The only way to fully understand a problem and all it's angles is to listen
There’s so much to say about what’s happened in Florida over the past few months. A teenager was slain, and his killer found not guilty. Sadly, what seemed like a straightforward tragedy, turned into a divisive issue that caused so much debate. As much as people tried to make this out to be “race baiting”, this issue was about human rights, not black rights. Protesters of all colors were outraged by what happened in Florida.
Some months ago, I heard a story on the news about a teenager, one with a clean record aside from some marijuana in his system, who was chased down and shot by a man, who has a history of violence. I thought the case was murder plain and simple until I heard that the man said that he was only defending himself from the teen. Then it seemed that all over the news and the Internet I saw people dragging the dead boy’s name through the dirt. And what followed was one of the most appalling miscarriages of justice in America in years. However many people would have you believe that this entire case is just the so called “liberal media” and their agenda to make America look racist.
This claim is far to ludicrious to address. From a logical standpoint, what possible incentive could one have to make America look racist?
In response I think it’s very important to make it clear why this should upset everyone, regardless of color or position on gun control.
First of all there was the abysmal handling of this case by the police. Let’s say that this case was a clear self-defense situation. The police should have actually investigated the situation fully. While it’s been played all over the news how Trayvon Martin had THC in his system, no on knows what was in Zimmerman’s because he was not asked to submit to toxicology. THC by the way may remain in someone’s system for weeks at a time, so Trayvon may not have been under the influence of anything the night of his murder. After a lie detector test Zimmerman was released to go home to his wife, while somewhere out there another family sat up all night waiting for their child to return home. Zimmerman wasn’t arrested until there was pressure from the public 44 days later. In the end the Chief of Police was fired as a result.
But the worst part was the smear campaign against Martin. In his last words to his friend over the phone were those of fear and not of malice. Yet we were led to believe that this boy turned into some sort of maniac who tried to smash a grown man’s head into concrete, even though his body was facedown in the grass and not on the sidewalk. We were told that he caused his own death by starting the fight with Zimmerman and trying to kill him using the concrete as a weapon. It can never be proven who started the fight, nor who was on top. However it is strange that none of Zimmerman’s DNA was found on Trayvon’s hands. Zimmerman was 4 inches shorter than Trayvon but he was 27 pound heavier. The thought of a grown man being beaten so badly by a boy he was so much heavier than raises a many questions.
Now let’s say that Trayvon was on top of him. Why would he smash his head in to the ground instead of punching him? That seems like the obvious thing to do. I can’t tell you exactly why because I wasn’t there. But I’ll say that it’s easy to determine if someone punched someone else by the bruising on the knuckles and DNA on the hands. Martin had no bruising aside from a scratch on one knuckle, and no DNA on his hands, fingernails, or knuckles. We don’t know what happened in that scuffle, but we do know that Trayvon wasn’t doing anything aside from trying to run to buy some junk food. And for his troubles he was killed.
But through it all this case established something in Florida. If an armed person starts a fight with an unarmed person, then they can execute the unarmed person on the spot, claiming that they feared for their life. The only other witness being dead, they can claim whatever they like. Lately people who have sustained little or no injury have invoked the Stand Your Ground Laws. I support gun ownership, but I support is when it’s done responsibly. People have a right to defend themselves, but a wrongful death, is a wrongful death. Whatever someone’s intention they should be held responsible for whatever happens after they squeeze that trigger.
“Stand Your Ground Laws” also don’t seem to protect the public equally. Most of the time when the laws are substantiated the shooter is white, and the victim black.
At the end of the day, Zimmerman goes free. Trayvon’s parents get to go home and listen to George Zimmerman’s brother insinuate that Trayvon may have been looking for drugs, and compared him to criminals.
Just to be clear, I don’t hate George Zimmerman. He is a very flawed man, who’s mistakes cost a teenager his life. However our response to it as a society was unacceptable. I understand that Justice is blind, but those scales are nowhere near even. And unless we stand up and do something about it, they never will be. Thank you for reading.