Oh, Trayvon Martin, we are so sorry you are dead. You were just a few months younger than our own terrible son, who is terrible. We understand from others that this is not “rare.” And that he may grow out of it by the time he’s 25, or 30. You will not be 25 or 30. You did not get to 18.
We are especially sorry because we can remember back to the first moments after you were killed, and how everyone was sorry, because Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller had not yet decided you would be the perfect canvas for their new White Knights recruiting efforts. Sean Hannity had not yet made your absolutely normal 17-year-old-boy-self into a New Black Panther Party of One. And this jagoff from yesterday had not yet laughed about you being a gay hustler sucking dick for drug money, or a rabid dog who needed to be put down, or smirked that since he had not died before he hit 18, his karma was undoubtedly shinier than yours. (We have to assume that all those dead children in Newtown had schmutzige karma as well, and were just not good, shiny, happy people like Todd Kincannon.)
After you were killed, we went to a march in your honor. We had met this super-cool, super-smart teenage black lesbian at one of those alternative schools, and she pretty much yelled at us because no white people had gone to protest the KKK in LA. “You are telling me no white people showed up to protest the KKK?” we asked, super-annoyed, because don’t be a LIAR. Well, no. Obviously white people had showed up to protest the KKK. But they hadn’t come in a group of white people to say “White People against the KKK.”
So at this march, we took it upon ourselves to speak as white people who were sorry on behalf of white people, because this young boy had been killed for being black, and back then, everyone still knew it.
“Dear People of Color,” read our sign, “We are sorry. Love, white people.” Most of the people of color at the march really liked it! They said thank you. We said you’re welcome, and we are sorry. Then a news guy, who was a black guy, came over and kind of slitted his eyes up and started asking us test questions like “Is racism over?” (No.) “How do we end racism?” (Befuddled look.) (How the fuck would we know?) (Do we look like we have won all the Nobel Peace Prizes?) (Um?) We got out of there by the skin of our teeth with a “moral arc of the universe” “bending toward justice” “mumble mumble” “um?”
But we are sorry. We are so sorry. And everyone else used to be too. At least until Barack Nobummer had the gall to point out that he looked like you, and is also a black man (you never became a black man, you were just a boy), and then all holy fuck broke loose because the president is a near.