Monday, July 15, 2013

Could George Zimmerman Be My Son?

"Trayvon could be my son."  I've been reading a lot of that the past few days.

I can identify with that.  Although I am white, I have a bi-racial son.  I can feel the tightening of my heart that comes from danger too near. 

But that is not what I'm reflecting on today.  I'm wondering. Could George Zimmerman be my son?

What parenting, community, neighborhood, extended family, church and school made him who he is?
What society, what culture, creates and claims the George Zimmermans of the world?

More to the point, maybe, is what mother can say that George Zimmerman could not be her son?

This mother would be one who knows that she has instilled a love for all humanity in her son.  She would be confident that she has modeled more than just tolerance for other races, but truly an appreciation and admiration for other cultures. 

She would take her son to a church, mosque or temple, brightly colored by the faces of varying ethnic groups in the pews.  She would live in a neighborhood with Blacks and Whites, Asians, Hispanics, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Jews.  This mother would send her son to a school in which diversity was real, and also studied.  Her son would be culturally literate. 

This mother would have friends of varying races and cultures into her home.  She would talk openly with  her son about the value and beauty of culture, and the underlying oneness of us all.  She would have a son who was comfortable asking questions about race.  It would not be a topic to politely avoid.

She would provide models for her son of empathy, compassion and peace.  Violence and aggression would be no part of his psyche.  Neither would fear and mistrust.  He would glorify neither weapons nor power. 

This is the mother, the only one I know, who could say with a clear conscience that George Zimmerman could not be her son.