Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old high school student, was gunned down by a man who claimed that Martin looked "suspicious." The only thing Trayvon was wearing was a "hoodie" sweatshirt and he was carrying a bag of Skittles and iced tea that he retrieved from the store for his little brother. He was unarmed and did not pose a threat to anyone except the trigger man, George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch captain. He was followed and harassed because of the color of his skin.
The year is 2012, and we as a nation still choose to ignore the racism and injustice that goes on around us and to our own children. My son is only 2 years-old and has a collection of hoodies, and has since birth. Most of these hoodies were purchased from places such as Wal-Mart, Target and Old Navy. It breaks my heart as a mother, even at the tender age of 2, I fear for my Son's life. I fear for the racial profiling that will happen to him when he turns 17, the same age as Trayvon Martin.
Today's society is afraid to speak out against injustice due to man reasons. Fear of being portrayed a certain way to the media, fear of disappointing friends, even fear of losing a job. But that's where the problem is, we need to speak up, we need to scream out. Because allowing your voice to be heard is the first step to making a change. Let's do our part, let's do it for our children. Let's do it for Trayvon.
Ashley Howard is a recent transplant to Oakland, CA. She spoke at the #JusticeforTrayvon Rally in San Francisco. To contact her you can email her