By Rod Emelle
Hey, man. It’s been a minute since we first met. I’m so sorry that we never got the chance to really know each other. Not saying it would’ve been some kind of love-fest between us but I think you would’ve realized I wasn’t a threat to you. By now you know that I was just in town with my father to visit his fiancé and I was only going to the area 7-11 to buy some Skittles and iced tea. I understand you can’t be too careful these days. Who knows, if I were neighborhood watch captain and with the recent break ins, I may have followed me too. But, then again who really knows what I would’ve done in that situation.
I was seventeen. I was a kid, I hadn’t lived a third of my life. It’s weird, there’s a faction of black kids my age, who can’t even see themselves living past the age of eighteen. I was by no means one of them. I was planning to go to college like my brother who is attending Florida International University. I hadn’t decided what I wanted to study in college but whatever it was Trayvon was going to get his money. I was thinking about the University of Florida but my boy who graduated last year is at Howard University in Washington, DC. He said “HU is the place to be.” To be honest, I wasn’t going anywhere if I didn’t focus more in school. Before we met, I had been having my share of “fun” at school. It’s nothing an average, “junior-soon-to-be-senior” hadn’t done before, but they were only acts punishable by suspension, not death.
As a teen I may have made some bad choices but never anything so bad to where as my parents had to pick you up from a police station. I wonder, were you thinking you knew my “type” because you have heard gangster rap or watched a few videos on BET. Or maybe you saw a movie with images that portray blacks as lazy, shiftless, violently aggressive and unintelligent. Let’s keep it 100, you acted based on a stereotype. But ironically, I am now one of the fallen, that my peers thought would be them.
I know you’ve learned a lot about me through the media and numerous pundits, who quite honestly I never met before in life — awkward. Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the support from everyone—the million hoodie march, the YouTube declarations – without social media I think I would’ve been easily lost in the 24 hour news cycle with Kris and Kim K’s divorce. Did I mention how much I dug the Miami Heat team picture with the hoodies? Do you know how big of a fan of D-Wade I am? I always wanted to meet him, because LeBron or not, that is D-Wade’s team. Now that I think about it there a lot of things I wanted to do, but well, you know what happened.
You actually called my parents and left a message to apologize for killing me. For that I thank you, though I think they would’ve appreciated it in person. Then again with the mob-like mentality looking for you right about now, I’d be scared to show my face in public too. I know you’re wondering “why me? Why must I be caused all this discomfort”, but it’s a weird thing, George. So many “black on black” homicides take place daily and go unsolved and ignored, it’s just taken as the norm, like the lottery and the weather report. There are so many “Pookies” and “Skeeters”, whose murders sit in cold cases that the TV show of the same name could go on for six more seasons. America has been numbed to “black on black” homicides like doses of uncut heroin.
This is the murder of an unarmed young African American by the hands of a— to be honest what is your ethnicity? Everyone’s saying Hispanic but your last name Zimmerman, so I’m confused but most people just see you as, “NOT BLACK”. To say the least, “white on black” homicide conjures up images of white people unfairly lynching and killing black people — remember Emmett Till? You probably don’t. Anyway, your shooting me lit a fire under the black community and those who thought you were a tad quick to playing judge, jury and executioner. So to them it’s time to march, make popular gestures and flood social media in the name of a trending cause. And the trending cause holding the number one spot for the fourth week in a row on Twitter is Trayvon Martin.
I think if the authorities took, “black on black” homicide more seriously, my loss wouldn’t be so devalued. I’m not calling you my murderer (the masses words, not mine), but you shot the gun that placed bullets in my body and I am presently dead. Many debate what transpired between us before the gun went off. Only you and I will know the truth, but the world knows that you were told by the 911 dispatcher to not follow me and wait for police to arrive. By that fact alone, the tables turned and whatever suspicions that I brought in you, arose in me as you followed with me with your gun. Now, I know many people debate daily on what kind of person I was and I was by no means perfect. But even if I had a criminal streak in me and was headed down the wrong road with poor life choices, it didn’t mean I deserved to die. You blatantly ignored the instructions of the 911 operator and confronted me, an unarmed kid, for reasons ranging from Skittles to my hooded sweatshirt and– while I hate to say this in the 21st century– most probably my race.
Again, George, I hate that you’re going through all this discomfort with the masses. I wish you could’ve been arrested, so you could out be out on bail and you wouldn’t have to deal with all the discomfort of an aggressive public calling for your head. But on the other hand, George, I wish I could go to my senior prom. I wish I could graduate from high school next year. I wish I could go to college. I wish I could get a great job, get married and raise a family. I wish I could just hug my Mama one last time and let her know that I am ok. I just wish that I was alive.