Letter: Not guilty verdict was no surprise
Given the location and races of the two individuals involved, the verdict of not guilty for George Zimmerman came as no surprise to me July 13, 2013. Not guilty for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by this self-deputized citizen.
Regarding this case, if those who are not of color can visualize their own sons or daughters as being African American then maybe they could possibly feel the hurt and miscarriage of justice for Trayvon’s family. This was a young African American boy, not a man. He was not the hooded thug image that Zimmerman’s defense has pierced in our minds. This young African American boy had the rest of his life ahead of him. On Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was doing absolutely nothing wrong, had committed no crime, carried no weapon, only a bag of Skittles and yet became the victim of racial profiling in its worst way, death.
Zimmerman decided that Trayvon Martin did not belong in that community he patrolled as a neighborhood watchman. Zimmerman called 9-11 and was told by the dispatcher there in Sanford, Fla. not to continue following this young boy. He ensued anyway. The many imperfections of our justice system and what it is comprised of led to the outcome of this case.
Many at that time and still today were programed from the beginning that this young man was a thug and that’s all that mattered. He caused or invited the end to his life by being in this gated townhome community, a place that he wasn’t entitled to be? Stop for a moment and picture Trayvon as a young white male in that neighborhood. Would the initial contact and outcome been any different?
When we understand this senseless loss of life as just wrong and racially motivated to the degree of it being a hate crime then hopefully change will come. We as a nation still have some serious issues to address. This case however will forever remain in the minds of many African Americans and others as did the lynching of a 14-year-old African American boy, Emmett Till some fifty eight years ago for simply talking to a white woman.
Racism is just as alive and breathing today as it was years ago. It might not slap you in the face but it rears its prejudiced head in so many other ways. I am not one to play the race card or use it to justify why even I’m treated a certain way. I am an African American woman. I look at people and situations that I am confronted with as cultural differences, geographical differences, work related differences, personal differences, or evil against good. This case of wrongful death against Trayvon Martin throws cold water in my face and reminds me that no matter how much I would like to believe in human kind as individuals with differences, racism is there just as sure as the air that we breathe.
To the family of Trayvon Martin, there is absolutely a larger meaning here of your son’s senseless death. His murder has already generated nationwide dialogue and peaceful demonstrations but most importantly the justice system will take on a major overhaul in every aspect of trying cases similar to this one. Change unfortunately comes about in cases like this and from others who have paid with their lives. May God be with you and your family and continue to be your rock during these trying days.
To George Zimmerman, there is no hiding place from self or God!