Eleven years ago, during the NBA All-Star Game, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by self-appointed Neighborhood Watch person George Zimmerman in his father’s neighborhood of Sanford, Florida, outside of Orlando. Martin only carried a can of Arizona Ice Tea and a pack of Skittles.
After Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s acquittal, an epidemic of young Black males dying at the hands of law enforcement and citizens alike hit the streets of America, such as Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Akai Gurle and a host of others in which almost no one was held responsible for their deaths. In some cases, the municipalities of the cities where the deaths occurred sued the estates of the deceased.
If Trayvon would’ve lived the life of a normal teenager instead of being killed by an overzealous citizen, he would be 28 years old. Even President Obama declared at the time of Martin’s death saying, “Trayvon Could’ve Been Me,” which sent shockwaves across the globe. The death of Trayvon marks a dramatic turning point in the history of America and proves that racism is alive, well, and as American as an NBA All-Star Game.