As I watch recordings of the trial, I can’t help but become deeply saddened. I had to take a break and turn it off, because it was weighing extremely heavily on me. I was even taking it to bed with me, thinking about it before I went to sleep at night.
Being a mother of teenagers myself, I can only imagine what Trayvon’s mother must be feeling. Sitting in that court room day after day, listening to her son being described as this monster that was so violent, that he deserved to be hunted down like a wild animal on the loose, then shot and killed. No, wait, as I think about that for a moment, even a wild animal wouldn’t have been gunned down in that way. It would have been tranquilized.
I want to discuss race for a moment. You see many people believe that had Trayvon Martin not been black, George Zimmerman would not have had been suspicious of Trayvon walking through his neighborhood, thus he would not have followed him, thus he would not have murdered him.
I have listened to George Zimmerman’s family on the news, I have listened to his friends and I have listened to his attorney repeatedly say that he is not a racist. Needless to say, I do not know Mr. Zimmerman personally, and I won’t pretend that I know whether or not he has any hatred in his heart towards African American people. But I will say this, that in America, I believe that many people of other races buy into the stereotypes of African American people. Especially African American men.
Stereotypes that most black men are violent. Most black men are murderers, thieves and/or rapists. I believe that it is the perpetuation of these stereotypes that feed into the fear that some people have of black male youth. And I believe it is this fear that causes some people to act or react towards black men in ways that they may not when they are dealing with someone of another race.
Racist is such a strong word and it angers many people when they are unfairly labeled as that. A racist person has malice and ill-intent in his or her heart. A racist person sets out to oppress another person just because they are different than they are.
Prejudice means that you prejudge someone based on certain attributes that the person or persons possess. It could be their skin color, race, gender, age or sexual preference. I won’t call George Zimmerman a racist, but I do believe that George Zimmerman is “prejudice.”
When calling the police to report Trayvon Martin (for what I am not clear because Trayvon wasn’t bothering anyone or anything), Mr. Zimmerman referred to Trayvon as “these fucking punks" and "these assholes, they always get away." From his statements, it is clear to me that George Zimmerman prejudged Trayvon Martin based on something.
We do know that Trayvon Martin was young. We do know that he was black. And we do know that he was wearing a hoodie.
It has been confirmed that George Zimmerman (who a friend of mine refers to an overzealous cop wannabe), was the neighborhood watch guy. It has also been confirmed that there had been several break-ins in his housing complex, and that the men who committed the crimes were young, black and wearing a hoodie.
Because Trayvon Martin fit the description of a couple of the young men who had previously broken into houses in the complex, George Zimmerman prejudged Trayvon as being there to burglarize.
Many folks believe that is enough for Mr. Zimmerman to have been suspicious of Trayvon Martin. I disagree. But if Mr. Zimmerman being the neighborhood watchman wanted to make sure that the residents were not in any danger, he could have simply politely said:
“Hello, I’m George Zimmerman, and I am in charge of the neighborhood watch. It is my job to be security for the complex, and I am afraid that I do not recognize you. I would like to know if you are visiting someone, or do you live here?”
That’s fair enough, because that’s what people in charge of the neighborhood watch do. They are for the most part security.
I mean Trayvon was a teenager, he couldn’t have been that intimidating. Really, what was he going to do? Pull out a gun and shoot Mr. Zimmerman because he asked him a question? If anyone believes that foolishness, that about confirms what I said earlier about the fear of young black men.
Mr. Zimmerman did not have the right to prejudge Trayvon Martin as being in the complex to rob the place just because he fit the profile of someone who had robbed the place prior. That is being “prejudice.”
If Mr. Zimmerman had a valid reason to believe that he and the residents were in danger, or if confronting Trayvon was against the neighborhood watch rules, then he had the right to call the police. Mr. George Zimmerman did do that, but his pursuit of Martin should have ended there, like the authorities told him to do. The Police commanded Mr. Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon, but he continued to follow him anyway.
This is the part that makes me suspicious of George Zimmerman’s’ motives. What was his reason for ignoring what the police commanded him to do and continuing to go after Trayvon Martin?
Here is where Mr. Zimmerman’s’ story gets murky. He says that while following Trayvon, he somehow lost sight of Trayvon. Trayvon then ended up behind George Zimmerman now following him. Trayvon Martin then managed to catch up with Mr. Zimmerman, attack him and ultimately start a fight with him. George Zimmerman somehow ended up on the ground with Trayvon Martin on top of him bashing his head into the cement. At some point, Trayvon attempted to take Mr. Zimmerman’s gun from him, but just before he did, Mr. Zimmerman, managed to keep hold of the gun and in self-defense shoot and kill Trayvon Martin. I am sorry, but this story sound outrageous to me. It sounds like something out of a badly written movie.
George Zimmerman did have some bruises and his nose was swollen, although he refused to get an x-ray to confirm that it was broken. And there are recordings that the police have when residents called the police to report the scuffle that they heard outside of their homes. On those recordings you can hear someone not screaming but screeching for help. George Zimmerman says that it’s him, but those screams do not sound like a grown man to me.
I don’t know exactly what happened that night. Only God, George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin know what really happened, and Trayvon Martin is dead.
I want to end with a something that I heard a talk show host say. If George Zimmerman did not take his gun with him that night, wouldn’t he have been just a guy who lost a fight?