I’ve stayed quiet about the Zimmerman Verdict, because it is a situation where not a single soul “wins” in this particular matter. It is also a subject that touches home with me.
I have a 13 year old son. He is rarely seen in public without his hoodie on. Even during the summer, with 90 degree weather, he’s got that damn hoodie on. Don’t ask, I have no clue as to why – he just does.
We have not taught our boys to run from a fight. Their dad doesn’t want them to grow up to be punks. He’s told them more times than I can count, “If someone hits you, you hit them back. Don’t ever run from a fight.” My daughter, on the other hand, we’ve always told to call 911 or get someplace where there are other people if she feels uncomfortable on the street.
We don’t tell our daughters to fight – we tell them be smart, be safe, call 911 and get to a populated area. Our sons are told not to back down, not to be a punk. Our sons are the ones that are dying or going to jail. This has absolutely nothing at all to do with race, either. This has to do with our children.
Both individuals – Martin and Zimmerman – had choices to make that night. Each of them choose to make the wrong choice, and now Martin is dead and Zimmerman will never have a normal life again. Yes, he is a “free man” as far as the law is concerned with the not guilty verdict. Considering the protests and the death threats that have been a constant since that fatal night however – do you honestly believe that he will ever truly be free? Zimmerman will spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. That’s not freedom to me. That’s just jail without the bars folks.
For those of you with sons, talk with them. Explain to them that they need to remain alive to take care of their families. They can’t do that if they fight first and think later. Later might not come. Fighting should always be a last resort, not a first response. Not fighting will not make you a punk, it will make you alive and breathing for another day. It makes you smart. Offer other options besides fighting to them.
Teach your sons to stay alive. Teach them to make smart decisions and choices. Teach them safety first, fighting last.
It just might save their life one day.
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