.  As citizens, that's a job for all of us.  That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin.


For more information about the NAACP's demand for the Department of Justice to open a Civil Rights case against George Zimmerman, visit www.naacp.org.

For the latest statement from Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, on the Zimmerman trial verdict, visit:
http://nul.iamempowered.com/content/statement-marc-h-morial-president-and-ceo-national-urban-league-trayvon-martin-trial-verdict.

From The Washington Post/The Root DC, July 14, 2013
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/therootdc/zimmerman-trial-what-should-be-tell-our-sons-now/2013/07/14/f9916ef8-ece1-11e2-a1f9-ea873b7e0424_story.html

From the New York Times, July 13, 2013
http://action.momsrising.org/go/3318?t=12&akid=4458.2016234.jYIe74

From the New York Times, July 14, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/us/in-zimmerman-case-self-defense-was-hard-to-topple.html?pagewanted=all

Twitter, Sybrina Fulton
http://action.momsrising.org/go/3317?t=10&akid=4458.2016234.jYIe74

Urban Institute, August 8, 2012
http://action.momsrising.org/go/3319?t=14&akid=4458.2016234.jYIe74

ABC News July 15, 2013
http://action.momsrising.org/go/3321?t=18&akid=4458.2016234.jYIe74


 

 


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