My son knows he could be Trayvon
Drew Oglesby and his best friend, Slater.
March 20th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

My son knows he could be Trayvon

Editor's Note: Christy Oglesby is the quality assurance manager for CNN/U.S.  She lives in Atlanta with her 13-year old son, Drew.  She wrote this in 2012 when the U.S. Justice Department decided to investigate Trayvon Martin’s death. We're resurfacing this piece in light of  a verdict in the George Zimmerman case. Listen to a CNN Radio interview with Oglesby and her friend, Sandra Bemis, whose son is pictured above.

By Christy Oglesby, CNN

(CNN) - I spend a lot of time gasping. I’m the mother of a boy, a testosterone-poisoned boy. Whether it’s rock climbing or four-story tall cliffs that beg him to jump to the sea, my son just isn’t interested in activities that don’t require me to sign a waiver promising not to sue someone.

I spend a lot of time praying. I have to. My son is black. His race gives me much more to fear than his fearlessness. Today, people are learning that the U.S. Justice Department will investigate Trayvon Martin’s death. That’s the black Florida teenager who was killed by a neighborhood watchman last month.

Trayvon didn’t have a gun. He was just walking home from a convenience store to the home of his dad's fiancee. The neighborhood watch captain said Trayvon looked “suspicious.” George Zimmerman said he shot Trayvon in self defense. I’ve worried about my Drew dying like that since a few days after giving birth to him 13 years ago.

It’s tough finding the balance between encouraging a black boy to storm the world with confidence and at the same time to fear for his life. But that’s what I must do. I know that at this very moment some have just sucked their teeth in disgusted disbelief and decided that I’m exaggerating. I wish that I was. I’m not. If I were, Trayvon would be alive.

There are too many things, big and small, that indicate the world hasn’t changed enough since Emmett Till died in 1955. There’s James Craig Anderson, a black man in Mississippi. A video camera captured white teens running him over in a truck on June 26, 2011 after one of them allegedly said he wanted to “F- with a n-–.”  There’s Sean Bell. There’s Trayvon. And there’s my son.

Christy Oglesby and her son, Drew.

Drew was only 3 when I got confirmation that being black could be the death of him. We were waiting for a connecting flight in a Tennessee airport. Drew was on the floor with his Leap Pad, a small computerized storyteller that developed early reading skills. He had on a navy and white seersucker romper with exquisite smocked trains on his chest. His navy Stride Rite leather sandals didn’t have a scuff on them, and the five-day-old haircut still looked fresh. He was the personification of perfection… at least to me.

A little white girl who looked about 2 and a half trotted over and plopped down on the floor next to him. Drew was just about to slide half of the toy onto her lap so they could “read” together when her older sister charged over. I’m guessing she was 6.  “Come back here!” she yelled. As she pulled her sister up off the floor by the arm, she explained loudly, “Don’t play with him! He’s dirty and dangerous!”  My child was neither. It didn’t matter. He’s black. For some people, that’s synonymous with “threat.” If that weren’t true, Trayvon would be alive.

I’ve repeated the details of that incident to my son several times in the past ten years. I’m convinced that his very life depends on knowing that story even if he can’t remember it. I hadn’t told my son the “airport story” since Cambridge cops arrested Skip Gates. I had to remind my son that the right neighborhood and the Yale degree he hopes to earn won’t be enough to protect him. Trayvon’s death forces me to revisit what happened when he tried to read to that little white girl.

Maybe I shouldn’t keep reminding Drew about the risks that come with being black and male in America. It’s just the best that I can do under the circumstances. That story is a part of the “tool kit” I’ve cobbled together to help him stay alive. It’s as important as my “proverbs.” That’s what my son calls my pithy reminders of how he should dress, act, speak and respond to authority. He’s committed most of them to memory.

“Ann is a woman, not a conjunction.” “Make inside voice your choice.” “Disobedience is dangerous.” And of course, “You must always look like a prospect, not a suspect.” The latter one shakes my core.  Drew and Trayvon have a similar look. Their coloring, eyebrows, smile, face shape and hair cuts are just too eerily similar for me. And I see that looking decent doesn’t trump being black. If it did, Trayvon would be alive.

Today I read about Trayvon trying his best not to run when he thought Zimmerman was hounding him. A friend says she was on the phone with Trayvon before he died, and that’s the account she gives. I don’t know Trayvon’s momma. But it seems she likely had the same proverb for her son that I had for mine. “Never run in a neighborhood.”

My son broke that rule when he was 7. He was Scouting for Food with the Cub Scouts on a service project in Buckhead, a posh McMansion neighborhood in Atlanta. Before I could stop him, he was running across the lawn of a mansion with the other little boys in blue uniforms. My scream stopped him in his tracks. I wasn’t so scared about him running just then. I was terrified that he’d forgotten the rules. I was terrified that he’d be with his white friends eight years from then and think he could run.

My ex-husband is 6 feet 2 inches. Drew’s half-brother is 6 feet 4 inches. My child’s only 12 and already 5 feet 5 inches. He’s black. He’s male. He’s going to be big. That’s just too much for my heart to handle. We had the talk again. “I know. I know, mom. I can’t run because I’m black.” I know America is the land of liberty, but my child has to understand he’s just free-ish.

Thankfully, I have a few more years before Drew begins to drive. I don’t want him to become another Troy Lawrence Jr. He’s a young, black, honor roll student from my hometown. Jefferson Parish deputies stopped him for speeding several years ago. Within the hour, his face was swollen, black and blue. Just about the time I begin teaching Drew how to parallel park, I’ll have to explain how to respond to a traffic stop. I’ll add Troy’s story to the tool kit.

Drew’s not bowed by fear at all. When he was 8, I told him that he needed to choose the scripture that would guide his life. My daredevil boy chose Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He’s diligent about heeding my proverbs and exercising self-control. He knows that his manners, diction, hair style, clothing choices and education will help curtail some assumptions about him, but not all. He knows that he could be Trayvon. He’s still shocked that Zimmerman is not in jail.

In spite of my fears, I see reasons to be hopeful. I caught a beautiful glimpse just this weekend. My son’s Boy Scout troop camped on a family’s farm, and the moms had shunned nature for the comforts of the main house on the property. Through a kitchen window, I saw my son walking up the hill toward the house with a boy who has been his buddy since kindergarten. They share a secret handshake. Like so many other times in their lives, they had thrown an arm across the other’s shoulder, and there wasn’t enough space between their torsos to slide a blade of grass.

The genuine affection between long-time friends was evident. I don’t know what they were talking about, but they looked happy. They both looked free. I knew Drew didn’t see a white face, and his partner didn’t see a threat. Each saw a friend. That didn’t make me less scared for my son. I won’t stop warning him of risks. I’ll just make sure that moment with his buddy makes it into the tool kit.

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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • Ethnicity • Gender • Race • What we think
soundoff (1,376 Responses)
  1. Gambi

    Your article was an eye opener and it's heartbreaking to look through your eyes and see what a mother of a black male child must do to raise her son to know the danger he may face only because he is black. I pray for the day you or any other mother of a black male child will no longer have to instruct their children to be fearful. What happened to Trayvon was terrible and it speaks of how far we still have to go to wipe out the stereotypes and the racism that still cripples this country. Thank you for your honest and compelling article and as a mother of a son my heart goes out to you.


    March 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ralph

    If Trayvon appeared to be headed for the back entrance, as Zimmerman clearly told the dispatcher, and his had not done anything criminal, why did Zimmerman still feel the need to stop him? He had no right to stop anyone unless he was making a citizens arrest . That's sufficient probable cause the Special Prosecutor needs to charge him for killing Trayvon..

    March 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ruth

    You have to start by taking the hoodies.off...both white and black kids ,no matter the race,you want to look like a gangsta you will be seen as one,pick up your pants and dress like you should,this child Drew is dressed right and his Mother must have taught him well....I read where Trayvon was suspended from school that is why he was visiting his Father,what was he suspeded for?....no matter why ,he did not deserve to die....I feel for this Mothe r and Father!

    March 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      He was suspended for being late to school one too many times.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sherry

    I am white, I was never taught growing up to be racist. My children (now adults) were not taught to be racist. It needs to stop and we need a generation that won't stand for it.

    March 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Just because racists (Sharpton, jackson, etc) call something racist...doesnt make it racist

      March 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fcarr

    Boy's are not "poisoned" by testosterone, anymore than girls are "poisoned" by Estrogen. The "Stand Your Ground" laws are terribly flawed, need to be revisited and CHANGED. Trayvon Martin should be alive today but because of someone overstepped the intent of the law he is gone. Profiling of any kind is inappropriate and has no place in this country today.

    March 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alicia

    No offense, but it's mothers like this that add fuel to a fire that isn't there. Trayvon was killed and Zimmerman should go to jail but I don't think the outcome would have been different if Trayvon had been white. Zimmerman was one of those people who let things go to his head, he was a "cop" in his head and he was looking for something that wasn't happening. Race had nothing to do with it but people LOVE to make it out of race, they really do.

    March 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • drew

      i am not angry, but saddened about your statement. for it is obvious,you are not a black male.and you don`t know , nor will you ever know, what i , a now 53yr old man,and other, black men, still has to endure, or the situations i still have to be wary of and avoid. No amount of explaining, would make you understand.THAT I – WE ARE SUBJECTED TO OUTRIGHT AND SUBTLE FORMS OF RACISM AND BIAS ON A DAILY BASIS.

      March 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • ed

        The answer is simple. All black parents must take a drive with their teenage boys to the gunshop and purchase like they will a video game a gun. Take them to the gun range and properly instruct them on how to use it. This will help them "stand their ground" when accosted by vigilantes like zimmerman. Dont worry about the laws, use it to your advantage and stop whinning

        March 25, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      White denial of racial bias is a steadfast charateristic of this nations tumultuous racial history. For those who deny what happpened was not racism, you're ignorance is showing. .

      March 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Concerned Citizen

        For those who cry RACISM without knowing the facts are truely the ignorant ones.

        March 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BoomStick

    To be fair, your son could also end up like Joseph Kony. Think about that for a second here.
    Joseph Kony: If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon Martin

    March 24, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. equalrights

    I belive in EQUAL rights, not, more rights for minorities.I do very much belive that if this all happened the way it sounds,that they should stick it to this guy. BUT, I also belive that we are hearing A LOT more about this than we did about the two black guys that alledgedly poured gas on the white guy in Kansas city and set him on fire. Do you not agree?

    March 24, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • alice

      I do agree with you. It's a shame but then again who really knows what happened.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • zen035

      @equalrights...I agree that we haven't heard much about white teen you mentioned who was set on fire. I just looked it up to find out more. The teens who committed that crime need to go to jail. There is no doubt about that. But you also don't hear people claiming, like they are on this post, that the teens were justified in setting the other teen on fire. That their actions are justified and excused. That the perpetrators were defending themselves. See the difference?

      For hundreds of years in this country white men (or whitish men) could kill innocent black people with impunity. Nothing was investigated. No one was arrested. No one cared except the families of the people killed. So in an era that lots of people are lulled into thinking we are "post-racial" as a society or that minorities have equal rights with whites (perhaps on paper but nowhere else), people of all colors have risen up to bring this case to light and say we will not stand for "business as usual" anymore.

      It's not just the prejudice on the side of Zimmerman, but that the law would collaborate with him to try to get him off. That people would say wearing a hoodie in the rain or resisting an armed stranger with no authority justified being murdered. That the Sanford police wouldn't investigate fully. THAT is what people are upset about.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Ralph

        Where you going with this? Trayvon did not commit any crime unless walking while Black in a White neighborhood is still a criminal offense in Flordia..

        March 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • zen035

        I think you may have meant to respond to @equalrights, but I think s/he was comparing Trayvon to the white teem who was burned. Neither committed a crime.

