You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away.
As African-Americans, that's what's being played fast and loose with, our citizenship. When you have the Trayvon Martins and the Michael Browns being shot and killed, it's because, on a certain level, there is a kind of mutability in the understanding of citizenship around the black body.
We have been shaken by the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice - shaken, but not sufficiently unsettled. We must contextualize those losses, force our neighbors to become so deeply disturbed by what has occurred that they, too, are inspired to act to change the system.
Over the course of the years, I've learned [that] fashion is a fascinating business about selling magic. It is done on the backs of our optimism and our insecurity. It is as much psychology as commerce. But I've also learned that every day we make split second decisions about people based on their attire and those decisions can have powerful implications - see the story of Trayvon Martin and his hoodie. It's important for us to understand how fashion works and how we connect to it.
The vision preached by my father a half-century ago was that his four little children would no longer live in a nation where they would judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. However, sadly, the tears of Trayvon Martin's mother and father remind us that, far too frequently, the color of one's skin remains a license to profile, to arrest and to even murder with no regard for the content of one's character.
Martin Luther King III