Thoughts on Trayvon Martin

Feraz and I did not put a race preference on our adoption paperwork. And even though I could never bring myself to change that lack of preference, I worried. I knew that 85% of the kids in the DC foster care system are black and I knew that most likely, the children that would first be matched with us would be black. I worried about the reception of black children into our families and our communities. I worried about not being able to raise my children “culturally appropriately.” I worried about having to deal with the racism they will be subjected to throughout their lives. I worried about them thinking about how their parents looked so different from them. I worried that they wouldn’t have the chances in life that other children we adopted would.

When a 17-year-old is shot and killed in a racially motivated crime and there is no justice, I realize that I have been worrying about the wrong things. I should be worried about a society in which so many are morally bankrupt. I should be worried about allowing the disease that is racism to seep into my own heart under the guise of wanting to do the right thing. I should be worried that Trayvon Martin is one of thousands of black, Hispanic and other minority men that live their lives in fear because of their appearance, an appearance crafted by the same God of white men. Amidst our statuses of outrage, I urge each of us to examine our hearts and see if there are traces of racism, sexism, classism or other isms that corrupt our relations and dealings with other human beings. I hope that this is an opportunity for us to be honest with ourselves and work at cleansing these sicknesses from our communities. For me, that will be welcoming any child that is in need into our home and our family and spending my efforts not in worrying about where our society is failing but but rather in helping to create the type of society I want to live in.


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