I’ve been going back in my head for the last few days trying to figure out how to do my part in keeping you alive. As I write this letter and look at your photo, I can’t help but feel as though you’re looking directly back at me. Although I have never actually heard your voice or even met you…my soul can hear you begging us to fight for not only your justice, but ours as well.
You didn’t deserve to die in the rain, on the cold sidewalk after being followed for no good reason. You didn’t deserve to be stereotyped for wearing a hoodie to keep you dry. And you definitely didn’t deserve to be deemed suspicious just because your skin was darker than his. But just know that your death was not in vain.
You see, you’ve forced this country to face an issue that we all try to sweep under the rug. You’ve forced us to look in the mirror and face the fact that Blacks are not treated equally…no matter what people say. You’ve made me realize that just like you, at any time, I could be a victim. My cries for help could one day be ignored. If not mine, the cries of my brothers, cousins, friends and maybe even my future sons.
You’ve inspired me to be a fighter. You’ve shown us that aside from the racial aspect of this situation, this is about what is right versus what is wrong. It’s not right that your killer sleeps in the bed of his choice at night, while you sleep in a morgue. It’s not right that people try to justify your murder because of what you chose to wear that night.
And it’s not right for us to not fight for you. Because whether we want to accept it or not, we are you…