The Common Good

Lament From a White Father

Date: July 15, 2013

It's time for white people -- especially white parents -- to listen, to learn, and to speak out on the terribly painful loss of Trayvon Martin.

If my white 14-year-old son Luke had walked out that same night, in that same neighborhood, just to get a snack, he would have come back to his dad unharmed -- and would still be with me and Joy today. Everyone, being honest with ourselves, knows that is true. But when black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin went out that night, just to get a snack, he ended up dead -- and is no longer with his dad and mom. Try to imagine how that feels, as his parents.

It was a political, legal, and moral mistake to not put race at the center of this trial because it was at the center from the beginning of this terrible case. Many are now saying, "There was a trial; the results must be accepted." How well the case against George Zimmerman was prosecuted, how fair the tactics of the defense were, the size and selection of the jury, how narrowly their instructions were given -- all will be the subject of legal discussions for a very long time.