In an emotional interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Trayvon Martin’s stepmother shattered her silence to discuss her absence in the courtroom and the toll her stepson’s death is having on her. Alicia Stanley and Tracy Martin, the deceased teen’s father, were engaged at the time of Trayvon’s death.
Though she claims no ill-will toward Sybrina Fulton – Trayon’s biological mother – saying “I want her to know that I never tried to take her place,” Stanley said she’s been raising Martin since he was three.
Stanley alleges Trayvon spent 90 percent of his time at the house she shared with Tracey, adding, “I’m the one at all the football games; I’m the one who took care of him when he was sick.” Her role shifted when Trayvon died. Stanley claims she wasn’t allowed to sit in the front row at her stepson’s funeral and has since been shunned by the man she planned to marry.
“They told me to ‘get in where I fit in,” Stanley said with tears in her eyes. “I can’t sit on the front row at my son’s funeral to see him home. That hurt me, that was the most painful thing they could do to me.”
The Sanford, Fla.-resident has been absent from press interviews and the courtroom, but she’s been following the trial of George Zimmerman. The 29-year-old volunteer neighborhood watchman shot and killed Trayvon in Stanley’s subdivision. He has been charged with second-degree murder, but claims self-defense
The prosecution claims Zimmerman profiled Trayvon. Stanley agrees, but says his race wasn’t a factor.
“No, I really don’t think it was Zimmerman don’t like black people, or he picked him out because he was black,” she said. “Did he profile him with the hoodie and stuff like that as this thug, whatever, walking, in Zimmerman’s mind? Yes, but to say that he targeted him because he was black? No, I don’t think so.”
Stanley said she would be devastated if Zimmerman is found not-guilty.
“It’s going to be heartbreaking, because I truly believe that Zimmerman killed my son,” she said. “God will take care of all of that. I put it in God’s hands.”
No matter the verdict, her grief continues.
“Trayvon was a kind person, a loving person,” Stanley said. “He loved children, babies. You know before this happened, I really believed he would have been working with children; he adored children. He’s not what the media make him out to be…this thug.”
Stanley’s motives will be questioned, especially since she’s chosen to speak publicly as the trial’s commencing. She’s also a step-parent, which opens her to another wave of backlash.
Stepparents are subjected to a critical-level of scrutiny. Their role is fragile, shattered at the merest thought of attempting to replace the biological parent. Though her intentions may be positive, Stanley’s decision will be examined by the public, Tracy and Sybrina.
It’s open-thread time.