Google Florida and you will find the following almost supernatural occurrences:

  • Bath Salt Eating Zombies
  • Mega Mosquitoes
  • Giant House Eating Snails

If you follow the news, it seems that Sunnydale has relocated to Florida, an its the new Hellmouth (Where is Buffy When you need her).  With more mythical creatures they a SyFy movie starring *insert D list actor here* you would think that the 6 legged wouldn’t be less terrifying then the ones walking on two feet.  I can protect myself from the snails and maybe even the zombies but in Florida I can’t protect my 20-year-old brother and recent Florida transplant from the real monsters of the world the Zimmerman’s.  

I’ve struggled for the last few week with watching the Zimmerman trial and not watching in order to keep my sanity. Stating that the Zimmerman trial is hard to watch would be an enormous understatement, it is gut wrenching and soul draining experience.  Sometime I have to go a day or two and not actively watch/read trial coverage so I don’t spend the day enraged. Not just because of the senseless and utterly tragic lost of a young black boy, or the pain of watching his family mourn daily in a courtroom, but it the constant devaluing of his life and basic personhood  that has rocked me to my core.

How can a son, a brother, a friend and young man with endless potential be reduced to just another body in the grass?  This thought haunts me every time I speak to my not so little brother as he settles into life in Florida (with my Grandmother) and prepares to register for college. All I can think is “What if he goes out for Iced Tea and Skittles and never comes back”? because an over zealous “neighborhood watchman” decides he just another black kid who shouldn’t be in his neighborhood.  Maybe a few years ago that fear would sound erratic, until it actually happened.  I know Florida is not the only place our young brown boys and girls are treated like common criminals that are guilty until proven innocent, but for now its the only one where my baby brother is laying his head.

When I speak to my (not so) little brother I end every call with “I love you, please be careful” meaning it with every ounce of my being, because my brother is another young black man living in the Sunshine State.

While I live in a state of fear.