You know one thing that Trayvon Martin has that Ethan doesn’t?
In addition to full support from within his own racial community, he has the full support of allies and advocates for racial equality and diversity.
Ethan doesn’t have that.
Ethan does have the full support of the disability community – but he does not have the full support of allies and advocates for Down syndrome.
Allies and advocates for Trayvon’s case are not saying, “yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, well, mayyyyyyyyyyyybe he shouldn’t have worn that hoodie quite so low, I mean they have a point there, he really did look kind of suspicious!”
They are not saying, “you know, my cousin/sister/brother/nephew who is really dark skinned? yeah… he gets pretty aggressive and so, well, I can understand this happening…”
They are not saying, “skittles? oh those are full of sugar! and so is sweet tea! all that sugar must have caused him to just explode when threatened with his life…. so I don’t know… yeah… maybe they have a point there? who knows… hmm… LET’S HAVE A TRAINING SESSION!“
Nope, they sure aren’t, folks. The allies and advocates for racial equality and for diversity are simultaneously heartbroken and spitting mad.
But there is no question within that community that Trayvon’s killer was in the wrong, that his killer was a psycho nutbag that needs to be locked away, not just for justice, but for the future safety of all. Because, as it has been said, letting Zimmerman get away with this is “rewarding sick aggression without cause.”
But you know what? Ethan doesn’t even have that level of universal outrage.
Plenty of people who are allies and advocates by and for Down syndrome equality and for diversity have shoo-shawwed and hem-hawwed Ethan’s murder, talking their way around the fact that 3 security guards held down this man and brutally killed him.
That is to say, Ethan doesn’t even have the full support of people who are supposed to be ON HIS SIDE.
What can you do?
1. Emma Saylor, Ethan’s sister, has started a Facebook page, #justiceforethan. Please join
2. If you are attending the NDSC next week, please connect with Emma and with Ethan’s mother, Patti. There will be sessions and groups brainstorming what the next steps should be, and information.
3. Write Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley as he has the authority to open an investigation. Call scripts with talking points, email templates, etc and more information are here.
4. Social media for Governor O’Malley: Twitter: @GovernorOMalley * Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MDGov
5. Donate: Send a PayPal donation to EthanSaylorFund@gmail.com. you do not need a paypal account; it’s a gift
I won’t be at the NDSC but I will be waiting here and tuning into the Facebook page for more information and to see how I can also help.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.