A Letter from Someplace Better (by Trayvon Martin)

Cover Image

To my parents,
I’m sorry.
Sorry that the world you raised me in
was a world not ready
for the love you raised me with.
When you cry for me,
I cry with you.
A tear for every memory
Every smile when I made the honor roll
Every cheer when I excelled on the football field
Every scolding when I misbehaved.
It took you 17 years to make me
and it took another man
less than 17 minutes
to take me
but nothing
could ever take
our love away.
I love you.

To the last person I really talked to:
My girlfriend.
As the great DC poet Wale once said,
“We may have been too young to know love..”
But what we had was close enough.
I pray that you will heal and move on
maybe one day raising beautiful black children
into a better world
than the one that I left you in.

To every rapper from my home state of Florida
especially Rick Ross
The “Bawse”
I hope you use the power of your platform
not only to glorify violence
but to tell stories like mine
so that young people my age
who enjoy and support your music
can truly see themselves reflected in it.
For if you truly are
“the Boss”
of Florida,
then some of your employees
need to be fired.
And speaking of which…

To the Sanford police,
despite what you might assume,
I’m a pretty well-read young man,
so I know about the blue shield.
I understand that you feel the need
to protect your own
right or wrong.
But no matter how much evidence you meddle with,
know that there is one judge
whose vision
no cover-up
will muddle up.
And when that day comes,
I would say,
“Lord help you..”
but it is that very Lord
whose wrath
will be dealt to you.

To President Obama,
thank you
for telling the world
that if you had a son
he would look like me.
I agree.
I have your ears.
May you use those ears
to hear
through the lies
the truth
in my cries.
By the way,
I would have liked
to have voted
for someone like you
but I died
before I was old enough to.

To the protesters,
may your righteous rage not lose its zeal
until our community truly heals.
Instead of buying packs of Skittles
in reference to my last meal,
may you truly taste the rainbow
bringing all of our colors,
and perspectives
into a sweet swirl
of acceptance
and mutual understanding.
And instead of simply putting on a hoody,
may you represent me
by putting on
your “hood”
taking true ownership
of the streets
that you call your own.

And last,
but certainly not least,
to the last person I saw
in my brief earthly existence:
George Zimmerman,
my murderer.
….forgive you.
In fact,
I thank you.
Thank you
for sending me
to a place
that’s devoid
of the hate
that clearly haunts you.
And thank you
for martyring me
into a new millennium Emmett Till
around whose name
the issues of racism,
and police corruption
can be discussed
and hopefully dealt with.
And though one with a heart
made of different stuff
might wish the same bloody fate
upon you
as you rendered unto me,
I instead answer your hate
with compassion,
knowing that by the end of your life,
a life empty except for
the anger you embrace,
the most compelling thing
you will have ever done
with yours
will have been
taking mine.

from a better place,
Trayvon Martin

Created: Mar 25, 2012


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