I was a teenager during the height of the “missing and murdered children case” here in Atlanta. I remember one frantic evening when my younger brother was late getting home from a school event. I remember my mother breaking down into tears as we searched. We found him safe and sound, but you never forget the times you see your mother cry. Those moments are seared into your soul. Then, how much worse is it for the Trayvon Martin’s mother?
But what if?
What if there was no audio or witnesses? What if the victim was a little black girl sitting in her room when a stray bullet found her? What if it happened everyday?
What if we focused less on the shooter, and more on the authorities who felt no need to arrest him? What if we focused less on what the neighbors didn’t do, and more on what we will do in our own lives? What if we focused less on what he was wearing and more on why we as a society allow most anyone to have a gun?
What if voting matched polling in this country on issues of the underserved, women’s rights and healthcare? What if we registered and turned out to vote like other segments of the population? What if love and concern motivated us more than hate and selfishness?
What if we realized that we are the government? What if we took ownership of what happens at each level of government? What if we didn’t wait for incidents like this to give a darn?
What if we didn’t care where we served, as long as we served? What if we didn’t care who got the title, as long as the task got done? What if each of us, consistently, just did something, anything, for someone else?
What if we realized that the best way to prevent these events is to produce a climate of accountability, beforehand? What if we realized that the best way to save lives is to love life? What if we realized that the best way to move on is to let go?
What if we weren’t afraid? What if we lived each day like it was our last? What if we lived each day like it was our first?
What if Trayvon’s death opened our eyes to the death all around us? What if the unjust silencing of Trayvon here, opened our mouths to speak against injustice everywhere? What if, at long last, Trayvon’s cries have awakened us?