Monday, July 15, 2013

Trayvon Martin

There are many things one can argue about this trial covering the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman but many facts are incontrovertible. Trayvon Martin was a black teenager returning from a snack trip who did nothing wrong except being black and wearing a hoodie.  George Zimmerman was allowed under Florida law to carry a concealed gun and act in the capacity of a neighborhood watch which he was doing on the night he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman immediately profiled Martin as a "suspect", of what one may ask since he was doing nothing but walking home. Zimmerman was told he was not needed to follow Martin but proceeded to do just that. Zimmerman claims he was in fear of losing his life resulting from a confrontation which allowed him to shoot this teenager and kill him under the conception of "self defense" which was certainly influenced by the recent Florida passage of "self defense " laws.

When the case finally went to trial the Judge ruled that the term "Racial Profiling" could not be used but profiling could be used. So the injection of race was precluded from the prosecution presentation yet the defense was allowed to have testimony that said of course Zimmerman profiled based on the fact that there were recent burglaries in the neighborhood by young black men. So it was allowed to infer because Trayvon Martin fit the racial profile of law breakers George Zimmerman had the right to be suspicious of him even though Martin didn't live in the neighborhood was just visiting his father but the prosecutors couldn't point out the prejudice of George Zimmerman in classifying this young black teenager as a possible criminal, he called him a suspect, one who he wouldn't let get away, leading to his shooting Trayvon Martin.

The jury was comprised of six white women from the area who if not consciously prejudiced certainly had some biases sub-consciously. The prosecution presented a weak case possibly hamstrung by the judges rulings but presented a closing which asked the jurors to weigh certain questions and come to a conclusion. They should have tied all the pieces together and strongly showed how profiling led to to this tragedy and George Zimmerman MUST be found guilty. A weak case with a weaker closing.

Since the conclusion of this case there has been peaceful demonstrations protesting a seemingly gross injustice. Many liberals have questioned many aspects of the case. The conservative sections of our country have been quiet or defended the decision with what seems like prejudicial reasoning.

Our Supreme Court, with the majority decision written by Chief Justice Roberts gutted the civil rights act saying that times have changed and we as a nation have moved past the time that needed this law, and it should be re-written.

What is incontrovertible is this: If George Zimmerman did not have a gun Trayvon Martin would be alive today. If Trayvon Martin was white George Zimmerman would not have profiled him as a "suspect" of possible criminal activity. If our conservative brothers aren't consciously biased racially then they seem to be unconsciously. If basis isn't active in this country then one must ask what is all the noise about race, sex, gender and poverty about? It seems to be about protecting what one has against "those people" who seem to be encroaching on "my freedom", says the powerful who are in possession of this country's wealth and do not want to share it equally.

Our leaders should step forward and enforce stricter gun laws keeping guns out of the hands of those who have no right to have them, people like George Zimmerman and others who are mentally and criminally motivated towards evil acts. Our leaders must lead us to a communion of believers in liberty and justice for all, and I mean everybody, not just those who can afford the influence provoking power. Finally, not to sound Pollyanna, we must be a nation founded in love for our brothers and sisters because without love we can only continue to fall into hate and distrust. With love and understanding we can reach the heights of
human endeavor which is supposed to be the foundation upon which our country was built.

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