We’ve all heard the story of the innocent looking elderly lady who clutches her pocketbook in fear as a young black male walks past her, or the people that move to the opposite side of the street to avoid “danger that may arise” from being in the presence of the previous described person. These young individuals get followed around in stores and even get kicked out of locations because they look as if they will steal or cause trouble. I admit even my senses heighten and I turn on my defense mode when I am approached by a strange black male. Society has told us to automatically perceive them as a potential threat. “They have track records,” we think. Appalling! Some may holler. But to those it happens to, it’s just normal everyday living.
For 17-year-old Trayvon Martin this battle of prejudging escalated from a temporary feeling of discomfort to a bloody altercation that demanded he pay the price of his life.