        March 24, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Forthetrue

    For God’s sake, I want to see a Zimmerman’s pictures when he was 4 months old and 12 years old, and Trayvon’s picture when he was 17! And I will like to know if any of them has criminal record. Without knowing the true facts, we are playing emotional politics only. A total waste of our precious time! Media’s way! And by the way, I am not racist!

    March 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caravelle

      For someone obsessed with having the "true facts" you don't seem very motivated to look them up yourself. We do know about their criminal records. Zimmerman had one, Martin didn't.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
      • maryl1

        George Zimmerman's picture was from 2005.

        March 24, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Justthinkin..

    A very interesting peice, although on small point bothers me. The airport story. In a large way this mother has allowed this occurrence to shape her views and the way she shapes her sons views, but in reading the story there is just as much chance that this little girl had been taught to avoid strangers and not to play on the floor. It was a six year old girl and the mother/author has no proof but her own bias (as based in her own experience as they may be) that this was racism. She decided that the six year old girl was a racist, and that is just as unhealthy and bigoted as the way she sees it.....lBUT what causes this kind of assumed reaction, what kind of racial hell has this woman had to live through to make her , frankly , so jaded. I was very moved by the peice and thought it was very well written and an eye opener please don't get me wronge.....that one point just stood out for me (especially after she said she repeatedly told the story to her son) and I wanted to mention my thoughts. Have a nice day everyone! Canada says howdy!

    March 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal Jones

      I was thinking the same thing, it almost makes it sound like, that made her racist? I dunno. Maybe Im assuming.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Buh

    These 'trayvon' type of events are statistically insignificant, just like highly publicized kidnappings and various other things that happen to children.

    Just teach your kids to have their wits about them and don't let them run loose in the middle of the night... worrying isn't going to help them any more than urging you to do that.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • freethinker

      Thinking that probably makes it easier for you to sleep at night, but those of us who have brown skin KNOW that is not the case. Perhaps not every case ends in death, but enough do, and others end in injury or humiliation and resignation.

      I have lived in at least two cities on each coast and one city in the Midwest and I have family in the South. All of my friends and family with brown skin (black and Latino) have had the experience of being stopped and questioned by police while walking and driving, even when registration was in order, and all traffic laws and speed limits were being obeyed. (That is statistically significant since now we are all upstanding citizens in leadership positions in business, law, the arts, politics, and public sector across the country nationally and internationally as well.) My high school friend drove her parents' third car and was always stopped by police with frivolous questions about the cost of the car and the horsepower (never got any tickets mind you). The police always left her alone when she told them both her parents were lawyers. When I was in college I was stopped while walking with friends to stock up the snacks we would need to continue studying through the night. This was something our white peers did with no issue, but police stopped us and questioned us about where we were going and where we were coming from and called in to see if any crimes had been reported by a group fitting our description? Yes because Ivy League students commit crimes in their off hours, or possibly because they didn't actually believe we were students. This is to say nothing of the Asian and white storekeepers who followed us around from aisle to aisle and the white women young and old who held their purses tight, waited for the next elevator, crossed the streets, and jumped in their cars, locked the doors and looked at us with utter terror in their eyes. Some of my friends, especially the males, were pulled over at gunpoint for doing nothing wrong. At gunpoint!! Any quick movement could have had ended their lives as quickly as Trayvon's was ended. My friend's brother WAS killed by overzealous police; he was shot (murdered) while he was laying on the ground with his hands and leg spread per their instructions. Police shot at my own cousin – my mother's sister's son – while he was driving away from a house he had just checked on and secured for a showing the next morning. The cops assumed he was a drug dealer because he drove a nice car (don't most people in real estate?) and shot through his windshield BEFORE turning on their sirens and headlights. It sounds so ridiculous that I don't blame you if you don't believe it; but it's the truth. When they found no drugs in his car, they said he was trying to evade the officers. Witness accounts debunked that story and after changing stories several more times they dropped the charges, leaving my cousin terrified and humiliated. It is really tough being young in this society with brown skin. You can claim statistical insignificance all you want, but that means nothing when your child comes home and tell you what hell they experience out in the ugly world...simply for having melanin.

      March 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker is right

        I believe each and every word here. As a white woman working in a predominantly black neighborhood, manned with white cops, I saw instances of this ALL. THE. TIME. I worked with black families, and was asked if "I was okay" if chatting with a black teenage boy outside on the porch. We were talking, he wasn't doing anything remotely aggressive. One of my best friends, who is black, (sorry to fulfill the stereotype of having a really good black friend) has had his motives questioned when out with me. Because I am white, not because anyone was doing anything inappropriate.

        This kind of behavior disgusts me. I try to fight it by speaking up when racist remarks are made in my presence, treat others fairly regardless of what they look like, and by raising my daughter to do the same. It may not be much, but I am trying.

        July 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. citizen1

    "Food for Thought"
    Let us look at violent behavior in the USA, our sence of self protection (example: The stand Your Ground Law). We need guns to protect ourselves. Now, lets look at this on a global scale. We (USA) desire nations expecially in the middle east to not develop weapons of mass destruction.
    The nations who has a desire to develop these weapons can use the same arguement as "The Stand Your Ground Law" Trust the USA as the symbol of good as we trust the police in Sanford, Flordia as a symbol of good a n justice.
    I believe that leaders and individual in other countries are look at the USA with a critical eye.
    I see the pratice of do as I say not as I do, which is a double standard.
    The stand your ground law is a very poor and short sighted law. We (USA) can not stand as a leader on nations when we have such laws.
    I don't own a weapon and have no desire. I trust the legal system in this country to keep me and my family safe. Its not perfect but I believe my actions are an example to other nations. The stand your ground law is a poor example for peace. Shoot and ask question later. We as a nation owe this to Trayvon Martin and all of our children.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • liveevil

      i understand what you are saying...however... i do not agree if someone is going to kill my family i would not hesitate for a second to blow them away... if its me or them i wont go with out giving them some lead to remember me by...now as for Zimmerman... i believe he acted on fear and racial profiling and with the police phone call he was told to stand down... he has ruined this for us (americans) and deserves to be punished a few months ago an 18 year old mother of an infant killed a man that was going to harm her and her child and she was considered a hero for doing what had to be done to protect herself... zimmerman took matters into his own hands and deserves to be put away for murder

      March 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Daryl

    Why are all the pictures when he was like 12 or 13 years old. A 12 year old was not shot. This was someone older and my not even look this way anymore. I would like to see a current photo. Or start showing out dated photo's of the shooter as well when he was 12.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      So...your point is that if these photos are outdated and he looks a little older, it's okay to shoot him in the chest while he is unarmed and on the ground crying and begging for his life like we heard on the 911 tapes?

      March 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Copescorner

        He was not laying on the ground, Zimmerman was. It is clear that he was on top according to police on scene. And it is entirely possible this boy is full grown man size at 17, not a harmless lkittle boy. This is tragic, but not a race issue. Call it what it is and quit being the puppet for people like the Rev.

        March 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        Witnesses have said differently and they also said that the police did not fully take their statements (only the ones that corroborated Zimmerman's story). This is what blew the case wide open....witnesses going directly to the media because the police were not adding their accounts to the record and/or changed some of their accounts. (The Sanford Police Dept has a history of not exactly being objective with these issues. See the case of the lieutenant's son who sucker punched a black homeless man and the police initially did not arrest him until community pressure forced them to do so. Sound familiar?)

        March 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        According to witnesses they both were on the ground at different points. Only Zimmerman was armed. Surely after stalking and accosting Trayvon (who had no reason NOT to react in fear to a stranger with no authority doing this - if Stand Your Ground Laws apply to anyone in this case it should be him) and finding himself on the losing end of whatever scuffle, Zimmerman surely could have pulled out the gun and held him at gunpoint until the cops arrived.

        People have asked what would have happened if Trayvon were white....let's think about if he were female. A female is walking down the street. A guy follows her in his car. Gets out of the car and chases her on foot and catches up to her. How should the female respond? Invite him to have an evening stroll with her? She would probably look to run and/or fight him enough to get away. (It's what you would tell your wife, sister or daughter to do because god only knows what would happen if she complied.) So let's say she runs a bit and can't get away, so she fights and actually gets the upper hand at some point. Then the guys pulls out a gun and kills her claiming self-defense? Funny how the story looks really absurd when you change one variable.

        March 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Copescorner


      March 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yeshi Gemaneh

    I too have a grandson who is African-American there is nothing one can do except pray and overcome this horrific tragedy. I think everyone’s mind would rattle when this ugly concept of color would abolish from this great country. This is a country with full of opportunities and there will be enough share for everybody if they just live according to the rules and regulations. The victoms parents shade their tears and it will not remain in vain.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 4commonsensenow

    You know, if you watch the children at a young age playing with each other, there is no racism. Racism is taught to children when they seek answers and the adults only out from ignorance is Racism.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  16. mstew

    Thank you for your story – I am a mother – a white mother – and I can understand your fear – it's so hard to be just a mother, with all kinds of worry for your child, but when you are also a minority it only adds another dimension. To readers who say this is not a story about race, puleezeee -spare us all. It is so heart breaking – his parents will never be the same. And this young man has lost his life before he could barely begin it. I pray his parents find the strength to endure what lies ahead for them. Do not let these evil, sorry excuses for human beings win. Rise above them –

    March 23, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  17. Ratloz

    God help us all. 🙁

    March 23, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  18. geeky

    Doesn't the author see that by instilling her own fears of violence in her son, she is just as guilty of escalating racial tensions as the parents of the 6 year old girl who was apparently told blacks are "dirty and dangerous"? Does she think Trayvon was taught to mistrust white people? And if so, to what degree did that mistrust affect his reactions to being questioned? And to what degree did his reaction contribute to the escalation of the situation?

    March 23, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Kidada

      Are you really listening to what she's saying? Do you really understand why she's doing it? Racism is a reality in our country.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      @Geeky, this case and many others prove that "her own fears" as you call them are a reality. Funny that you aren't upset that there are racist people who would steal life from a child just for his skin color, but you are upset that a mother would dare to warn her child of this and encourage him to act in ways that might keep him safe. Your POV is simply not logical.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
      • geeky

        just asking the question...to what degree does instilling innate fear in children perpetuate the tension between races?

        March 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      And actually if you go back and read the article carefully for comprehension you will see that she is instructing her son NOT to act in ways that your children can take for granted (running through a neighborhood without someone assuming you committed a crime and are trying to get away...it only takes once for that assumption to kill you). She is instructing him NOT to react the way a typical person might upon being stopped, stalked, or harassed unfairly, because doing so can escalate the situation and she knows her son likely won't get the benefit of the doubt because he is black. Even though Trayvon was a top student, well-liked, well-mannered, unarmed and just going to get some skittles, lots of people (even on this post) are saying well Trayvon was wearing a hoodie or he was 6'3 or he may have resisted being stalked and accosted by a stranger with no authority (like you probably would)... as if any of that is an excuse for murder. So you can see why a mother would teach her child with brown skin these things. No all whites are not racist. But it only takes running into one and making him jumpy to have your child not come at night or ever again.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        that was supposed to read "come home at night or ever again".

        March 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Geeky, I am a mother of an 23 year old African-American male and unless you have walked in these shoes, there are certain things that you "just won't ever get." It's obvious by the picture of the author's son and his best friend, she is not instilling this type of distrust that you mentioned. I'm also one of those mothers who had to "prep" my son about the dangers of wearing certain types of clothing or walking with his hands in his pocket. This was done out of being a concerned, proactive, street-smart and book-smart mother. It wasn't done to make him distrust anyone. As sad as it sounds, this is the reality of what some of us good parents who are scared for our children, have to go through to prolong our son's lives.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • geeky

        I'm not at all saying the fear isn't justified, but can it be part of the reason these tensions still exist?

