R.L. SAUNDERS

writer attempting real life in the middle of everybody else's vacation

Facebook. Where family, politics, and high school behavior collide

Last Sunday I posted information on Facebook about a Trayvon Martin support rally here in Key West. I didn’t even plan on going–I just thought I’d pass along the info in case it would be useful to anybody who wanted to attend.

A couple of my family members responded to the post with things like, “I’m not even going to comment on this one.” Oh, the irony of commenting to say you’re not going to comment. That’s when I realized that, even within my own family, it’s going to be highly political.

I understand why that’s happening, I guess, but I don’t feel much like playing that game. Not even with “lol” at the end of every sentence, as though that absolves us of all accountability.

So here’s how I feel, and then I’ll be done.

I don’t have all the facts. I only know that an unarmed kid–a boy the same age as my son–was pursued and killed. And no matter how many pictures people post on the Internet of this particular kid looking “suspicious” or flipping the bird, I won’t understand what that’s supposed to mean. Do some people’s unarmed kids deserve to be shot more than others? Do some sorts of people have no right to ask very good questions about justice for their dead child?

Really, if a kid acting like a badass thug is a reason people decide he probably deserved to be killed, a whole bunch of our kids better beware. Have you checked just the Facebook activity of your teenagers and their friends lately? Plenty of them act like testosterone-amped asswipes. Some of them have even gotten in trouble at school.

When George Zimmerman caught up with Trayvon Martin, I have no idea what happened, and neither do my relatives who smoke Fox News all day. But if it had been my son who’d been pursued on his way home with his candy and iced-tea, my guess is that he’d have been scared shitless. My guess is that he wouldn’t have been sure whether to run or to yell or to fight back, especially if his pursuer pulled out a gun.

Nope, I just don’t know how my verywhite child would have reacted to being put into that position. But I do feel pretty sure that his killer would’ve been arrested immediately, then given a trial where the facts might be sorted out.

I think what my Fox Family & Friends are missing is that it’s the blatant racism that has already occurred that has people across the nation so concerned–not necessarily a firm belief in what the outcome of a trial ought to be.

You know, when I first heard about the shooting and the subsequent inaction, I felt like we’d been set back a good 60 years. But after experiencing the intense swell of humanity across the nation, I feel like we just may have come further than I ever thought possible in my lifetime.

And I also find comfort in knowing that my family loves me, and that I love them, despite our mutual disdain for each other’s pathetic state of ignorance.

lol.

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