This is bigger than Kim and Kanye. This is bigger than the Facebook IPO. This is bigger than rockin the hoodie to the rally or pouring out some Arizona ice tea for the deceased. This moment right here is a moment of clarity. A moment of definition. A gut-check. A moment of reality. This is the moment when you see what you are made of, what kind of person you are and what kind of person you will be. Do you wade in the water or do you go deep in the ocean? This is MUCH bigger than Kim and Kanye. And trust me, Kanye is on my top 5 greatest MC's list...so this isn't personal.
Trayvon Benjamin Martin was shot by George Michael Zimmerman at 7:16PM on February 26th at 2861 Retreat View Circle in Sanford, Florida with a three hundred dollar black 9mm kel tek pf9 semi-automatic handgun that was 18 inches away from his body, whose single bullet entered his left chest, 17 1/2 inches below the top of his head, 1 inch to the left of the anterior midline and 1/2 inch below the nipples, which left a hole 3/8 inch diameter round and left no exit wound. One bullet straight through the heart killed Trayvon within minutes. One bullet that never left his body.
Now we have the evidence. 183 pages of evidence. Photos. Audio recordings. Videos. Witness statements. Positive tests for marijuana. Complicated. Very, very complicated. Further complicated by news reports, newspaper editorials and talking heads on the news channels. Talk that can shake the conviction off of the tree. But, we didn't get here because our tree is easily shakeable. We certainly didn't get here believing that if you smoked weed, you deserved to get shot, cause as my friend Tim Wise said, "If that justified shooting someone, I'd have been Swiss f'ng cheese b4 age 18." We didn't arrive at this point because we are a fragile generation. We didn't come to this moment because we give up easily. We didn't start this march for justice to only look at the evidence. Evidently, we already lost a few marchers. But we still march on the arch. And that arch still is bent. And that bend still will lead us to justice.
Innocent until proven guilty. We believe that. We stand by that. We are proud that our country respects that. Cases aren't tried just from the evidence on paper. And that 183 pages of paper tells many different stories. Stories of who cried for help, who was throwing the punches, who called who a "terrorist" at work, who could see what through the rain and darkness...stories, lots of different stories. But, let's get one story straight. Real straight. There is no story if George Zimmerman never followed Trayvon and there is certainly no story if Zimmerman listened to law enforcement and never got out of his car. And last time I checked, I am not sure how you start a fight, potentially lose the fight, then kill the person and claim "self-defense?"
We have a long way to go. A long journey to travel. A long march to walk. We don't quit. Our fate is at stake. This is game-time. What kind of generation will we be? This is what we will remember thirty years from now. Our future is determined by our past and our present. Our future is determined by our conviction today. Conviction to believe in justice for all. Justice that rings across this great nation, so no young person of color is ever assumed to be suspicious. That is the justice we fight for. That is the justice we seek. That is the march we hope our lost marchers will find again. Not from the pages of evidence, but from the pages of our conviction.
Yes, our hearts are still broken, and we will not forget the most broken, Tracy, Sybrina and Jahvaris. But, with these broken hearts, we march on. With our hoodies up, and with deep conviction, we will achieve justice for Trayvon.
"We will touch the sky." ~Kanye West
Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik