Monday, March 19, 2012
If you haven't heard the story about Trayvon Martin, get ready to be disappointed. Perhaps this article is the best place to start. I encourage you to follow all the links included as I did. I encourage you to get as many details as you can tolerate. I promise the 911 audio will break your heart.
I am disappointed in the police department of Sanford, Florida who chose not to charge Zimmerman with a crime simply based on the fact that he claimed self defense. In my mind, self defense should not apply to someone who was in his car, in contact with the police, and chased the victim despite being told by the police not to do so. The police chose not only to believe Zimmerman with little evidence backing up his claims, but they also chose to make sure that the witness statements "matched" the killer's story--even as these witnesses have come forward to dispute the statements as represented by police.
I am disappointed in the fact that people like George Zimmerman are cruising neighborhoods looking for kids who are "up to no good." Looking for kids while carrying a gun. Using that gun to murder a child who (by all available evidence) had done nothing more than walk to the 7-11 to buy Skittles and an iced tea.
I am disappointed in the reporters who when talking to the mother of a murdered black child asked if "he liked chicken." Really? That's anywhere in the neighborhood of an appropriate question?
I am disappointed that so many white people are upset about "pulling the race card." The fact that the victim was black, and that the man who killed him a white man who had a history of focusing on black males as being troublemakers. The last according to the very neighbors he claims to have been helping protect. These facts lead to (at a very minimum) consider that race was a component of this tragedy.
I am disappointed that white people seem to think that every time race is mentioned it is "pulling the race card." Much as I wish it were not so, the race card is always in the deck for people of color. Thankfully, we are past the days of hoods, burning crosses and "colored" restrooms. That does not mean that the race card has been tossed out of the deck. It just means that those who consider people of color "less than" or "up to no good" or whatever else those people thing must be more subtle, more insidious. Every single time a person of color experiences something negative--that person must wonder (to some degree) if the color of his or her skin played any part in that.
I am disappointed in reading reactions from people that say Zimmerman had a right to be "on the lookout" due to a number of break-ins in the neighborhood...and thought he was preventing a crime.
Let me be very clear about this: I do NOT want anyone patrolling MY neighborhood (and we do have neighborhood watch and some recent break-ins) to think they are doing me a service if they behave as Zimmerman did. I do not have a single THING in my home that is worth the life of a child. Call the police, but keep your personal bias and you 9mm INSIDE your car.
Trayvon Martin was a child. A child with a family who loved him. A child with a future. A child who chose to go buy candy at a moment in time that resulted in him crossing paths with George Zimmerman. Unfortunately, that innocent choice left him crying for help...and then shot to death. Let us not let his death go unnoticed and unpunished.