“Even Though I walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
I fear no Evil, for you are with me so
Tell my loved ones, please don’t cry
Cause if doves can fly, so can I”
Heaven’s in New York—-Wyclef Jean
In Rememberance of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Al Awadhi, I dedicate the lyrics above to you.
I set out on this journey to reveal the Unites States’ everlasting racism. It found me along the trek. I set out on this walk to change people’s hearts and minds. On day thirteen, smelling like a deep fried burrito, in small town Mississippi, the Walk Against Fear 2012 accomplished its goal. I seek these accomplishments on a grand scale.
In every movement, there has been a tragedy that resets our communities’ minds, through which the fighters find the answer and the fearful, fear no more. When that moment finally creeps around the corner, we welcome it into ourselves, and it becomes one with the greatest power we have: the power of sentiment, otherwise known as “love.” We realize that we love ourselves and our neighbor. We cannot allow hatred to continually permeate throughout our society. We take life changing action, together.
Today, I interviewed a middle-aged white man in Grenada, MS at a gas station where he commonly reads his magazines and eats. I wished to engage him in a dialogue about the confederate flag’s flying outside the gas station and what it symbolizes to historically and newly oppressed communities. The dialogue never emerged; the interview became a one way rant against “illegals,” as he vehemently stated, as if his allegations were grounded in truth. His heart was imprisoned, and I could not find the key to unlock it.
Nearing the end of the rant, I became tired and asked, “Although I am a human being, can you at least refer to me as undocumented.”
No, illegal is illegal. I’m going to call it what it is! —- He shouted.
Let me ask you something. Would you call a black man a nigger? —- I questioned.
Yea I would! I’ll do it to his face! —- The bigot replied, even louder!
Finally, the truth came out. After many interviews of only seeing smiles and lies, I recieved the honesty I was seeking. What a relief it was to hear such animalistic words.
The bigot showed us that part of our country has elected to go on a hateful, self-destructive rampage that divides its people through racism, and extremists engage in actions such as the Trayvon and Shaima Al Awadhi’s murders. We just accept the stats quo. We allow Trayvon and Shaima’s deaths to be in vain.
The Murderers are free, roaming outside our homes. And instead of fighting for our lives, we dive into our graves, wishing to be unseen and unheard because it is easier to deny the issue than to accept it and attempt to resolve it.
Well, thank god death has come out of the grave and is staring dead at us when we see Trayvon and Shaima’s faces. We are being given an opportunity to create real change. The spark is lit. Can we create a wild fire? Where do you stand? Can we come together over these incidents? We can make something positive come out of these negative situations, or are we going to let this continue to our people, nuestra gente!
Trayvon and Shaima, on my part I will try my hardest to not let your deaths be just a couple of the many. I walk for you. I send my heart out to the families.