        March 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • zen035

        Zimmerman's fear was the source of the racial tension in this case. Zimmerman was afraid of Trayvon because he was black and assumed he had criminal intentions. It does not appear that Trayvon was afraid of Zimmerman because of his skin color but rather because of his actions, because he stalked and chased him and then accosted him. Most of us would be afraid in that situation no matter the race of the perpetrator. The author is teaching her son about the fear of people like Zimmerman and how to put them more at ease, if that is at all possible. So can the fear be part of the tension? Yes, fear is the source of the tension. But are the author's teachings instilling fear? No, they are teaching awareness of that the fear exists and how to behave appropriately in the face of said fear.

        I can understand that the knowledge of the extra teachings that black people give to their children can be astounding and surprising to non-blacks, but that doesn't make them unnecessary. It is a part of learning to survive, like learning to look both ways before you cross the street or stop, drop and roll if you find yourself on fire. It used to be that blacks taught their children not to look white people in the eye and to step off the sidewalk to let whites pass as not doing so would appear to be a challenge of authority or "alpha dog-ness" and could result in injury or death. Those teachings have evolved with the times to address the situations that blacks regularly find themselves in in this day and era.

        March 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Copescorner

      @geeky.....That was also my first response on reading the article. After thinking about it, I wonder how many times the thought ran through my mind if the way a young person spoke, looked, or acted when in public. I beleive there is room for her point of view and your question. He needs to be made aware of threats to him in his environment. I have made my children aware of the same. White or black is not the issue. If you lived by the bayou with alligators, would you not feel like warning your child about this danger is prudent and needed? Whithout judgement on white or black, a child learns dangers from parents (hopefully) and avoids these situations. Maybe her warnings will be just enough to keep him from appearing as a threat and keep him safe....as parents, that is all we can ask, to know we are doing our best!

      March 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        Copescorner, thank you. You made some very good points. Teaching people not to leave their personal property exposed in cars doesn't create tension among thieves so I'm not sure how teaching our black youth to be careful creates racial tension.

        March 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Paul

        I must say that this is the most astute and civil discusssion on this very painful and sobering matter, I have seen thus far. It is a relief to know that cooler minds can and do out of necessity) prevail.

        March 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        @Copescorner, that's more than fair. Thank you for taking the time to think about it and being flexible enough to change your mind.

        March 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  19. joderito

    As a person who focused on race and ethnic relations in school, what you say rings true to me and makes my heart so heavy.

    But being a white mommy of two children, nothing in my own experiences could have prepared me for your comment "the same proverb for her son that I had for mine. “Never run in a neighborhood.” I never even gave thought to my own children's white privilege of freedom to run in a neighborhood. I am floored and could cry right now for children who can't run freely. Thank you for this article.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Kidada

      I appreciate your truthfulness and allowing yourself to have that Aha! moment.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Thank you for sharing that Joderito.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  20. Nandiflame

    A terrifying, terrible conversation thread. A portrait of a fearful country in the throes of too many unspoken terrors, and mostly the terror of each other, the terror of human difference, the terror of human fragility and brokenness. From distant shores of our own far away lands, eavesdropping on this conversations only creates questions, and a sudden realisation that the greatness of a nation has absolutely nothing to do with military or economic might, and everything to do with its capacity for simple human beingness, the capacity to recognise the gamut of being human without breaking it down into absurd and composite parts such as the shade and colour of a soul's skin. To the brokenhearted–so sorry, hope transcendence and wisdom touches your hearts and heals it.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  21. ScottD

    Christy Oglesby, are you aware that your son would be far more likely to be the victim of black on black crime? I was also very sad to hear about Trayvon who was murdered by that an Hispanic.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      George Zimmerman is whit by race and Hispanic by ethnicity (and even that is mixed – his father is white, his mother is Peruvian). Check your census forms or anything else that asks for race and ethnicity and educate yourself.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Crazy Lady

        Yeah, so are many of Middle Eastern origin, but does that change how they're treated by WASPs on the basis of their ethnicity?

        Look at George Zimmerman's mug shot. Look at his nose. Look at his eyes. Look at the shape of his face. Look at the apparent texture of his hair. No one who looks like that gets reliably treated as "white" by Anglos. That's just not how it works.

        I saw the guy's mug shot and thought, "Hispanic," before I read a single article mentioning that.

        The fact that every black commentator I've seen has not acknowledged (or maybe, not realized) this, is starting to make me think it is one of the sources of tension between black and Hispanic communities. (And yeah I'm talking ethnic communities. Of course there are racially black Hispanics, but they aren't part of the 'raised black' culture in the US.)

        YOU may not judge people based on their facial features, but most WASPS DO.

        Just ask someone who, as the old timers say, "has the map of Israel all over his face."

        Guys who look like Zimmerman have occasional "passing privilege." They are in a different situation than those who don't. But honestly Zimmerman is the least passingest guy with "passing privilege" I have ever seen. He is *seriously less "passing" than Walter Francis White.* Unlike White, Zimmerman wouldn't pass around any Anglo I've ever known. Did he pass with these cops? Apparently so. Is he a guy who can regularly pass? There's just. no. way. He has very precarious passing privilege and that's it. Denying that is giving yourself a false impression of reality.

        OK I've said it enough times. If you still can't see/acknowledge it after this, well, I tried.

        March 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        A lot of Italians look like that.

        March 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • silverlake

        Peru is in South America not the Middle East...

        March 24, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Crazy Lady

        Freethinker, the features aren't quite the same. When I first saw Zimmerman, I'd been told he was "white," so I was biased to perceive a white guy...but still I didn't think "Italian," I thought "Hispanic." Seriously, I saw the photo and went, "...I thought they said he was white–but that guy looks Hispanic!"

        silverlake, learn to read. Middle Easterners are officially white yet not treated as white, and so are some "white Hispanics."

        Zimmerman isn't a "white Hispanic" just because his skin is relatively pale. Actual "white Hispanics" (who because of their skin color *and features* get treated as white): Joan Baez, Cameron Diaz, Frankie Muniz, etc. Zimmerman? No.

        I still think Zimmerman seems like a guy who decided he "wasn't gonna take it anymore" and took it out on an innocent, though. I equate him with Trevor Dooley, who's been charged with manslaughter. Zimmerman should be too. I think the reason he wasn't, and Dooley was, isn't so much that they want to protect a "white" attacker as that they don't care about a black victim the way they care about Dooley's white victim.

        March 26, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  22. Kirsten


    March 22, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Betsy Ross

    I will bet that this incident occurred primarily because of the mentality that rules in those HOA guarded communities...and those Stand Your Ground laws need a great deal of work when they were meant with protecting your own home and property – rather than the "community" property. This kid was merely walking through the development, and this guy had been trained living in one of those communities that he also had a duty to protect the community...rather than calling for the police to so do which he did, but ignored the advised given to NOT FOLLOW THE KID. He had the legal right to protect his own property, but other than a police officer, or paid security officer, had no right to harass and then eventually shoot that kid who I'm sure felt threatened by this testosterone driven adult male.

    So tragic, but why it is the police who are now being condemned, haven't a clue. When it should be the citizens of Florida, and that unclear Stand Your Ground law that contributed to this man who felt he had the duty and authority to engage in his illegal behavior. If the kid had been hanging around his own home is one thing – these HOA guarded communities are a cesspool of paranoia, as one who formerly lived in one can attest!

    March 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • maryl1

      Because they made no effort to investigate, didn't impound the weapon or take complete witness statements. Trayvon lay in the morgue with a "john Doe' tag on his toe for two or three days before his parent were informed because no one bothered to check his phone.

      March 24, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • NOvascotian

      Was Zimmerman part of a HOA vigllante that he was able to pass? Just thinking.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  24. Kidada

    I think one of the main problems with discussions that deal with race in this country is that when someone is relating how they feel it's common place for people to lash out, dismiss, or excuse whatever the action is the person is talking about. I would never say that the American experience is the same for all black people. I'm sure you will certainly find some black people who will say they've never experienced racism in the US(I've never met 1). But I can tell you from what I've experienced myself personally and from the conversations I've had through my entire life with black people that there is still an undercurrent of racism in our country that we ignore and try to hide. Electing Obama was a huge step but we have a long way to go. We still live in a divided America. Instead of arguing with this woman about what she's teaching her child please realize that A LOT of black people are teaching their child how to handle themselves in white America. Black people have done this for as long as we've been on this continent. 60 years ago black parents were teaching black boys not to wink or whistle at white women (remember Emmet Till). It's not a far stretch to believe that black parents are still teaching their children how to protect themselves in a white world but maybe in a modern context. I will say though that I've seen just as many white people angry about this case in support of Trayvons family as I've seen black and that is heartwarming to see. We haven't given up hope for a undivided America.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Jose is an Ignorant racist

    I am pueto rican and have been discriminated against by whites so I don't know why you are acting racist against blacks I lived in huntsville alabama for years now live in miami and it disgusted me to see how many racist hispanics lk live here I was in shock cause in alabama the blacks and hispanics stick together cause we are the minorities. I misssiipi a bunch of racist whites were yelling racial slurs to puerto ricans. Trayvon didn't deserve to die! you racist HIspanic! what's sad is that I can guareentee you being hispanics that you have African Ancestry running through your veins! where you think we get our food and culture from as hispanics! I have friends who are Haitian and our food is soo similar cause of our african ancestory! I hope one day you experience racism and being judged for being hispanic!

    March 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • drew


      March 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        Drew, all I could do is laugh at your posting...in a good way. I couldn't have said it better myself. Jose thinks just because he has "arrived" he is anything else but what he really is. It seems like someone needs a reality check.

        March 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  26. linda

    All I have to say is that if you are the parent of an African/African American son here in the United States....please keep your son's close. They are trying to kill our sons dead for NO reason! Black Men rise up and begin to protect you son's, daughters, mothers...we need you to protect us from these animals that are trying to make sure that they erradicate our very existence.

    The ironic thing is that Black Man/Woman has every right to become angry; and maybe this is why they try to lock them up or kill them every chance that they get. When you know that you have done wrong...you know your time is coming.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Sane Person

    Jose, it would probably be wise for you to not make any comments anymore. There really is no reason to believe that Zimmerman had any right to do what he did. The more and more you post, the more and more ignorant you make yourself look. Zimmerman's "job" was not to shoot or attack anyone. I'm not sure what kind of neighborhood watch you have been around, but it is not their job to kill people because they think that person is doing something wrong. It is also completely ignorant to downplay this situation by blaming it on 4 black men that burglarized some homes. You are one of the reasons why truly non-racist people can never be taken seriously. Also, if you would actually like to be taken seriously, try learning how to spell, use correct grammar, and not write in all caps.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  28. ppto

    The love for your son shows in your article. I am the mother of two bi-racial young boys (white/Hispanic) and while my oldest is very white with blond hair and blue eyes, my youngest looks Hispanic like me. I secretly worry about how different their life experiences will be...

    March 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda

      @ppt...as the of an African American Son....all I can is make sure you keep them close. I am constantly reminded about how unfair this country is. My son has been arrested twice for unethical reasons. The united states is the most racist country on this planet earth.

      March 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Elle

        That's not true. Compared to the rest of the world, we're a beacon of ethical hope. Do we still have serious, heartbreaking problems with racism? Yes. The big difference is that here we have guns that downright crazy and hateful people (like Zimmerman) can get their hands on legally. But before you claim we're the most racist country in the world, do some research. We're one of the least. Seriously, this is a global epidemic.

        March 23, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Maire

        "the united states is the most racist country on planet earth" Spoken like a true self-righteous American. Let me guess . . . you don't have a passport either.

