Day 342. Sad Day

I must say I am confused. How is it that a man, who fears for his own safety, can shoot another man and get away with it? And yet the other man cannot defend racial profilinghimself. Because if and when he does try to fight off his attacker, he is essentially giving the other man permission to kill him.

Just asking.

Seriously, I would like someone to explain it to me.

Let me ask the question another way. Let’s say you were out, minding your own business. Suddenly you are

being followed. Chased. Shouted at. By someone with a gun.

What would you do? Would it not be logical to assume your life was in danger? Would you not want to try to defend yourself? To fight back against your attacker? To fight as hard as you could? To try and save your own life?

Isn’t that a normal reaction?

Many, many women study martial arts for just this reason. To learn how to defend themselves against muggers. And rapists.

Just wondering.

Last night a jury in Florida acquitted George Zimmerman.

How was justice served? A 17 year old, unarmed boy, was walking home from a convenience store. And he was killed because he fought back. He tried to defend himself against his assailant. Who, in turn, claimed he was only trying to defend himself. And that’s okay. That’s within the law.

So here’s my next question.

How can you not bring race into it?

Sorry, but I will go to my grave believing it was, and is, a factor.

Why did George Zimmerman call 911 in the first place? Why did he go after Trayvon Martin in the first place? Had he been acting suspiciously? Was he skulking around? Was he peering into the windows of homes in the community? Was it clear he was about to break into any of the homes?

“No” would be the correct answer.

No. Trayvon Martin was simply on his way home, from a convenience store, where he had bought a drink and some candy. He wasn’t trespassing. He had every right to be walking where he was walking. And he was unarmed.

All George Zimmerman saw was a black kid. And that was enough for him. In that split second George Zimmerman decided Trayvon Martin was a hoodlum. That he was up to no good. And he needed to be apprehended.

That is reality.

It’s ugly. It’s offensive. We may wish it wasn’t true. But it is.

Don’t think so? Well then. How do you explain why George Zimmerman found it necessary to call 911? Trayvon Martin wasn’t doing anything unusual, or even vaguely suspicious. How, also, do you explain why George Zimmerman found it necessary to disregard the instructions he was given — which were to stay in his car and wait for the police to arrive? Where, I might add, he (Zimmerman) would have been safer.

As would Trayvon Martin. In fact, he’d probably be alive today.

Tell me why he did all that, if it wasn’t because he saw a black kid in a hoodie walking around late at night. And jumped to a conclusion.

Tell me.

And while you’re at it, tell every man, woman, child and teenager (of any colour) who might, one day, find themselves in a similar position Trayvon Martin found himself in. Because that’s where we’re headed.

16 thoughts on “Day 342. Sad Day

  1. I’m not defending Zimmerman, but I will defend the jury’s verdict. There were no witnesses to what happened that night. The only person (Martin) who could refute Zimmerman’s claim that he was attacked first was dead. The jury was charged with finding Zimmerman guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Was it reasonable that events *could* have unfolded the way the defense claimed they did? I don’t see how the jury could have come to any other verdict.

    I think it’s clear to those of us with any life experience at all what probably happened that night: Zimmerman provoked the confrontation and had a gun with him. Martin responded but all he had was a bag of Skittles in his hand.

  2. I feel that I don’t know enough to take a stand on this topic but I respect the jury’s decision. They know more than I do and I have to assume they made the decision based on the information they were given by the judge. In my heart I don’t believe Zimmerman got off free. Although he is alive and not incarcerated, his life will never be the same nor will his family’s. (This is not to minimize the suffering of Martin’s family.) It will be interesting to see if there is any effect on the law that allows people to defend themselves. In my state you can only kill someone if they are actually in your house unless they have a gun and are shooting at you.

  3. Couldn’t agree more. Can’t see how a jury could acquit but then it’s hardly the first time. Just glad you can’t carry guns in the UK and I seriously doubt if even a police officer (and one would only be armed in an exceptional case) here would have been acquitted.

    • It is hardly the first time. We can’t carry guns here either. Thank God. I just don’t understand their vigilante nature. And how one senseless murder after another after another and another is not making them see the light.

  4. Yes Fransi, I agree with you, this is all about gun control in the end… I am mexican, and I live right on the border and acts of racism are every where but combine that with fear and a gun… I appreciate your honesty and your courage because you have touched on controversial topics. Alexandra

  5. I don’t know what the jury saw and I want to have a little faith that at least they saw reasonable doubt to acquit him but it makes me immeasurably sad that he a man who clearly racially profiled and killed a boy can just walk away.

    • Indeed. The laws have to change, whether or not they ever will remains to be seen. And in the meantime we will have more sad stories.

  6. It’s so unfortunate that the evidence was not conclusive. It just wasn’t. No matter how it looks to most of us. At the very least, let’s hope this stupid “Stand your ground” law bites the dust.

  7. I agree that the jury didn’t have much of a choice–the law that they had to rely on was deeply flawed. It is a sickening result. I think of how my (white) kid has about 20 sweatshirts, and people don’t treat him as “suspicious” for wearing them. Trayvon deserved the same respect.

    • Deeply, deeply flawed. Every kid of that age has drawers full of those same sweatshirts. The whole thing just makes me sick and sad and disappointed and frightened and really angry. I just don’t understand how some people think; or live with themselves.

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