I hope that heaven’s treating you right. I don’t know you but have become familiar with your story thanks to Twitter. You’re a worldwide trending topic, man. Your name and your story is now a movement. Our President spoke on you the other day and said “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Powerful words by the most powerful man in America. People seem united but I’m ashamed it took your death to do it. I’m saddened by the fact that although we’ve signed petitions and raised awareness your murderer remains free. I saw your father on MSNBC and his strength is admirable. Your mother too. Through them I see you. See, Trayvon, I’m a parent too. I have a son who’s a few years younger. My little man is thirteen but you guys could pass for family. Like you he likes wearing hoodies. Out here in California where we live, they’re a fashion statement and a winter coat so I have to say he rocks them daily. There was a foolish media person who tried to make your wearing of a hoodie a crime. Rest easy, brother. Nobody paid that irrelevant journalist any mind. When I drop my son off at school in the morning I see White kids wearing hoodies, Latino kids wearing hoodies, Asian kids too. Hoodies aren’t “a Black thing”. Hoodies aren’t a sign of a criminal but a kid just trying to be down with the “in crowd”. Your hoodie shouldn’t have cost you your life, Trayvon.
I’m writing you this letter because I believe you’re close to God and He has all the answers. So when you get a chance can you ask him a few questions for me? Ask him:
How am I suppose to raise a young black man in a world so twisted?
How can I teach my son independence when the simple act of walking the street on a cell phone with an ice tea and a bag of Skittles can get him killed?
Can you ask THE Father how I can be A father to a son and teach him to be a man if I tell him to run from his fear instead of stand his ground and defend himself?
See Trayvon, your death has sparked a father to ask these questions. The reason your killer is free is due to a law that gives him the right to carry the weapon that ended your life. Even as I type that last sentence it feels crazy to write. I opened this letter with a hope that heaven was treating you right. You walked to the store to get some snacks and wound up in a city of clouds greeted by Angels. And while Heaven is a great place I’m sure you wondered “How did I get here?” You got there because we live in a twisted world where racists have guns and use them on those they fear. You got there because somebody took their Neighborhood Watch job too seriously and when the cops came to the scene and saw a dead black kid in a hoodie they let themselves believe that a claim of self-defense was justifiable. The truth is you shouldn’t be in heaven and your murderer shouldn’t be in the streets. You’re free of these burdens now and your memory will forever remain in the hearts and minds of the people around the country who march in your honor and demand justice for you! We’re fighting for you, Trayvon. We’re fighting so that hopefully another father won’t have to write a letter to heaven addressed to my son.
Rest In Peace Trayvon.