The fiancée of Sean Bell, the Queens man who was shot and killed by police outside a strip club on the night before his wedding in 2006, recently wrote an open letter to the parents of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
“At the outset, I would like to stress that writing this letter has been a tedious and tasteless challenge for me,” wrote Nicole Paultre-Bell in the letter published on TheGrio.com. “Yet again an innocent black man has been killed, in Trayvon’s case, “walking while being black.”
Below is an excerpt from Paultre-Bell’s letter addressed to “Sybrina and Tracy”:
Over the past five and a half years, what I have learned throughout protest after protest, rallies, a criminal trial, the independent investigation of the federal Department of Justice, along with civil proceedings and the departmental charges hearing almost six years later of the police officers who killed my husband-to-be back in 2006, faith and endurance are the keys to everything. God will not forsake you, and through his grace and mercy you will find the strength to continue please remember this.
Trayvon’s death is not in vain, and yes, I know these words may find you a bit too soon in your mourning process to clearly grasp my intentions.
Then again, five and a half years from now, we must not let anyone forget the terrible night your lives changed forever. And in the end, God will have his way. I pray for your strength and well being during this unyielding time. Internalized Racism
I would hear all the time “the men who killed Sean weren’t white”, I’m sure you’ve been hearing the same thing re: George Zimmerman, I believe this is the exact definition of internalized racism. We along with other minorities are conditioned to believe that it’s OK to kill us. This has been the primary means by which we have been forced to perpetuate and “agree” to our own oppression. It has been a major factor preventing us, as black people, from realizing and putting into action the tremendous intelligence and power which in reality we possess.
Sincerely your sister at heart, Nicole Paultre Bell
To read Bell’s entire letter visit TheGrio.com.