Trayvon Martin’s Mother in Letter to Michael Brown’s Family: ‘Your Lives Are Forever Changed’
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, wrote an emotional, powerful and inspirational open letter to the family of Michael Brown.
Unfortunately, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have very similar stories – they were slain by men who were supposed to be there to protect them.
Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012.
Zimmerman was acquitted last year.
Now, we have the story of Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old high school graduate who was shot multiple times by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson despite the teen allegedly having his hands up and asking the officer not to shoot.
Unfortunately, Brown’s and Martin’s mothers will forever have a bond as two mothers who have had to bury their children due to gun violence.
Last year, Fulton watched her son’s killer be set free, and now she has powerful words for Brown’s family as they are embarking on the same journey she started years ago.
“I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence,” Fulton said in the open letter in Time magazine. “Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involved children far too young. But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live.”
Fulton admitted that she didn’t have any words that could possibly take away any of the family’s pain and she can’t tell them when the pain will stop because she is still hurting years after her son was gunned down.
As if the pain of having to bury their son was not enough, Fulton explained that life as they know it has changed.
“Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free,” Fulton continued. “In fact, he is on administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. … Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever, you had in ‘the system’ and their agents are forever changed. Your lives are forever changed.”
As the Browns have certainly seen by now, Fulton told them they will have tons of support from all over the world while they also will watch media outlets and police officials try to criminalize Brown and it will all “happen before and continue long after” the family is even able to lay Brown to rest.
“I will support you and your efforts to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels and Trayvons of our country,” the letter continued. “The 20 Sandy Hook children. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Kendrick Johnson. Sean Bell. Hadiya Pendleton. The Aurora shooting victims …. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-19. That is a horrible fact.”
What she also made clear, however, was that the movement in these slain children’s honor will be powerful.
“But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain,” Fulton said at the end of her letter. “… While we fight injustice, we will also hold ourselves to an appropriate level of intelligent advocacy. If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us.”
She added that the statement was not made to incite violence, but to encourage change.
“But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children,” she wrote. “We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light.”