        March 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  29. JusticeforTrayvon

    I am very saddened by what transpired between Trayvon and Zimmeman...It pains my heart to see that nothing is being done about the life that has been taken. This was a promising young man. I don't have a child of my own, at least not yet, but it scares the hell out of me knowing that this could be my son in the next couple of years going through a community where the colour of one skin matters. Why do people have to be so prejudice just because of the colour of someone else's skin? Your skin colour doesn't define who you are as a person but who are inside is whats count. STOP JUDGING BY THE COLOUR OF THEIR SKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  30. GENESIS1825

    The year was 1977 and we were living in Prince Georges County Maryland (Chillum Heights, MD) and Terrance Johnson a young black boy was in custody and then someone he killed 2 white male officers during some scuffle. Anyone who lived in the area know of this story. I remember my mother (I am the product of a single parent home – dad walked out...you know...blah blah blah) telling and forbidding me from being outside at night for fear or retaliation from PGPD. Back then the cops had THE PERFECT EXCUSE to shoot first and ask questions later. Here we are today and the Trayvon tragedy brought back such memories. Black boys/men who lived in that area were tortured and even killed as a result of Terrance Johnson acts. Fast forward to today, I live in Atlanta, I am now 42, married and I have a daughter and son. It is my job to try and do the very best I can to protect and protect and protect (get the point) both my kids. But for a black male, it is different – and you know why. I can only hope that God reveals himself in this awful situation and right the wrong done with his JUSTICE. We each say the pledge of allegiance and the "and justice for all" statement. Trayvon and his family needs this more than ever.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  31. cynthia

    I spent my early years in the US military working in a position of trust. The majority of my time, I was in Turkey and was struck by the relative sense of freedom that I enjoyed while stationed there. I was never once followed in stores, in fact store owners would offer me a seat, bring me chai (tea) and lamajune as I looked at potential carpets to purchase. It was down right refreshing.

    After I returned to the United States to finish my military obligation, I was struck by how much living here felt like putting on an old, heavy, uncomfortable coat - one that I had worn my entire life, but had somehow grown unaccustomed to while stationed overseas. Once again I was followed in stores and presumed guilty of things I would never even think of doing. I saw how some would react with hostility to my mere presence. Trayvon Martin's story reminds that there are indeed rules of comportment for blacks in this country - I just wish the price for breaking them weren't so high.

    March 22, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rosalind

      My son who is 30 forwarded me this story. It reminded him of all I had taught him growing up and reiterate even now. When he started driving my car in High school, I told him that if anyone attempted to hijack him to get out the car and hand over the keys without resistance; to always remember that the policeman has the gun and say as little as possible. He is much more precious than any car for I can always get another car. My Mercedes even now, he is not allowed to drive unless I am with him. He still looks young and I can't take a chance that the car might cause an altercation with the police or with some thief. I pray daily for his safety as any Christian mother does. One of my white business associates could not understand my stance about the car. Her son is younger than mine and she gave him her older Mercedes to drive as his own. Even with all the "education" we give to our black sons, there is no guarantee that some racists or paranoid individual won't hurt them or end their lives without a second thought. My heart goes out to the Martins. Another quick thought, my son's best friend from childhood is white. If someone tried to hurt my son, I have no doubt that he would be right there defending him as best he could. So I pray for him too. I love him like he is my son too.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Maire

      They treated you that way in Turkey because you were in an American uniform. If it's a stranger passing through people don't care what you look like–the American dollar is just as green in the hands of a black man. Now if you had tried to settle in, gain Turkish citizenship, and marry one of their daughters, the scales would have fallen from your eyes . . . believe me. We have seen this happen time and again, countries with no black communities of their own are tickled pink to have a black celebrity in town. But once large numbers of blacks actually start settling permanently, it's a different story, the difference between night and day. Just look at France, the rest of Europe, Hong Kong: they love the black man as a "novelty," and once he wants to claim his rights as equal citizen, suddenly the honeymoon is over with and forgotten.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Michelle

    As a parent, it breaks my heart to hear that a child was harmed by an adult who was being stupid. I feel so sad and angry about Trayvon's death and the fact that his murderer is roaming free. My skin is white but my oldest son passes for Native American or Latin and he is often profiled in a negative manner and when he got his drivers license my husband was afraid for me to allow him to drive for fear someone would think he carjacked me because of how dark he gets in the summer. This is nothing in comparison to what blacks, or anyone with a dark skin complexion has to endure, and I can only imagine how scary it must be everyday to allow your child to go out side your home. I detest racism, and I hate that if you are a certain color, race, or religion that you have to be above and beyond 'good' to succeed or even to live a safe life. I try to teach my children that judging someone by their looks is not appropriate, I'm far from perfect though...and I too need to be better about judging someone. This situation though is heartbreaking and could have easily been avoided had the adult listened to what the authorities were telling him. He however, thought he was above the law and went out that night with purposefully seeking trouble. How sad that a life was cut so short. Rest in peace Trayvon.

    March 22, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  33. Tatiana

    It's almost a crime to be white a proud. You'll be accused of being a white supremacist.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • D Runn

      No one is calling you anything. Just listen damnet!!!!! White people always try to dart out in front of the conversation to prove they aren't racist. We don't really care if you're racist or not because we can't really prove it in the first place. All black people want you to do is just LISTEN!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
      • JustanotherMom

        I'm listening. Lots of us are.

        March 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sane Person

        So it is okay for black people to assume that white people are racist, but it is not okay to tell you that you are wrong and they all are, in fact, not racist? How does that work? While there are plenty of ignorant comments on here by white people, there are just as many ignorant comments from black people as well. You want us to listen, but all you do is accuse us of not being able to understand what you go through. I'm sorry, I don't see why I should have to listen to someone accuse me of not knowing how it feels to be targeted based on my race. No one is saying, "Yes I know exactly what you deal with, even though I'm not black." People are saying, "Hey, I deal with racism and stereotypes just like you, no matter how trivial or harmless you think it may be." White people may not know exactly what happens to black people on a daily basis, but black people do not know exactly what happens to a white person on a daily basis. You make assumptions and have your opinions, but you don't truly know. Even the white people on here that are saying that it is sad to see how so much racism is still around and how sad it is to see black families going through these things are being attacked by people like you assuming they are "white people darting out in front to prove they aren't racist." Get your head out of your ass and start using your brain. No matter how nice, respectful, and understanding white people try to be to black people, they will constantly be labeled as racist. And in case you try to assume again, I'm not saying that all black people feel or act this way, but a good majority of the ones commenting on this story apparently do. Oh, and I'm not racist. I just enjoy using my brain and understanding all angles, not just one.

        March 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        @Sane Person...I don't think anyone is saying all white people are racist...at least if they are they shouldn't say that because it's not true. But it just so happens that more often than not when people of color talk about their experiences with racism they are interrupted by whites trying to rationalize away the racism or claiming to have been discriminated against too and saying it's even. But it's not even. Yes we all deal with racism and stereotypes. The question is to what degree? Is it something you experience on a daily basis? Several times a day? Are you constantly made aware of it by society or does it happen once in a blue moon? Can you empathize for a moment with the fact that as exhausting, annoying and humiliating as the stereotypes that you endured were, if you are white, they were minute in comparison to those a person of color endures on a daily basis? Or do you really think you are discriminated against as much as the average person of color? If your answer is yes I am going to ask you to google and read a piece called White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack and then get back to me. (It's a short article.) For most people of color even if they wanted to forget the stereotypes against them they would be reminded daily by the people they pass on the street, work with, live near etc. It's exhausting! But more than exhausting, the stereotypes against people of color have the potential to jeopardize their access to quality housing, jobs and promotions, safe neighborhoods, health care, education, loans, and life and liberty. The stereotypes literally have the potential to take eliminate their quality of life and their life too. Someone said Trayvon was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But being a person of color in America often means that the wrong place is in your own skin and the wrong time can be any time.

        March 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Tatiana, that was far fetched but if that makes you feel better about being a racist...rock on girl! I have many "white" friends who openly celebrate their ethnicity and heritage and are not judged or frowned upon. I think the problem is when you are racist to the bone and don't even realize you're a racist.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • henry

      I am a proud American and it has nothing to do with how much pigment or the lack thereof in my skin. I don't care about things like that. I never knew black parents had to teach their sons these things. As a parent of 2 sons in their early 20's I have worried about all the normal things, car accidents, drinking, drugs, etc...but to have to tell them not to run from from a dangerous stranger who, for all you know, is trying to kidnap you?I know these attacks happen all over the United States but the deep South is diseased.As for all you racists, just go ahead and identify yourselves so we can stay as far away from you as possible. I no longer want to try and make you change your heart. I want you and your poison away from me and my family.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  34. Amie

    In all of this commentary, could someone please mention how completely f***ed up gated communities are? Who would live in a place where they have private security guards? Do the people who live there examine the credentials of their guards to see that they have been properly trained? I once was invited to a house in one of these gated communities and the whole place gave me the creeps. In my opinion, everyone living in that gated neighborhood, who assented to the structure of an ARMED private security person, is responsible.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      There is nothing wrong with gated communities..they are there to keep people safe. I would live in one if I could afford it. I can't imagine why you would fee uncomfortable in a community like this...you should feel safe. The problem with this man, was not the gated community, but why was he carrying a gun in the first place. People on neighborhood watch are never to carry guns or confront someone they think is doing wrong. This is why you call the police! This man was trying to take the law into his own hands, or wanted to be a policeman. It is wrong what happened to this young man and I hope all the truth comes out. But for a gated community being scary...I am more afraid not to live in a gated community. AND more are being built all the time. I want my children safe....wouldn't you???

      March 22, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
      • JustanotherMom

        I would hate living in a gated community. The gates don't just keep people out, they teach fear of others.

        March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  35. jon

    Is it racism when your 8 year old black son comes out of the ocean in New Jesery with his raft and some adult comes over and grabs his raft and says it is theirs and walks off. This kind of thing has happened 2 times to my son. When they see me(white) they come to me and apologize. WE live in a very racist world !!

    March 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Sol

    Wow it's sad to see hispanics be as racist as whites when in reality hispanics are minority themselves> I am a light skinned Puerto RIcan but do not consider myself white because I have grandparents on both of my parents side who are african and even though I am light when I moved to Alabama I was quickly always asked if I was a mixed girl and yes that is what I am a mixed Puerto RIcan, yes they are some white hispanics but the percentage is slim most of us have african blood running through our fans so it makes me sad to read hispanics defending a killer a monster!!! I didn't even know Zimmerman was hispanic cause of the last name is not hispanic! however, for those of you defending this killer you are ignorant compeltely ignorant this boy lost his life for having skittle and tea in his hand going home! listen to the 911 call it was realeased this crazy man zimmerman followed him while he was going home talking to his girlfriend quit judging this was a beautiful article. My nephew is half puerto rican half black and it scares me that he will one day be judged like this! living in alabama I can say kkk hates all minorities so you hispanics taking this mans side remember that!

    March 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moncada

      I could tell right off the bat Zimmerman was Hispanic.

      March 22, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Melinda

        exactly, there are a lot of Hispanic Jews, especially in central Florida.....my husband is Hispanic from Sanford in fact, I would suggest looking into the area instead of just reading what the media wants you to read.....yes it's horrible that an innocent young boy was killed, and as sad as it is NONE OF US WERE THERE, so like so many of you have stated, UNLESS YOU WALKED IN THEIR SHOES......

