They marched in protest.  They called for riots, boycotts, sit-ins, and some threatened violence.  They donned hoodies.  They proclaimed “I am Trayvon.”  Who now proclaims to be Christopher Lane?

what once were dreams are now painful memories...

what once were dreams are now painful memories…

I am Christopher Lane.  I didn’t wear a hoodie with skittle-filled pockets.  I wore running shoes and an East Central University baseball cap.

I didn’t profile or stalk anyone.  In fact, I never set eyes on my killers as they shot me in the back.  I never straddled any one of them while pounding their heads onto a concrete sidewalk.  I pounded the sidewalk with my running shoes instead.  But I was executed anyway.

I wasn’t a bored teen; I was industrious and hard-working.  I spent my life working towards my goal to be a producer, not a taker.

I am Christopher Lane.  Is there a white reverend that will console my mother, decrying my race-tinged death while beseeching my martyrdom?  Will a man of the cloth speak with authority and conviction in stronger terms than merely saying the violence that caused my death is “frowned upon?”, Will Chris Matthews apologize to white people on behalf of all black people for my death?  Will the rich and famous take up my cause and organize marches, protests and boycotts?

I am Christopher Lane.  I look less like the presidents’ hypothetical son than my killers do.  Will he acknowledge my horrific passing as well or is there too little political expedience to do so? Will we invent a new racial class, much like the new “White-Hispanic” to identify me or my killers? Which grade school photos will they use to elicit sympathy for me or my executioners?

I am Christopher Lane.  I am silent, who speaks for me now?  When I am thought of, will the accomplishments of my short life be celebrated, tempered by lost possibilities of accomplishments I’ll never get to attempt? Or will we focus our sympathy on the boredom, apathy and “misguided youth” of those who ended my life? Will I have died in vain, my legacy only a simple inscription on a cold stone that now stands on a neatly manicured field in my Australian homeland?

If I no longer walk with the living, could my death still lead them to finally face each other and admit that hate has no color, no creed, no race or religion?  Could I possibly convince you that evil and hate cause the divisions between us and are not a result of those divisions and should not be excused by them? Will my execution finally force us to admit that any and all crime is based on evil and hate, regardless of the intent, color, religion or party of either the victim or perpetrator?  Can we finally stop gauging the level of hate by supposing to know what is in the heart of those wielding that hate and deal them punishment that is swift, severe and final, without granting allowances for any preferred class of crime or criminal?

If you once were Trayvon, would you now be Christopher?  Who will we be next? Or does the hate we all harbor inside dictate whose face we display on our shirts and whose name we take up as a cause?

Who will you be today?