The trial of Trayvon Martin gripped the nation. I was travelling to Minneapolis the weekend on which the jury of six women was to announce the decision on the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman. As we heard the announcement on Sunday July 14, 2003, I was stunned and alarmed by the jury’s decision.
During the trial, the recording of the screaming was played in the court. Both mom’s heard the recording of someone asking for help. Zimmerman’s mom said that it was her son. Martin’s mom said that it was her son. The two mothers each stated, under oath, that the recording was their own son. This reminded me of the story of Solomon and the baby. In that story, both mom’s testified that the baby was theirs.
So whose voice was it really? Was it George or was it Trayvon Martin. Perhaps we will never know for sure.
But what we do know is that at the end of the trial, On mother rejoiced as her son was set free, the other mother mourned and suffered that her young boy will not have been vindicated and she will not receive the justice she expected.
As a mother myself of three children, I cannot begin to imagine the pain of Sabrina Fulton. It is difficult to imagine how an innocent unarmed boy be shot in his heart on his way home from the convenience store, in his own neighborhood.
It shocks our sensibilities and changes our perception of the world outside our door. The reality is that it could have been any child. It could have been my child.
My oldest child will soon be fifteen years old. I don’t know how he would react if someone was following him on his way home from a convenience store. Would he run or ignore him. Would he confront him and defend himself. These are all things that we cannot foresee.
Whatever struggle occurred that night, whomever was yelling for help, all we have, aside from what was said in the courtroom, is one young boy is shot dead and the man who pulled the trigger is set free.
This tragedy no mother should experience. We need to protect all our children. The mistaken perception of others caused by the sub rosa veil of racism, which believes that if the majority of a town or county or state can pass a discriminatory law, it is OK. It is right. It justifies things which our faith denies. The privilege and blindness of the majority take over our way to see justice. We need to recognize that justice is won not simply by being right. Justice is won by either capturing the majority from within, or bringing justice down from our higher temporal power, the Federal courts. For some, that something is too late.
The world does not change if we remain quiet. Women have been movers and changers, the perfect actors in non-violent roles. Women need to stand up for justice and fight for our children by voting and by getting unjust laws changed. For if we don’t fight, who will?
[read also: Free Marissa Alexander]
Grace Ji-Sun Kim is Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University. She is the author of Colonialism, Han and the Transformative Spirit (Palgrave Pivot), The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology (Pilgrim Press).