Trayvon Martin and the “C” Word
I finally had an opportunity to view the 7-Eleven surveillance video of Trayvon Martin that was filmed the night he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. I had heard about the video and had my own ideas about what I’d see. However, the low-grade footage was nothing like I'd imagined. The first thing that struck me was the infamous, but actually not so infamous hoodie. Upon seeing it, I had to chuckle a bit because I wear a similar hoodie to the gym every morning. And when it’s raining, like it was the night Trayvon was shot, I wear it over my head. The next thing that caught my eye were Trayvon’s sagging pants. I also noticed him pulling them up. Perhaps he was hearing his mother’s voice in that moment saying, “Trayvon, pull your pants up, boy!” A hoodie, sagging pants, am I scared yet? Does this tall, awkward, lanky-looking teen frighten me? Does he appear to be someone who should be followed, someone who could be a threat to the neighborhood?
In an attempt to be objective, I forget about the case and just look at what’s on the video. Again, I ask myself does Trayvon look menacing? Does he look like he’s going to rob the place? What’s he there for? Oh…okay, he’s buying a forty ounce and some Trojans. Not! He’s buying a beverage and Skittles. Is he going to snatch the items and make a run for the door? Wait a minute. He’s reaching into his pockets. OMG, duck. He has a gun! My bad, it’s just money. He’s reaching for money to pay for the items.
It looks like he’s just a customer and not the other “C” word…Criminal. He’s just a teen at 7-Eleven who had no idea that that visit to the neighborhood 7-Eleven would be his last time ever going into a 7-Eleven or any store for that matter. Watching Trayvon, it hits me that in that very moment, he had no idea that within an hours time his life would be over. He had no idea that a trip to 7-Eleven would result in him be coming international news and that his image would be plastered on newspapers, websites, magazines, t-shirts, buttons, and television screens. He had no idea in that moment that he would never see his mother or father again. He had no idea that when he walked out of those 7-Eleven doors that he was moving closer to the end of his life.
I wonder what was going through his mind standing at that counter counting out change. Was he thinking about his 19-year-old friend Rachel Jeantel who’s been on the witness stand this week? I'll bet if they could speak to each other right now, they would both shake their heads, and say out loud that never in a million years, did either of them see this coming. Life is like that. One minute we’re at the 7-Eleven and the next we're…only God knows when we’ll leave here. In this video, Trayvon reminds me that life is tenuous and precious and every moment counts!