Where Do We Go From Here…How Do We Continue to Live the Same?


The death of Trayvon Martin in Florida in the past few weeks has caused a loud public outcry and continues to outrage the greater public. I think the circumstances surrounding his death and the lack of arrest in this case require deep thoughts about justice and the intersection between race, gender, and ethnicity in crimes perpetrated against youth.  In addition, it is important to acknowledge the implications his death will have for other youth of similar age, race, and gender like Trayvon.  First of all, I believe that the fact that Trayvon was a Black high school male walking around a White gated community and shot by a White man helps confirm a trend that is often seen in violence, victimization, and incarceration of young Black males.  This trend continues to persist in what some may call, “a post-racial society,” and the effect of this trend is witnessed in the lack thereof of increased socio-economic status for African Americans.  Furthermore, I think it is important to assess how the death of Trayvon Martin and other violence and victimization perpetrated against youth and the lack of justice for such crimes may encourage other young Black males to continue to carry weapons and use violence whenever they feel threatened, even when there is no need for the use of a gun.  I am afraid that the System’s decision to arrest or not arrest the victim’s perpetrator may impact youth in a way in which they know they live in a society where their rights are not protected or that they continue to see violence as the answer.  If the latter becomes the case and justice is not served in the eyes of many young Black men, I fear the magnitude and rapidity of the engagement in violence among young Black males years to come.