        March 22, 2012 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Melinda

    I always find it interesting that people are always quick to say "you don't know because you're not raising a black male" or "you don't know because you're not black" as if being different but not black is somehow not good enough. You don't raise your children to be afraid, you raise them to stand up for themselves. You CANNOT predict the actions of another, and while you waste so much time worrying about the 'what ifs' you forget to actually live in the moment with your children. Teach them right from wrong, teach them basic skills in manners, how to treat other people, how to live in a world where there are things like hate etc, BUT NEVER TEACH THEM TO DOWN PLAY WHO THEY ARE AS AN INDIVIDUAL BECAUSE YOU'RE AFRAID THEY COULD DIE. If they should happen to find them in a situation where they could possibly be killed by their beliefs, teach them that they are not responsible for the other persons actions and to ALWAYS stand up for what they believe in. There are no pictures next to our names also "Freethinker" so I would suggest you stop assuming that we aren't black. You don't know that, my little sisters happen to be half black. All their lives I've taught them to never be afraid of ANYTHING OR ANYONE and to ALWAYS stand up for what they believe in. Sure we've encountered racism as a family, people always ask me why I call those black girls my sisters, by blood they're not, but since their father and mother are like second parents to me, they are my sisters. Their parents feel the same way that I do, NEVER BACK DOWN BECAUSE SOMEONE TRIES TO MAKE YOU FEEL INFERIOR...it's 2012, we have a half black president that THE MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY VOTED FOR.....give the world a little credit and TRUST that times can change, nothing is ever going to change unless you change your mindset and thinking.....is it horribly tragic that Trayvon was murdered in a gated community by the gun of a self appointed man on a power trip? ABSOLUTELY....should the rest of the world live in fear because of this incident? ABSOLUTELY NOT

    March 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      I'm surprised you called out my handle as I was specifically responding to someone else with that comment, not you. Why then would you take it personally? You are free to teach your little sisters whatever you would like. However I will say that the biggest shock I have seen people experience is when they go into the world expecting to always be treated on their own merits and they aren't. I am not saying everyone will treat them unfairly. But enough will. And it is important to have people around them who can see that and acknowledge it and not deny it or excuse it for one reason or another. When everyone acts as if you are the crazy one that is what is most hurtful. Chances are they have already experienced crazy things. Who can they talk to about it? Who will not act as if it was just a coincidence? Can they count on you for that? I hope so.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Melinda

        never said it would be any sort of coincidence, but they will know that that one incident or incidents are NOT common and not the views or ideas of everyone.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        Who cares if they are the common views of everyone? Zimmerman's views weren't the common views of the whole neighborhood but Trayvon is still dead.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      sorry–have to join the group telling you "you don't know–because you do not. there are certain things minorities go through almost to a one that whites never experience and so do not believe–but there are even more things blacks go through as the scapegoat group among minorities.

      Whites, even in the face of blatant proof will blame whatever happens to blacks on past and present behavior of a few blacks. I say "few" because the numbers of ALL races incarcerated on ALL levels is around 2.9 million–that leaves over 35 million blacks NOT in jail–but they are painted with the same brush.

      Less than 4 million people of ALL races are on full welfare and stats indicate that 70% of recipients are white–yet this # which would still leave 31 million African americans not in jail or welfare oainted with the same brush.


      100% of teachers who molest students are white and the majority of their victims are minorities–should we consider all white teacher's child molesters? 95% of child rapist-serial killers, and serial killers in general and mass murderers in the US are white males–should we perceive all white males as rapists-serial killers or child predators?

      Things that WILL happen to almost EVERY black before they are 18:

      1. You will be called the N word by a white person
      2. At least once, you will stand in a waiting line and will be ignored
      3.You will have a white person ask you why blacks:
      A are on welfare
      b. are in gangs
      c. have babies and no husbands
      d are criminals

      If you have a male black child at least 1 white girl will want to "have a baby by him 'cuz it would be soooo cute.
      4. You will get stopped/questioned by police

      If you have a daughter–she will get propositioned by men of other races who troll the 'hood' though these same men will alway deny they'd ever be interested in a black woman

      You will endure slurs, violence, and really, really stupid remarks said under the guise of "just kidding. The darker you or your child the worse it gets with the very worse happening to those black or bi racial children with black mothers. This article is very true but abbreviated–as is my post on this–Melinda is clueless but like many idealists her cluelessness stems from personal ignorance and sadly unless you actually can and have walked in the shoes you are posting about–at best you can only guess at what it is like and what blacks have had to and continue to have to put up with.

      March 22, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Melinda

        again....just because i'm not black doesn't mean i'm white...but thanks for ASSuming, that's always fun. Just so you know, there are other races that ignorant people use the "n-word" on. Native Americans are called "prairie ni**ers" arabs are called "sand ni**ers" i could go on....yes, I've been called a prairie ni**ger many times by racist white people who fail to realize that just because i have brown skin and black hair, i'm also half Irish. I was the only native american in my high school and was ridiculed DAILY FOR IT....so NO, just because I'M NOT BLACK doesn't mean I don't know racism. But hey, thanks for twisting my words. That was fun...

        March 22, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
      • nomoreexcuses

        Queen bee!!!! You have a seriously warped excuse on reality. You are trying to glorify your odd perception on reality. Here is a better list of what black man will encounter.

        – harrass women constatly
        – lease a 5K car and rent to own 5K rims, then "give it back" when it comes time to pay.
        – blame an inaequecy on being black
        – say a white has it better or easier because they are white
        – have bad credit
        – think they will be the next pro something or rapper.
        – make constant excuses

        Really, you need to re-evaluate reality and be honest with yourself...

        March 22, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Smileandwave

        Why do you use percentages???? One of my teachers (who was a Black American) at my middle school Molested a little boy two grades lower than me! 100% Isn't the best number to use on a blog when you have others that have seen different than you and will search for a way to either prove that you are right or wrong.... Use a smaller number next time.... It helps keep people like me calling bulls#!t.. Plus when people see a false percentage they believe that all your percentages as False. As do I.

        March 22, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • zen035

        @Melinda – So you are saying that because you are half Native American you know what it is like to be black? That sounds kind of silly, don't you think? You know what it is like to be a person of color, to be oppressed and discriminated against...but from the perspective of someone who is half Native American not black. That is not to take anything away from your experience. It is just to say that though there are sure to be commonalities, there are also sure to be differences.

        @NoMoreExcuses – You clearly have very limited experience with blacks (mostly through TV I'm guessing) and are using those sad experiences to paint a narrow portrait of a broad and diverse people. How sad for you, and for all who believe you know of that which you speak. If I were to go to a trailer park, I might come out of it thinking that whites are likely to be missing teeth, chain smoking, alcoholic, meth addicts, in trouble with the law, disrespectful to authority, violent, and untrustworthy. To then assume that a white person who might be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company would share the same traits as the people in the trailer park would be nothing short of idiotic. Yet that is exactly what you are saying. It tells me that you only see skin color and are not able to distinguish class, economics, morals, values, family background, etc. So for you the traits of one black person are immediately applicable to the next. THAT, MY FRIEND, IS RACISM. And it's that kind of thinking that caused the death of an innocent, unarmed child named Trayvon Martin.

        March 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      @ Melinda…she is not teaching her son to back down. She is teaching her son survival. Yes we have a HALF black president….that most white people see as ALL black…that the rest of the white people that voted for him say well is HALF white.

      I have 2 boys that I have to teach these same “rules” for their kit. I am sorry what you went thru in highs school, but our boys will go through this for the rest of there lives. Our world only see’s in black and white. You either look black or you look white!!!!!!

      I am the only person of color in my office and the 1st 3 years I’ve work there I heard… you don’t sound black, if your so light why are your children darker then you and my favorite…your children sure speak proper!!!!

      Racism will never die, so you have to teach your children these things. I wish I didn’t have to have these talks with my sons but if I don’t they might end up like Trayvon Martin.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Ivette

      Thank you for that contribution. That was a great encouragement. I am black & I have a son. My heart weeps for Trays mother. She raised a good boy and see what happenned. May God sheild us all from wicked and unreasonable people who hate for no cause. I guess Skittle candy is now a dangerous weapon in the hand of a black male!

      March 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Live2Love2Learn

    Unfortunately, though education is free, many will never be intelligent. Fortunately, you don't have to be intelligent to love or to see past aesthetics. It is sad there are so many amongst us who hate, not only themselves but all those around them. Open your mind to reality, it really is this bad. There are those who relish in seeing another human being treated unjustly, being beaten, even being killed if the victim is of their race and especially if they are not.

    Thank you for a well written article that sheds light on the plight of being black in America. Many try and curtain what is happening to so many of America's young black men and I am of the opinion that these men are being hunted in an attempt to be exterminated. It is so disparaging to hear of another young black man who has been killed senselessly. My heart is heavy as I strive to raise two young men in a society were they are not wanted, and not because they were born male, but because they were born with a darker skin tone. I would like to see a change, I am striving to see a change, it's hard to eat one elephant, it's even harder to eat a million elephants, but prayer changes things.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Keisha

    I read this story and this could be my life. I have a very large 12 year old son also 5'5" and almost 200 pounds but has been described as a gentle giant. He is attending a private Christian school and as a part of his uniform is a hooded sweatshirt. But from birth this has been my fear for my son. He is my only child, he is on the A honor roll. In 6th grade he tested post high school level on his standaized test. He plays the violin. But when he is walking all some people can see is a large black boy and that equals threat. I have had him read about this case so he can be aware of the way some people see him. I have pointed out how women will not let their son go in the bathroom when he is in there or how people look their doors when he walk by. Or how some men stand come out into their front yard to stand and watch us in our neighborhood and we try to go for a walk together (i never let him walk alone in the evening) in the evening and once we walk by they go back into the house. All I can do is try to prepare him and ask him to be careful. This writer is right he can't run in a neighborhood because then people will assume he is guilty of something even though it is so hard not to run when someone is chasing you. I pray for his family, and I pray for us. A world where a kid could be shoot because he didn't answer a strange man chasing him the proper way is a scary place to live. This should not be a race thing a child has died but as the mother of a black boy I know race is a bigger factor than some people want to believe.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maire

      This was a touching response. Thanks for sharing.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  40. LC

    I have two sons one 24 and one 12 and I have told them as soon as they could understand you are a black male and you will be treated different. I don't care how many white people you surround yourself with you are still black. My oldest didn't face it until his early 20's when he was stopped repeatedly in the burbs for DWB and was asked where was his gun, where were the drugs, is on he probation, can we search the car? ALWAYS my son would be on his way to work with suit and tie...but he was young and black so can we search your car. My youngest is watching this story so that he will understand right doesn't always win and being a black male can get him killed as sweet and kind as he is.

    March 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Tcw

    What moved me beyond anything else in this article is your love for your son!

    March 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  42. scncroots

    Anyone who thinks Christy is paranoid or teaching her son to hate has never been or isn't the mother of a black male. My son is 3 and thanks to the comments and behavior of others I have already started his "lessons". I want my son to be proud, courageous, and caring. But most importantly, I want him to be cautious and live.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeky

      This article proves that racial tension is not just a white problem.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  43. Lou

    Your son looks like Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  44. b.diaz

    I never understood fully and completely the word racism until I married outside my race. My husband is trully wonderful. I feel sad when I think of all of the love and friendships people are missing out on because of one word, RACE.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Isadora

    Thank you so much for writing this. You exactly captured my own sentiments and that of many Black mothers of sons. Trayvon's murder has broken my heart. As soon as I found out that I was having a son (now 3), I was nervous. I knew that he would be raised in an environment where he is vilified and devalued. Trayvon's brutal killing has heightened and validated my fears. My son IS Trayvon. Trayvon IS my SON.... And it is absolutely FRIGHTENING.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Joey B

    It sounds like this writer is teaching her son to play the victim and to give in to the very stereotypes that she professes to be against. People like her actually love racism because they love throwing the race card into things. It is funny that she doesn’t know anymore about why that boy was shot in Florida than anyone else does, but she jumps on the “black side” of the argument and won’t even consider that the Hispanic man shot in self defense. Keep teaching your kid that blacks do no wrong, they are just oppressed by society and see how he turns out. We will see him on cops getting put in a squad car the whole time yelling that he is being profiled.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn Howard

      Apparently you don't watch the news. It was not in self defense. Mr. Zimmerman was order to stand down and he advanced.. If he felt his life was in danger why did he pursue Mr Martin?. It seems to me Joey B You're the racist with bigoted viewed and closed-minded conclusions. I am a parent of bi-rracial children. I can't say that I agre wth every violent case. But you must not shut a blind eye to the truth. To me that alone is racist. Mr. Zimmerman was not attacked, he was not hit, he was NOT advanced upon. Now you have people spewing lies to justify homicide which is what it lawfully is. This has nothing to do with opprresion, I acutally only hear white people mentioning that. Stick to the facts before you write an article or post information that you havent thoroughly researched. It does nothing but expose your apparent ignorance. But isnt that what racism is?.. Ignorance?

