Who Owns This Shame?

I am a fairly well-to do, middle-aged, white woman. What do I know?

Well, I know that I am a mother, and as a mother I spent decades worrying that my children would grow up to be good-hearted, productive people. I spent decades worrying that my children would be healthy and happy... and I still do.

I worried when they went off as teenagers that they might get into a car accident, that they might get into some teenage-type trouble with alcohol or drugs, or that they might mess up at school.

But never in my wildest dreams did I worry that they would be shot as a result of walking home from a store with a bag of candy.

Overwhelming prevalence of guns. Racism. Fear of the unfamiliar. Vigilante mentality. What killed Trayvon? All of the above, maybe. But, there is a bigger "Why?" question.

Why is it that in America in the year 2013, a black teenager in a hoodie cannot walk to a store and buy some candy without dying?

My heart aches for all parents who have lost a child. But it aches most for those who have lost a child to senseless violence. And it seems that this happens most to young black kids.

The shame is all of ours.