The chairs are lined up perfectly. The grass is freshly cut and beautiful. The decorations are impeccable. It’s time for Trayvon’s wedding. But there’s no Trayvon. There’s no bride. There’s no best man; just rows of empty white chairs on the green grass with no one to fill them.
For Trayvon’s family, there will be no proms, no graduations, and no wedding because a grown man with a gun thought Trayvon was a punk who wasn’t going to get away this time. That grown man followed him and fired a bullet into his chest that brought the teenager’s life to a screeching halt. Does it really matter what happened between the following and the shooting? Does it matter who threw the first punch, or whose screams were on the recording? Trayvon did not create the situation that led to his death (unless buying Skittles and a drink is so punishable). And if he did defend himself, wouldn’t we all have done the same thing if we were being followed on a dark rainy night by an angry silhouette with a gun?
Though the shooter was tragically mistaken, the “good” news was that we could take solace in knowing that the criminal justice system would surely bring Trayvon’s killer to justice, right? WRONG! Instead, the killer’s actions were somehow deemed justified because the situation that he created caused to him “fear” for his own life. I will admit that I did not watch every minute of the trial and I’m not familiar with every piece of evidence. But I don’t have to know all of the evidence to believe that there is something wrong with a system that allowed the killer to walk out of the courthouse a free man.
I can’t say with certainty that Trayvon Martin would have someday put on a Tuxedo with his parents on the front row beaming like parents do at a son’s wedding. But didn’t he deserve the choice? And didn’t his parents deserve more than being tortured by the images of their son’s lifeless body lying in the grass in that Florida subdivision. Instead of front row wedding seats, Trayvon’s parents were presented with prime seats to the Seminole County Courthouse so that the injustice could play out in right front of their eyes. Thank God they were smart enough to pass on those seats when the verdict was rendered.