There will be more Trayvons
Trayvon Martin was shot dead exactly one year ago today. As we acknowledge this dubious anniversary, a question to consider is: Are we doing any better a year later, when it comes to keeping young people safe?
Not long after the shooting, young people, of all races took to the streets, to show their solidarity with Trayvon, in Million Hoodie Marches, saying, “We are all Trayvon.” In the ensuing year, the response to the case often shook out under two camps: those who identify with the young man, versus those who reflexively, insistently, perniciously identify with George Zimmerman. (“We are all George Zimmerman," they inherently believe, the potential victims of a nasty mugging.)
Also not long after the shooting, I appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to insist that Trayvon had been “shot in cold blood.” The show’s host took great exception to my claim. Bill O’Reilly vented surprise and outrage that I would be unwilling to shoot an armed assailant attempting to mug me. “I would shoot a four-year old!” O’Reilly shouted at me.