Tracy Martin, Father of Trayvon Martin, in a Father’s Day Message to Americans
Father’s Day may be nearly over, but it is not over for Tracy Martin any time soon.
This years Father’s Day represents the first that Martin will spend without his son, Trayvon, who was shot and killed while walking unarmed through a gated community in a quiet suburb of Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.
“I’m Tracy Martin,” he says in the beginning of the video message. “Becoming a father is a special gift; it’s a miracle of love and an everyday reminder that life can be beautiful.”
“I’ll share a prayer for all the dads throughout the nation who share this grief,” Martin says. “Last year 30,000 fathers lost a son or a daughter from senseless gun violence.”
Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, has been charged with second-degree murder. He has insisted he is innocent and that he shot the 17-year-old high school student in self defense. He has invoked Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows people who feel they are in imminent danger to retaliate with dearly force. Florida is one of nearly two dozen states with similar laws.
I respect this man and his passionate views, because he presents to the world that not all African American men have abandoned their children, living or dead. Although Martin was divorced from Trayon’s mother—yes, they were married at one time—he remained in his son’s life. And he is still grieving the loss of his boy:
While this Sunday won’t be easy, Martin remembers happier Father’s Days with his son.
“I used to tease him when he was small because every Father’s Day, he used to bring me the same gifts — a pair of boxer shorts and some socks. For, like, 10 years in a row, that’s the same gift he got me.”
With a chuckle, Martin added, “He never got me the right size.”
I know about those family rituals. Always the loudest cologne for daddy, or underwear, or a tie and handkerchiefs from the kids. It was regular, every year, like clockwork. But Trayvon’s present will not come for Tracy Martin this year or in the years to come.
In this video, Martin is pleading for lives to saved in the wake of his son’s senseless murder. Stand Your Ground is a license to kill for paranoids. Many read these laws incorrectly or use them to cover up their own complicity in outright murder. And once you let fly a bullet, there is no way to call it back.
There is nothing more valuable than human life, no matter what color or what gender. That is the message, if not the gift, that Tracy Martin gives to us in honor of his son.
- Tracy Martin Reflects On First Father’s Day Without Trayvon (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Trayvon Martin’s Dad has a Moving Message for Father’s Day (colorlines.com)
- Trayvon Martin’s Father Sends Out Father’s Day Message: Fight “Stand Your Ground” Law (clutchmagonline.com)