by Ajeya Watson
On February 26, 2012, seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman when walking home from 7/11 in Sanford, Florida, after buying a pocket of Skittles and a bottle of Arizona. According to George, Trayvon looked “suspicious”.
It has been five years since the murder of Trayvon Martin, and to this day, every February we are reminded of his death and what it represents to black youth everywhere. To this day, I do not understand how wearing a hoodie creates suspicion. To this day, I do not understand how Zimmerman was acquitted. To this day, I do not understand how he was allowed to sell the murder weapon for nearly a quarter of a million dollar profit. Trayvon would have turned twenty-two years old on February 5th.
In my opinion, Martin’s murder was brought about by pure hatred and racism. He had a life ahead of him, and it was unfairly snatched away from him because of mere “suspicion.” Trayvon’s death and life have become a symbol to us, not only one of racism and injustice, but of unity–hundreds of thousands of people, black and white alike, screamed in a single voice the unfairness and cruelty of what happened. It is that unity that makes Trayvon’s name so iconic, and people like me and my classmates who learned of his story, will stand up for what we know is right–liberty and justice for all.