On the one-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death, we must remember that black men are six times more likely to be victims of homicide than their white counterparts to be killed by gun related violence. We learned that white perpetrators of murder are far less likely to receive harsh punishments as those compared to black perpetrators. We were faced with accepting the fact that sometimes walking without fear for one's life is a privilege for many. But more importantly, we were shaken to our core and forced to pay attention to everything that was going on around us.
There were more than 500 murders in Chicago last year, an astounding number of dead individuals who rarely gained public attention. Unfortunately, there seems to be a new high profile shooting every month.
But in the midst of highlighting all of these news stories, have we forgotten the solidarity that was exhibited soon after the Martin case? Understandably, there have been mass murders that have gotten the attention of our media outlets; however, those stories have also begun to cycle out of the headlines as well.
Soon after the case, black men across the U.S were donning black hoodies to show that they "were Trayvon Martin."
Even senators on the House floor wore hoodies to exhibit that regardless of their public rank, they too, at some time, faced the same sobering homicide statistics at one time. This is important because it shows that regardless of where one is able to go through achievement, the implications of the social construction of race are still devastating. President Obama gave a speech soon after this story made national headlines by making a connection to this death by drawing parallels to what his own son, if he had one.
As we mark the one-year-anniversary, there is very little talk about solidarity marches, news channels don't seem to give the story much airtime and I haven't seen a black hoodie on someone in quite sometime. Have we forgotten about this murder? Or have we allowed ourselves to become desensitized in wake of all the individuals who have lost their lives?
As we prepare to silently commemorate this day, do all that you can to keep the legacy of Martin alive, it has become far to easy to forget the names, faces and events leading up to the untimely death of our youth.