      March 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Joey it seems like you completely missed the author's point. Ignoring stereotypes, prejudice and racial hatred (or in your case denying that they exist) doesn't make them go away. It just means that you won't be prepared to deal with them when faced with those situations. And in the case of Trayvon and people who look like him, not knowing how to handle those situations properly can be deadly. And sometimes even knowing how to handle them can still be deadly. Sure Zimmerman could have shot in self-defense, but the evidence shows he stalked, chased down and confronted an unarmed teenager who was returning home from an errand and talking to his girlfriend on the phone. What made Zimmerman stalk and chase him down? What made Trayvon stand out? His skin color. Trayvon's skin color made him a target. If he were a white teenager he would still be alive. It's easy to claim self-defense when you are the only one alive to tell the tale. Zimmerman had no business getting out of the car to confront Trayvon in the first place. Zimmerman outweighed Trayvon by 100lbs and if anyone should have felt threatened it was Trayvon. (History doesn't shine favorably upon blacks chased through neighborhoods by white males – Hispanics can be white, black or mixed and Zimmerman is clearly a white Hispanic who has to tell you he is Hispanic for you to know it.) If Zimmerman really felt threatened he could have held Trayvon at gunpoint. Instead he shot to kill a teenager who was on the ground crying and begging for his life. Listen to the 911 tapes. If you still think Zimmerman's actions are self-defense or the mother of a child who has brown skin like Trayvon is playing the race card because she doesn't want him to be chased down and murdered by some two-bit, wannabe vigilante rent-a-cop, I say that you don't want to open your eyes because this hits too close to home with some of your behaviors and activities and those of your friends and family. Touche!

      March 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Crazy Lady

        "Zimmerman is clearly a white Hispanic who has to tell you he is Hispanic for you to know it."

        I can tell just by looking at him and other commenters have said the same. Not trying to negate the rest of your points but this one is just not true. *YOU* may not be able to tell–I've noticed many black commentators saying they can't. But many Anglos can and will act on that.

        March 23, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • C Davis

      @ Joey B and the rest of you who are against this article – Are you out of your mind? Clearly, you are not black so you will never understand what it is like to be black and live in America. How many times have you heard of stories where blacks killed whites?? They in no way outweigh the number of instances we've heard of whites killing blacks dating back to the beginning of time. Have you heard the 911 tapes? Yeah, a young boy who was being followed was really a "threat" and oh and don't forget he didn't even have a weapon on him. Look at the facts and keep your ignorance to your self.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Joey B, although I don't know the writer, I can guarantee that she has many more non black friends than you have have non white friends. I can tell by the way you took this article and turned it into something completely different than what it really is. This has a lot to do with a racist calling someone else a racist who is clearly far from that.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luasnne 16

      Here is something we all overlook, white kids do commit bad crimes, case in point! school shootings- 95% is done by white kids, and they usually end up killing between 8-12 of their piers at a time. Why is this not considered as crimes.

      March 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  47. JOSE0311USMC


    March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      OJ was guilty as heck, but he was famous and an ex football player….what does that have to do with an unknown teenager walker home for the store…

      If OJ was just some regular guy he would have been guilty…trust and believe!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        What about staying on topic and removing your caps lock?

        March 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Mary

    Very moving story. You never know what life is like for other people unless you've walked in their shoes.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        Jose, so taking down one black youth, who had nothing to do with the crimes that were committed, makes it justified??? So what you're saying is now that a scapegoat has been killed, everyone in the community should be at ease now.

        March 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Gary

    I love the way people trivialize racism with the term "race card".As a black man I've never thought of my life, nor anyone else's life life as something to equate with something as mindless as cards. Just cause someone's reality isn't your reality, doesn't make it any less real. So most white people don't understand. Go thank God, that in 2012, you don't, and neither do your children. This is why I'm glad I live in Canada.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  50. JOSE0311USMC


    March 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      JOSE0311USMC, your point is that it's ok to chase down, physically confront and shoot to kill an unarmed teenager if he is 6'3?? or if he fights back as a last resort after running to get away from a stranger with no authority who is intent on physically accosting him? You make absolutely no sense. Stand down!

      March 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        Take your keyboard in to get fixed. Your caps lock seems to be permanently stuck.

        March 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Corinne

        He was approached with someone carrying a 9mm gun. If that was me, I'm running!

        March 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • shocked

      @jose0311usmc - If Trayvon did get a chance to punch is stalker before his stalker took him out,good for Trayvon. Lets get real, he was being followed by an armed stranger. Trayvon is the one acting in self defense. Why in the heck would you follow someone who is 6'3" anyway Zimmerman obviously has mental issues. RIP Trayvon,dont worry if we don't give you justice on earth, surely God is blessing you in heaven

      March 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 24, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        and you know this because? were you there? are you george zimmerman? lol

        March 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      He was 140 lbs. vs. the 250 lb. Zimmerman. The physique of a flagpole vs. a beach ball.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Corinne

        Once again, if someone is coming up to me with a gun, I'm taking off. Please don't blame the victim for acting as most of us would.

        March 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      @jose...are yout elling me casue he was tall he shiould have been shot or because he was defending himslef he should have been shot. You are a MARINE, you are taught HONOR and LOYALTY…I see where your LOYALTY lies but where is your HONOR? Everyone can be racist….this was a case of profiling. From your name I believe your are Latin….Dose that mean you have never been profiled? As I have stated earlier, I am the only person of color in my office and they sure talk about Latin, Spanish, and Hispanic as if you are the worst people in the world. So please spare me your insight to George Zimmerman when racism is involved we are ALL in the same boat!!!!

      March 22, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        Lisa C, that is so true. We are all in the same boat. It's a shame when certain races get to a certain point in their lives and are accepted by a few people of another race. For some reason they think they aren't talked about anymore and think they are looked at as being equal. It sounds like Dear Jose needs a reality check.

        March 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Jose, when did it become a bad idea to run? Do you think black people are the only ones who are taught to run? Also, do you think black people are the only ones that are prepped about the dangers out there? There aren't any laws about what to do when a stranger is following you so he Trayvon had the right to do what he had to do to try to survive. Even if he beat the crap out of Zimmerman, which he had the right to do, it would have clearly been self defense. Zimmerman was told not to follow Travon so that's evidence enough that he was the one who did nothing to avoid the terrible outcome.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      jose, HOW do you KNOW trayvon NOT answer GW, Trayvon is NOT alive to dispute what GW has been saying, I believe , does anyone have a tape of what transpired between them at the very beginning of their meeting. I think we have ONLY GW's version of what transpired. After being told to STOP FOLLING Trayvon, WHY didn't GW STOP. Also I believe GW was NOT suppose to be carrying a weapon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  51. charm

    This article rings so true. I have a father that knew these rules. I have a 48 yr old brother. I remember my parents teaching the same lessons in this article. I have nephews (7 and 10). Their parents are teaching the same rules to live in America. Unfortunately, I too have to teach these lessons. My husband learned this lessons from an entirely different group of adults. These are the rules for black boys to survive. These are the rules that caring parents must share. Somehow we all know the rules although the rules have never been posted. Puzzling.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      This article makes me really sad. I am sorry that you and your sons and nephews and loved ones have to go through this! I am a white woman with a 14 year old son and this is nothing like what I have to teach him, I have to teach him a different set of rules to live by and it should not be this way. I don't care what other people say, I see from all that I am learning that our country is still a very unfair place for people that have a different skin color than I do. I do hope that things will change for our kids before the end of their lifetime but all I can say is that I teach my son to love everyone the same and that he is not better than anyone else because of the color of his skin. My heart has been broken since I read about Trayvon at the end of February and I don't think our country can stand on its own if this sort of thing keeps on happening.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  52. xmatman

    As does my thirteen year old son... and it continues to sadden me each time I'm forced to remind him that this is a fact of life which, albeit regrettable, he can ill-afford to not believe! 🙁

    March 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        JOSE0311USMC, your point is that it's ok to chase down, physically confront and shoot to kill an unarmed teenager if he is 6'3? Please. Stand down!

        March 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • MsT

        What's your point? My son with be 15 on Monday. He has a mustache and a goatee. He is 5'4". Someone who doesn't know any better would think he was a short, grown man. Regardless of this CHILDS (he may have been a tall child but he was still a child) size Zimmerman had no right to follow and confront him.

        March 22, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Markus

        Would you just shut the F*&^ up already? Do you really get off on making all of these comments? You're clearly a complete fu%^$#@ idiot with no life! Too bad it wasn't you who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. You seem like a worthless pile of crap!

        March 23, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Corinne

        A man is chasing me. He has a 9mm gun. You want me to engage this guy in conversation? I'm running for my life.

        March 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Pappy521

    As I read the many comments, I am shocked by the many misinterpretations of what Ms. Oglesby is trying to teach her son. If a picture speaks a 1000 words, then let the picture at the top of this article be firm evidence that she is not teaching hate of any kind. If anything she is preparing her child (in the same way I have prepared my own children) for a rare event that (I hope will not happen) in the future, so that when it occurs he’s not caught off guard, and HIS response will increase the likelihood that he will come through it safely. If and when he finds himself face to face with racism, his life experience and lessons from his mom will keep him from thinking all white, black, brown, yellow, red, or purple people are racists.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Crispy

    If there wasn't an problem with hate and bigotry and stereotyping, we wouldn't need laws putting certain people in a protected class. This mother is teaching her son the reality of his life. Certain things he has to do in order to get a fair chance. Good for her!

    March 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Martin

    CNN has no credibility, they only report the much rarer white on black racism "and it's usually a lie to begin with" and completely ignore the mass amounts of violent racist assaults against whites by blacks. CNN is a disgusting, racist propaganda network.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Exactly what year did all whites suddenly stop being racist towards black people? You went from hanging us from trees to inviting us to marry your daughters when?

      March 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Renee

    "You point out a few random examples of white on black racism "

    Mark, there is nothing few or random about white on black racism in America. Unfortunately, reverse racism in the case does not apply or it would be mentioned. I'm sorry that this make you feel bad and that you take this a projection on you. Obviously you live in a world of privilege to render this woman "paranoid" when racial profiiling exists everyday due to paranoia. It's only "paranoia" when a Black mother has to worry about the safety of her son, but "keeping the world safe" when it comes to whites?

    March 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjira

      no such thing as reverse racism. Its either racism or not , it does not matter who it is directed towards.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Renee

        I agree. The commenter used the phrase. That's the way he understands it.

        March 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Donna

        Really, there is no reverse racism? Just take a look at Jessee Jackson and Al Sharpton, if they don't hate whites I don't know who does.

        I feel so very sorry for this woman's lose of her son. This should never have happened. Since when does a person on neighborhood carry a gun? I am in no way justifying what this man did. BUT, has this neighborhood had lots of crime in there lately? Just a thought. Reguardles, this man had no business carrying a gun, and if he felt this boy way a threat, he should have called the police. This is how neighborhood watch is supposed to react!

