Things lost nine years ago: a house, a car, most of our belongings; and, for lack of a better way to phrase it, the naiveté and false sense of security we all have, to a certain extent, that something as terrible as that happens to other people and not to us. Things gained in the nine years since: a sense of place; a calm, although it was hard fought, in the acceptance of loss; a home; and an extended network of amazing people who I am happy to call my NOLA family. (Although one is dearly missed.) All in all, I think it was a good trade. Happy Katrinaversary.
[Michael's] personal account of who initiated the physical encounter is forever lost to the grave, but the initiation is likely to be the central question in the case.
To believe [Wilson's] scenario, you have to believe that [Michael], an unarmed boy, chose that man to attack. You have to believe that [Michael] chose to attack a man who was wearing his gun in a holster. You have to believe that [Michael] chose to attack even though he was less than a hundred yards from the safety of the home where he was staying.
This is possible, but hardly sounds plausible.
The key is to determine who was standing his ground and defending himself: the boy with the [cigarillos] or the man with the gun. Who was winning the fight is a secondary question
That said, we’ll have to wait for details of the investigation to be revealed to know for sure. But while we wait, it is important to not let [Michael] the person be lost to [Michael] the symbol. He was a real boy with a real family that really loved him.
--Modified slightly from "A Mother's Grace and Grieving," written for the New York Times by Charles Blow on March 25, 2012, about Trayvon Martin's death at the hands of George Zimmerman.