Trayvon Martin and my son

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I wanted to share a story with you all that I shared first on Facebook this weekend.

My heart and head ache this evening. Israel turned 15 last week and he's having a belated birthday party tonight. He asked me if he and his friends could go outside this evening and play "Cops and Robbers" with his Nerf guns. 

My stomach lurched and cold fingers of fear grasped at my throat when I imagined my dark son, dressed in a sweatshirt, running through the streets of our neighborhood. With a dry mouth and wet eyes, I angrily told him that he could not go outside and play a simple childhood game. 

I hope he knows that I am not angry with him, but I'm infuriated with the world we're raising him in. I'm angry at myself for limiting my son and denying him his youth because I'm petrified of what may happen to him for LWB (living while brown). I'm angry that black and brown boys are always seen as a threat, and never the joyful kids I know them to be. 

The verdict in the Trayvon Martin case has caused so much pain for so many, and our family grieves tonight. We mourn not just Trayvon and his family, but for the loss of innocence and freedom every brown and black kid endures with this verdict.

I know we’re all looking for something to give us hope after the events of this past weekend. I find hope in my children’s eyes. I find hope in working for change every day as a Senator in the Colorado state legislature. I find hope in the kind words friends and strangers have offered up at this difficult time.