        March 22, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  57. brerlou

    Btw, I tend to agree that this probably more of a mental health issue than purely racism. What infuriates me, is the obvious bias of the law enforcement officers involved. This reminds me of the less tragic but equally shocking arrest of black, internationally famous author, Harvard professor, and unofficial envoy to the President, Henry 'Skip' Gates, in his OWN living room, for mouthing off at a police officer investigating a possible break-in. Gates had just returned from meetings in China, where he had top level meetings with Chinese officials, but the police officer was determined
    to put him in his place, in spite of his high level connections, even though he was in his own home, territorialism gone awry.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bannister

      Was Officer Crowley (who taught a class on how to NOT racially profile) really determined to put Mr Gates "in his place"?

      Or was it Mr Gates who was determined to put the police in THEIR place?

      March 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  58. GraphicsGirl777

    Murder is murder. It doesn't matter whether this man is a racist. If he killed that child he should be prosecuted and pay for it. I don't give a crap WHY he did it.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjira

      its nice you have the luxury, but Trayvon did not. He was that guy's reason.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • clayton

        travon was a good kid

        March 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC


        March 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • tonyinsatx

        To JOSE0311USMC: I am a black-hispanic living in South Tx and i just wanted to let you know that most of the crime here is committed by Mexican Americans or atleast folks who look Mexican American. By your name i am assuming that you are Hispanic. By your racist comments i am assuing that you are a White Hispanic. By your logic, i am assuming that if there had been several break ins in my neighborhood by white hispanics and i saw you or one of your family members walking around my gated community i could ask you or them why you/they are in my neighborhood, correct? of course if i am bigger than you/them then you/they may run away froma stanger (just like most kids are taught to do) correct. once you or your family member runs away from me then i have the right to shoot you or them,. is that correct? if you are a member of the USMC then you are a disgrace the everyone that has ever worn the uniform and and died for this country. Including my uncle Miguel. a BLACK HISPANIC who died for YOUR FREEDOM in Vietnam!!

        March 23, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        None of that had anything to do with Trayvon. That's why no one is talking about it. He was stalked and murdered for walking down the street with candy in his hand. He wasn't breaking into anyone's house or car.

        March 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • DUH


        March 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rose

        OMG Jose, Are you saying whites never break into homes, hi jack cars, murder people, I am white, I live in a small indiana town, we have no blacks in this community, They were here, but are afraid to live here, we at one time had a manager of a store who was a family man, finally left because of constant threats. A white 20 year old broke into a home, the lady came home while he was in the middle of stealing from her and stabbed her to death, a white couple fighting shot the woman, and then himself, A white father took his young children and locked them in the house and using a gun ghreateded to shoot them all, we have arrests close to once a week for meth labs, and its not the SAME person being arrested. Why do you think blacks are the only criminals in this world????????????

        July 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Vinessa Burnett

    To all the people claiming how racist and terrible this story is, I hate to break it to you.. but this is honestly one of those articles that you would have to be an educated harmless black person to completely understand andfeel. You dont really understand stereotypes and racism until its directly affecting you everyday. I know this because I see it in the hallways at school, in the classroom, on the street, in the mall, everywhere. Yes, black people may commit crimes and seemingly pose a threat to other races (if that's how you feel), but not all black people are like that; therefore, not all black people should be viewed that way. It's really offensive to those of us that are educated and harmless, like im sure Trayvon Martin was.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  60. TW

    Your black kid can play with my white kid anytime.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Mark

    This is an unbelievably racist blog by this enabling over paranoid woman who loves to play the race card anytime she gets the opportunity. You point out a few random examples of white on black racism and completely fail to mention anything about blacks killing whites or hispanics killing blacks or any type of reverse racism which occurs very often and usually entails extreme violence. I can't believe CNN would even think about publishing this woman's awful commentary and just proves how extremely liberal this network is.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicalboomer81

      It's an opinion piece.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joshua

        If I was an editor and wrote about how I warned my son about being white in a black neighborhood, or watching out for Muslims, I would be fired. Don't say I wouldn't because "Opinions" Have gotten people fired from NPR and other media outlets. Ot's only OK to be racist when the victem is white... this is proof

        April 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjira

      off topic aren't you? What does all those other things have to do with the fact that she has to warn her son to behave and look a certain way to avoid being murdered? If she wrote a book, would you read it all? I don't believe they allow more than a few thousand words here, not a whole book covering every conceivable topic If she encounters racism against whites in the news and feels the urge to comment , that's the topic of another post. BTW there is no such thing as"reversed racism" Its either racism or it is not.
      If you feel those subjects need to be addressed and are no,t how about you write a blog post and let's see how many hits you get.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      How is someone's experience a racist piece? Whether you want to believe it there is a diifference on how black men are treated and how white men are treated. At Georgetown when I was there 4 of my friends were talking on the school steps. Security was called.the next day 6 of my white friends we doing the same thing. No issues no security. Another example. I was a 4 th year medical student in the room with 3 other white males medical students.. A senior staff came in and thought I was secretary or cleaning staff. I am not racist but these are things that I have experienced.

      Call me paranoid but I will tell my son the same things she has told her son. I am not going to my sons funeral because someone else has a perception that he is a threat.

      You state that these are random examples. Well random examples when they happen frequently and consistently are not random but become a part of your reality. So for this woman and for me this is our reality. A reality we continue to learn how to live in and to raise our children.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • mjira

        It only takes one random example catching up with your child.

        March 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Before you call the author 'over paranoid' remember that you are not now, never have been, and never will be a black person in the US. So, in essence, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. As the saying goes, the highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.

      The closest you can come to having that experience is to open your mind and listen to and read about other's experiences. The slights and insults are enough but just being a person of color and going about your daily business can literally get you killed or seriously injured. If you don't believe it, look up the stories of Sean Bell, Rodney King, James Craig Anderson, Amadou Diallo, James Byrd and Oscar Grant. See if those stories sit well with your soul or if they make you rush to make excuses or look away because what you are facing is an ugly side of humanity. Those are names are public, but for every one of those stories there are countless others that never made it to the front page. Every black person you know (my guess is you don't know many closely) has several similar stories, some end in insults and humiliation and others in injury and death.

      So before you try to judge someone else or trivialize their perspective, seek first to understand. Or stay ignorant if you choose to do so, but please spare the rest of us from having to endure your ignorance.

      March 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caravelle

      Her "random" examples are representative of a phenomenon and backed by statistics. If you don't like anecdotes then more power to you but don't just invoke contrary anecdotes that might exist (you didn't even mention actual examples !), get informed on the actual numbers.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Why

    For me the jury is still out,on whether racism played a part in this murder, but one thing is clear from post such as, Martin's and Christopher's,and that is, racism is still alive and well in American.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      >racism is still alive and well in American

      Thats obvious for the simple fact that the boys family immediately started calling this a racist act before having the detials. They also keep calling Zimmerman and white man when he in fact his hispanic. What other detaisl might they be wrong about?

      March 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        Tom, tom there are white hispanics and black hispanics. One can be both white and hispanic. And Zimmerman is that. Confusing I know. It's the stupid construct of race that we created in America. Just as stupid as one drop of black blood makes you black rule that allowed slaveowners to rape their slaves to beget more slaves.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angry Black Woman

      In shock that not only racism is running rampant, so is ignorance & stupidity. Mark you can't be serious, like what do you do for a living? This blog racist? She is merely expressing her concern as a mother of a Black boy! You can cry the race card all you want but that is the hand that seems to keep coming up, so deal with it, pun intended! As for this article, well written and you wouldn't relate because you are not Black in America raising a black child a male black child especially. SO before you rant on about racisim and black on black, Latina on Black or Latina on Latina crime remember, no black or Latina said they agreed or support racism. I teach any kid that will listen, there are bad people all over the world and good people, one day the good will out weigh the bad. I also warned them of those pretending to be good when they are worst than the perps committing crimes and keeping racism alive! Ponder that Mark & the rest of the post that are negative!

      March 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Jay in DC

    The fact that you started this article with this phrase "a testerone poisoned boy", with absolutely no hint of sarcasm or levity completely invalidated everything you said from that point onwards. Testosterone "poisoned", is it? So on top of your absurdly hyper-reactive agenda regarding race, you also have an absurdly hyper-reactive agenda regarding men and boys. Right... we wonder why this little ship called America is sinking so fast.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • GraphicsGirl777

      Well said. Why she would say such a thing about her son is beyond me. It's disturbing.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Queen

        LOL. maybe you two could possibly leave open the fact that she WAS being facetious?

        March 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Brian

    I feel very sorry for Drew, the author's son. She's doing him a real disservice by teaching him to be afraid of his own shadow.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pappy521

      The child in the picture does not resemble someone afraid of his shadow. I teach my kids similar life lessons so that in the rare event something "bad" happens, they will be prepared. Learning what to do when your car hydroplanes isn't supposed to make you afraid of driving in the rain, but better prepared. I do not stroke all whites with a "racist" paint brush. But I would be a fool to not prepare my child on what to do when facing someone who would do them harm, regarless of that person's motivation or the color of their stripes.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Annie26

    I had no idea what young black men were up against. Thanks so much for sharing your story from a mother's point of view. It's like they are constantly walking through a mine field They never know when something will go horribly wrong. I'm so sorry it's like that. I pray your son stays safe.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Amro

    Reading this opinion piece shook me to my spine. Disclaimer, I am neither black nor white but I am a minority race. The airport incident detailed in the article above is profound and makes you think what a 6 year old possible know about being dangerous and dirty?? I can imagine what the mother would have felt hearing these words. If a 6 year old say this I am not sure what other adults might have in their minds (though they dont say it). I dont blame the 6 year old kid, she is being groomed like that by her parents, guardians whoever.. All I can say is keep the faith and be strong...

    March 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Martin

    Nothing is going to stop blackie because you blacks say nothing about black on white violence. You can't just take sides with your own race and expect another race not to retaliate. Blacks have to answer for the mass amount of rape against white women and interracial murder. Blacks are FAR more violent and likely to commit crimes against whites than vice vesa. You try to single out the rare white on black violence but that's not going to work for you because the truth is out.

    March 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drake

      Yes, there are black on white crimes and white on black crimes. And just to throw this out there, the proportion of blacks killed by whites and vice versa is surprisingly similar and quite below 6%. Yes we (black or white) are more likely to be killed by members of our own race.
      You also seem not to be grasping the picture here. No one is angry that a white guy killed a black boy but the seeming lack of justice is what brings back bitter memories. Can you show me an instance where a black guy walked scot free even as a suspect for killing a white person.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  68. MAFV

    This is stunning...over a 1000 post and varied opinions. I posted early yesterday and have read through some of the post...and wowwwww.....My last response on this issue is this..Last month I showed the movie "Roots" and the "Pianist" to my students who range from 16-25, Black History Month. I'm an African-American female 53 years-old and the mother of (3) daughters with a 4 year-old grandson. My point is when I showed these movies...perceptions, ideas, stereotyping, and conclusions where changed...Only when a person's heart is touched can the mind be changed. Just like MLK said, "you can't legislate to change people, that must be done at the heart level. My student's view Jews and African-American a little differently. Most of my students are Hispanic and had never heard of these atrocities before..but now they can see people a little clearer. I'm glad I'm in the classroom, because I have the power to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The truth can hurt!!

