Carladenise Edwards 300 x 294

Dear friends, I am sure your emails, twitters, Facebook, text messages, and other social media platforms are blowing up with blogs, exposes, thoughts, calls to action related to Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon Martin with HoodieMartin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed-race Hispanic, was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place. Following an earlier call from Zimmerman, police arrived within two minutes of a gunshot during a scuffle.

Zimmerman was taken into custody, treated for head injuries, then questioned for five hours, but eventually released under the supposition the shooting was in self-defense. However, six weeks later, amidst what some have described as a “media circus” atmosphere involving accusations of racism, Zimmerman was charged with murder by a new prosecutor.”

 

A call to action

Typically something like this would cause me to blog and use all my social media outlets to express my rage, but I actually feel nothing other than a call for concrete, concerted, measurable action. If you are reading this blog, it is because a friend asked my permission to share my message with a broader audience other than my network of family and friends.

This is not a commentary on the case, but simply the action steps I am taking as a result of the injustice I feel has been done. Please join me in developing your own action steps or simply borrowing mine.

1) I made a decision to sponsor as many young black males looking for employment that I can, by sharing their resumes, coaching and mentoring. I am introducing them to movers and shakers, and providing whatever support I can muster up with my limited resources to help them. Simply loving our children is not enough. We all need to work hard to create an entrée for our young black males to serve as productive members of the diverse, loving world we are all trying to create. Please look for resumes and email introductions in your inbox, so you can help me help them.

2) My husband and I will continue to talk to both of our kids about what it means to be Black in America. We prayed that our kids would not need to get the same lecture we received from our parents about “how to behave around white folks”, but the reality is they do not have the privilege of wearing a hoodie, trying to explain themselves to an authority figure, or assuming that other people know or think they belong in our affluent neighborhood, high end shopping district, or luxury car. We must warn them, prepare them, and protect them from prejudice and racial discrimination.

3) I am in full support of the creation and passage of new laws or reformed laws that will protect Black men and boys from harassment, discrimination, and murder for simply walking, driving, eating, breathing while black.  es, I do mean black men.  We have laws protecting Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, lesbians, Catholics, Jews, but clearly this is not good enough. Our black men are dying, being incarcerated, unemployed, homeless, and we are not doing anything to protect them. Plastic bags and waterways have more protection in Oakland than Black males do! Let’s work together to get laws on the books that make it unconscionable to harass or discriminate against a Black male.

I am prayerful that Trayvon’s death and the death of others, like my younger brother who died at the young age of 27 are not in vain.

Please share and activate!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Carladenise! Definitely sharing. I have felt so helpless in the wake of this tragedy and now I feel like I have some productive action steps! Feel free to send young men my way via LinkedIn. Hope to cross paths again soon, Johanna

  2. This post is right on target. Having as many black men in jail as we do is both wrong and unsustainable. We need to focus on how to give our young black males viable alternatives that are on par with the options the rest of us expect. Thanks for your eloquent essay.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.