Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin has written to the family of Michael Brown
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. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve 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. Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing.
I have devoted my life to the comprehensive missions of The Trayvon Martin Foundation – including providing support to families that have lost a young child to senseless gun violence regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. I will support you and your efforts to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels & Trayvons of our country. The 20 Sandy Hook children. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Kendrick Johnson. Sean Bell. Hadya Pendleton. The Aurora shooting victims. The list is too numerous to adequately mention them all. 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.
But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain. The galvanizations of our communities must be continued beyond the tragedies. 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. Some will mistake that last statement as being negatively provocative. But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light. I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before
protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW…
National Council of Churches and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have posted statements:
NCC statement regarding the death of Michael Brown:
Washington, August 18, 2014 – The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA deplores the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, MO on August 9 and supports a complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Brown.
Further, the Council expresses grave concern over the recent killings by police of several other African American men including on July 17, 43 year old Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY; on August 5, 22 year old John Crawford in Beavercreek, OH; and on August 11, 25 year old Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA.
“These killings, as well as those of hundreds of other Americans each year at the hands of increasingly militarized police forces is of great and growing concern. A peaceful, healthy society requires trust and positive relationships between citizens and law enforcement. That can best occur in circumstances in which deep-seated social problems such as racism and inequality are being addressed,” said Jim Winkler, NCC president and general secretary.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) issued this statement:
“The various elements of this painful drama carry the temptation of distracting us from an even more painful truth, one that’s at the heart of it all: His name was Michael Brown. He was 18 years old. He was Black, and he was killed by a police officer. Had he been White, chances are excellent that he would still be alive,” wrote Gustafson. “But the stark fact of Michael Brown’s death under extremely unclear circumstances points our attention to a larger truth: To be born male and African American in this country is to be born into a clear and present danger.”
We need to talk about race and privilege, but high-level conversations between groups will take us only so far. There is no substitute for personal relationship, for connecting one to one with someone who is unlike ‘us.’ Such relating is not comfortable because it has not been the norm. But it is possible and necessary if we want to become more and more the people who trust in God and God’s providing more than we trust in ourselves,” he wrote
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