So here's what Pitts has to say.
They do not see you.
For every African American it comes as surely as hard times, setbacks and tears, that moment when you realize somebody is looking right at you and not seeing you - as if you had become cellophane, as if you had become air, as if somehow, some way, you were right there and at the same time not.
Ralph Ellison described that phenomenon in a milestone novel that began as follows: "I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those that haunted Edgar Allen Poe. Nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasyms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bones, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because you refuse to see me."...
That's one of the great frustrations of African American life, those times when you're standing right there, minding your own business, tending your house, coming home from the store, and other people are looking right at you, yet do not see you.
They see instead their own superstitions and suppositions, paranoia and guilt, night terrors and vulnerabilities. They see the perpetrator, the suspect, the mug shot, the dark and scary face that lurks at the open windows of their vivid imaginations. They see the unknown, the unassimilable, the other.
They see everything in the world but you.
And their blindness costs you. First and foremost it costs your sacred individuality. But it may cost you a job, an education, your freedom. If you are unlucky like Trayvon Martin, it may even cost your life.
He lay bloody and ruined in wet grass with nothing in his pockets but $22, a can of lemonade and a bag of Skittles, not a type, not a kind, but just himself, a kid who liked horses and sports, who struggled with chemistry, who went out for snacks and never came home.
Visible too late.
I pray for the day we all start seeing Trayvon before it's too late. That's the justice I'm looking for.