    March 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Pappy521

    Even though there are plenty of people like Martin in this country, they will not stop me from seeing the good in ALL despite the words and actions of a few. I won't call Martin a racist, I leave that to others who find his remarks equally disgusting.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  70. StormFront

    My name I Haji, I wage Jihad on whites, blacks, litte wierner men azns, etc. No racism.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeeze

      Man, I really hope you flakes are not posting this nonsense while at work.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Drake

      Wow Stormfront, it is not everyday I get to meet one the low IQ racists on here. Whenever I'm in need to convince myself of selfworth, I visit your website to affirm just how more reasonable I can to all your lots.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Karma

    Will it take another OJ Simpson event for people to have empathy and for once try to understand which nearly every black person in the country and perhaps the world is upset about this story? When OJ Simpson got off many black people felt very strongly that he was guilty, but rejoiced at the fact that he "got off" because too many times such as this horrible tragedy we continue to get a rotten deal when it comes to justice in the courtroom. My son is 2 years old and I couldn't imagine how I would feel if someone killed him and I have to plead on his behalf just to get someone arrested? Not even prosecuted, but arrested? He would definitely have to go into some type of witness protection program because there is no way that I could continue living my life knowing that he robbed my son of his future and is walking around free. He and I both would have to go.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      I agree. I would kill him, and say it was self defense. "Officer I was just standing my ground"

      March 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        Exactly–in fact, in Florida every black being approached by a white could make such a claim–saying they shot first do that they would not get "trayvonned"

        March 22, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        Exactly–in fact, in Florida every black being approached by a white could make such a claim–saying they shot first so that they would not get "trayvonned"

        March 22, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  72. graham

    Such a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Trayvon's family.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  73. romiel

    I am a american soldier recently station overseas in germany. Within my 9 yrs there i have seen racism and bigorty, but i hail from Miami, Fl and i always remember one event that stuck inthe back of my mind that to this day i keep in my tool box so when i speak to mu kids i will tell them this fact. I was walking home from school. I walked down this neighborhood that was primarly hispanic and didnt think nothing of it i am a 13 yr old boy that only had dreams of going to college and being a doctor. Well i was stopped by 2 hispanic police officers and questions alonged with my friends. 2 hrs before (same time i was in school) 2 black males 6'3 180 pnds) had a BE (break in and Entry). We try to explain that we were in school still but the police officers did not want to hear none of that and started to arrest us and place us in the police car. Now my 2 white friends who was with us was told to stop hanging out with us and sent on there way. I was held in police custdy for 9 hrs unitll i was able to call my parents yes at the age of 13. When i released we were told to just choose a better way to walk home. I bring this story up because i have a young son and daughter and my son at 2 yrs old have already witness racism in miami we were in a store and carring over a toy like most kids at that age will do. he was with his sister of 9 yrs old and my wife who is a german woman. A white woman approached my son and daughter and told him to shut his n!gg(r mouth upnot knowing that there mother was only a foot step away. My wife quickly approached the woman and confronted her she walked to a store manager and said my wife was harassing her. And had my wife removed from the store. Me as a american was sicken me as a soldier having my wife and family so quickly thrown into american way of living was disgusted. I have already made my decision i am going to complete this last tour of my assignment get out the army and going to life in germany. because the american dream of life is BROKEN.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • StormFront

      Try and talk a few more to follow.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeeze

      I call BS, especially with those writing skills of yours.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Mara

        I agree. I don't know if these events actually happened, but the spelling and grammar are absolutely atrocious! But then what do we expect? They do say that the military has lowered their standards to meet the recruiting demands of Bush's Wars.

        March 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Martin

    Zimmermann did nothing wrong, he was protecting the community from yet another black criminal thug. Skittles don't make you innocent.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Why

      Being Black does not make you guilty.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        It doesn’t make you innocent ether.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        Being American, regardless of race, should be enough to make you innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. Lady Justice, if I remember correctly, is blind...

        March 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        You defeat your own argument. If you want to push a blind justice angle then you presume nether innocence or guilt based on race.

        March 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      How are you defending yourself, if you are in a vehicle trailing someone and the person is walking? There was no need for him to get out the vehicle. He got out the vehicle with intent to use force in some way. There is a dead person with "no voice". The questions should be (1) why did he get out of the vehicle, and (2) why did he have his gun with him when he exits the vehicle?

      March 21, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Name

      Skittles quite possibly do make you innocent. The use of deadly force in self defence is permissable purely in cases where one's life, or the life of a family member is in jeopardy. In this case, had they continued in a hand-to-hand fight, it is likely Zimmerman could have gotten the better of the boy, as he was by far the larger of the two. This would have been a fair fight. Zimmerman quickly shot the boy, who had no weapon and was smaller than he is and therefore could not have realistically threatened the man's life, making this shooting quite impulsive, rather than reactive to some actual threat.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Martin

    Zimmerman will be free, he did nothing wrong.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  76. Martin

    Nobody trusts or likes blacks, they commit almost every single crime where I live and then have the gall to cry about "profiling". Shut your black mouths, you make yourselves suspect and you know it. You are only going to anger more people to kill you in the end. If you don't want trouble don't look for trouble like so many of you black thugs do.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Black mann .

      hey i don't u get a gun and go outside kill some black tug 's ?????

      March 21, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • drknyt1

      you sound like a punk who had his woman taken by a black guy.. or maybe your mother dates one and you feel inferior. Aww.. poor baby.. lol.. punk.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      You sound very underexposed. May I invite you to get out more and meet people other than the ones who live in the barn with you.

      March 22, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  77. Pappy521

    I just had breakfast with my white "brother" who like me has 7 kids except his are 0-12y and mine are 14m-20y. He's trying to figure out when to teach his daughters about the "birds and the bees." One of life's many lessons. Christy Oglesby's lesson to her son is NOT about hating white people. My lesson to my children has never been about hate. Warning my daughters that there are boys out there who will try to take advantage of them and teaching them what to do if and when it happens does not make them hate all boys. My oldest daughter has yet to date a "black guy" while my younger daughters love young brothers that look like and are as cool as their dad.
    When did racism become synonymous to being white?!! Calling a racist a “racist” is not the same thing as saying all white people are guilty of being racist. That’s like saying all black men listen to rap, dress like thugs, chase women and father children they don’t raise. Christy Oglesby's lesson to her son is NOT about hating white people. My lesson to my children is not hate. Warning my daughters that there are boys out there who will try to take advantage of them and teaching them what to do if and when it happens does not make them hate all boys. When did racism become synonymous to being white?!! Calling a racist a “racist” is not the same thing as saying all white people are guilty of being racist. That’s like saying all black men listen to rap, dress like thugs, chase women and father children they don’t raise. As I read the many comments, I am shocked by the many misinterpretations of what Ms. Oglesby is trying to teach her son. If a picture speaks a 1000 words, then let the picture at the top of this article be firm evidence that she is not teaching hate of any kind. If anything she is preparing her child (in the same way I have prepared my own children) for a rare event in the future, so that when it occurs he’s not caught off guard, and HIS response will increase the likelihood that he will come through it safely. If and when he finds himself face to face with racism, his life experience and lessons from his mom will keep him from thinking all white, black, brown, yellow, red, or purple people are racists.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  78. Yue Juan

    Being different is good even though some people don't think so, you still should believe it. Differences are what makes us special and unique. Just think if we were all the same it would be boring. I think racism is WRONG. We don't want another War World II again.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  79. xab

    It's not a race issue. It's a mental health issue.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  80. Selina

    I feel sorry for the boy who died. It was not right what that man did.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      You know what he did? Well please contact the police and media right away… they are still trying to piece it together.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  81. Barbie and Ken

    These are some REALLY mean things to say. Stop being racist. Skin color does NOT matter. People should not think just because people are black that they are always going to be armed and dangerous, because they are not! Btw: We are black and white.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • sue

      I wish everyone felt as you do. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Too many children are being raised by parents who are full of hate.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  82. Smileandwave

    You know what is real sad?? Thats all i heard about this story was a black kid was killed... No name of the kid and no motive except he was killed over racism. People tend to forget even if we were all the same color humans would come out with something else to judge about others.... Example; we are all the same shade of blue .... but jim bob has a big nose and isnt the brightest tool in the shed... soon all people will match stupidity with big noses!! There is a card for everything and its human to play those cards.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  83. Corinne

    I am the mother and step-mother of six (6) boys. One is black. He came home with my son from school and never left. He is 6'2" and 145 lbs. His wide smile can melt hearts. Many times, coming home from school or work at night, a police car would tail him to my home. His crime? Walking while black. Once, he told me that it bothers him that "people are afraid of him" and that "they cross the street when they see him coming." Never using color as an excuse, I told him to get rid of the baggy pants and the jacket that is three (3) sizes too big. Appearance matters. By the way, I live in the liberal state of Massachusetts. Trayvon, RIP.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      "people are afraid of him" and that "they cross the street when they see him coming."

      LOL, your racist black son WISHES people would cross the street when he was coming. Your "son" is lying through his teeth, or you are.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Brerlou

        I'm 6' tall, 69 years old, and was living in Medford, MA, up to 3 years ago. Most mornings I'd go running, if you could call it that, through a neighborhood near Tuft's University where runners are commonplace. More often than not pedestrians would cross over to the other side of the street from the danger posed by this white-haired, 66 year old black man. So that's true. Well, Chris Rock said he'd cross over to the other side too, if he saw a black man running on his side of the street.

        March 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      If you dress like a cop people will treat you like one. If you dress like a h00ker people will treat you like one. If you dress like a little thug people will treat you like one. Seems you and this boy see racism where there isn’t any.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        And if you dress like a Harvard law student graduating with honors you can get arrested on bogus charges. Read Bryonn Bain's article "Walking While Black: The Black Man's Bill of Rights" from The Village Voice over 10 years ago. Cops didn't see a Harvard educated man. They saw a black man.

        March 22, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  84. Wow

    Reading all the comments has me amazed. I have a young son who will grow up to be a black man and I do hate that some people won't give him a chance because of this fact. Just because an act of racism doesn't result in a violent crime doesn't minimize the act. There will be people who will not speak because he is black, there will be people who close doors in his face because he's black, there will be people who rush to get away from him because he's black. How do I know? It's happened to me and every time it does, I'm disgusted and I'm a black woman. So preparing little black children for this type of reality is not making them feel like they're lower class citizens, it's just letting them know that ignorance does exist and to be aware. I am not racist, but realistic. I don't look at every person of another race and assume they're going to be rude to me because I'm black, but I am aware that there are people who will do just that. Racism can be dealt to someone from anyone of another race, not just white on black or vice versa Also all the black on black crimes that everyone wants to mention, those crimes are ignorance too. So please don't minimize racism because a "crime" didn't occur.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Karrie

      Just something that popped into my head...maybe the little 6 year old girl at the airport didn't really mean he was dirty=black=threatening. Maybe it was something her mother taught her in an attempt to avoid strangers. Strangers are dirty so stay away from them.
      It is a little irking that there was an immediate jump to racism in the writers head.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Corinne

      I tried to raise my kids to be color-blind. I never mentioned color when referring to someone else. When I was in the ER with my then 3-year old, there was an adorable black toddler. I said to my son that I would just love to take her home (we have all boys). His response? "No, I don't want a brown sister." Well, if the ground could have swallowed me up! Btw, he said "brown" because he had never heard me say "black".

      March 21, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  85. jwk1

    Interesting article, but I am afraid Ms Oglesby's son should fear most other black boys, not white. At least that's what the crime statistics say.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • LanceBoston

      Yes, crime statistics do say that a person is more likely to be robbed, assaulted, or murdered by another person of the same race, not more likely by a black person. However, her blog is about racism, interracial climate, and the dangers of stigmatization and bigotry. Your smug little comment does nothing but fan flames of hatred and fear, and isn't needed here in this blog, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        @ jwk1

        @ LanceBoston
        Jwk1 comment is a verifiable fact. Your little twist on the statistics fails to take into account population percentages. If a comment here is smug it would be yours. I would also add it’s a self serving half truth.

        March 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      No, that's what the arrest statistics say.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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