“They say that time heals all wounds… It does not! — Sybrina Fulton
The Paramount Network and BET ran the first episode last night of Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. My youngest daughter asked me on Facebook if I was watching? I replied I had taped it to watch in the morning. My daughter said, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to sit through this.” Comments from others on the thread included:
“I ain’t even gonna be able to do it!”
“I didn’t even attempt to watch it!”
These replies were all from young black women, most of them mothers, that understood just how much pain would be involved in reliving the family’s story of the senseless killing of their teenage son. The injustice of watching his killer walk free. Most of all the piercing screams for “HELP,” Trayvon’s last words.
The first segment was every bit as painful as these young women imagined it would be. It humanized Trayvon and the family, making them so much harder to characterize in a manner that makes it easier to dismiss his murder. We also see more of George Zimmerman than was shown during his trial. We heard numerous non-emergency calls to the police department about; black kids “under 12” playing in the streets, black kids walking around, a black teenager “up to no good!”
“These assholes, they always get away. Fucking punks!” George Zimmerman
We are reminded what it took to even get the Sanford, FL police department to press charges. The night George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin he slept in his own bed. The Department cited “Stand Your Ground Laws” as the reason they could not arrest Zimmerman who claimed self-defense. Only public outrage forced the Sanford Mayor to release the 911 tames where the haunting screams forced an arrest. In Clearwater, FL, Michael Drejka is not being charged for the murder of the unarmed Markeis McGlockton on July 19, 2018 based on Stand Your Ground. Little has changed!
The women who chose not to watch perhaps underestimated how painful it would be to hear the painful recollections of Trayvon’s parents; Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. You heard from his aunt, grandmother and brother. I wish I could tell those women it “isn’t as bad as you might think,” but in reality it’s probably worse. Part 1 will tear at your soul and you won’t be able to help but imagine if you were in their place. Perhaps as the documentary develops there will be a call to action, some way to convert raw emotions into positive change? But for now, the pain is real, a wound not healed by time.
The Docuseries was produced by Jay-Z