Five years ago today, a teenage boy went out for a snack but never made it home to his loving family. A grown man took it upon himself to patrol his neighborhood and to shoot dead an unarmed, unassuming boy. Not only did a mother have to bury her young son, but she now watches his killer walk the streets free— free to brag about killing Trayvon, and free to commit more acts of violence.
We need to #TalkAboutTrayvon because, five years later, there are still no consequences when adults wave their guns around at Black and Brown kids. Police continue to mistreat, terrorize, and even murder boys and girls of color, and then walk free. We need to #TalkAboutTrayvon, share pictures of his sweet face, and remind each other what we continue to lose when we uphold a system that won’t punish people who kill Black children and adults. We are not only losing wonderful people—we are losing our humanity.
White communities are used to consciously and unconsciously maintaining the racist policies and practices that led to Trayvon’s death—and, as white people, we must speak out against those policies and practices. When we remain silent and on the sidelines, we are complicit in maintaining these unjust systems. Our work is to get more white people who support us to take action toward racial justice—and to change the hearts and minds of those white people who are not yet with us.
When we #TalkAboutTrayvon, we tell grieving parents that we see them and acknowledge their pain. When we #TalkAboutTrayvon, we tell Black children that we are not afraid of them—we are only afraid they won’t get the bright future they deserve.