Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Teaching or Coaching Trayvon Martin
Woke up this morning thinking of Trayvon Martin. i would have loved to be his coach or teacher. Would have embraced the challenge of trying to direct his anger and passion and rebelliousness and courage into physical or artistic expression or self reflection through books that touched a chord and sparked his imagination. Would have loved looking him in the eye, putting my arm on his shoulder, and making the kind of connection that an older person who has experienced turmoil and anger can make with someone much younger going through the same thing. This is what I have done for the last 50 years, and is what I still do. It is the part of my work I love the most. And it makes the way he died hurt even more. The Trayvon Martins of our country are young people filled with promise. They need to be nurtured, inspired, mentored and loved, not shot down and killed, or suspended from school and locked away. There is a national sickness embodied in the response to this tragedy, and lies as much in the venom directed at Trayvon Martin as the identification with George Zimmerman.