Sybrina Fulton has a message to the family of Michael Brown. Fulton is Trayvon Martin’s mother, and her pain and perspective on the gunning down of 18-year-old unarmed black teen Michael Brown is one that few can offer.
Fulton’s open letter to Brown’s parents says she wishes she “had a word of automatic comfort, but I don't,” and tells the parents to not allow anyone to “convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.”
Writes the USA Today: “The letter, published Monday, comes from Fulton's experience in 2012 when her 17-year-old son Trayvon was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 28, in Florida. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.”
"I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence," Fulton says in the letter published in Time magazine. "But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son."
Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing. --Trayvon Martin’s mother
Speaking of the public court of opinion – some of whom have vilified Brown as an antagonistic rabble-rouser while others paint a picture of a blameless youngster – Fulton prepares the Browns to “hear character assassinations about Michael, which I am certain you already have.”
She then adds: “This will incense and insult you. All of this will happen before and continue long after you have had the chance to lay your son to rest.”
“Honor your son and his life, not the circumstances of his alleged transgression,” Fulton writes. “I have always said that Trayvon was not perfect. But no one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered. No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.”
“If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us,” she writes, pledging that neither her son’s life nor Michael Brown’s life “shall be in vain.”
“Some will mistake that last statement as being negatively provocative. But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored.”
The release of the letter comes amid continued rioting and unrest in Ferguson. Brown's autopsy results, released this week, spurred another night of looting and violence.