The whole world knows their names and we all think we know their stories. We think we know the what-happened and the he-thoughts and the he-dids and the whys. But we don’t. There are only two people who know exactly what happened to cause the death of Mr. Martin and one of those people will never speak another word on Earth again. This post isn’t about self-defense vs youth vs gun control vs guilt vs innocence because I am not Mr. Zimmerman and arm-chair quarter-backs rank with those who talk during movies or chew with their mouths open. I was not on the jury and odds are neither were you, so lets move along…
Here’s my question: what will the media use as our excuse for killing each other when we all look like Mr. Zimmerman? Mr. Zimmerman’s mixed-race status is the future of humanity. Soon, there will be no black, white, yellow, red… We will just be humans with our own particular shade of brown and a litany of ancestries. We’re half-way there already, aren’t we? None of us has only one branch in our family tree, we can all point to at least one divergence that makes our predecessors squirm in discomfort. We are all children of the globe.
Here is my wish for humanity: that when one human causes the death of another human, we grieve. I wish we would all grieve with fervor, beating our breasts and crying at the injustice of a life cut short. I wish we would grieve so profoundly, that the human species would become tattooed in the soul and forever shun the possibility of violence. I wish that when someone dies we would hug strangers and weep communally without rancor or hope of fame.
Wishes very often do not come true, so I will hope, then. My hope for humanity is this: that when someone is murdered, we stop labeling the dead with titles like black, white, mixed-race, homosexual, transgender, fetus, product of conception, euthanized. Some labels we choose, some we are given. The words “fellow human soul” are never whispered. How nice it would be if we could file ourselves and our neighbors the way my old boss used to file purchase orders: ‘just stick in in the drawer over there, it doesn’t matter where.’
We protect endangered species of worms with greater verve than we protect our fellow men. There is no sanctity established for being a sentient being… unless we’re studying an ape or dolphin or a toad. We revel in their thoughts, their society… why do we not cherish our own?
I hope that someday we can all just be human, and brown, and at peace.