Laying at home in my bed, after spending three weeks in the hospital for major surgery, I was glad that I was lying down when the verdict was announced making George Zimmerman a free man. I was upset as well as bewildered.
A million questions plagued my mind as I relived that ill-fated night: Imagining Trayvon Martin walking home leisurely in the rain and being only moments away from his last breath on this earth. Why?
The who, what, when, and where of the situation are not disputable details. However, the “why” of the incident is a state of affairs where the Devil is found in the details.
Martin was being stalked by Zimmerman as Zimmerman drove his car watching Martin’s movements. Zimmerman made a 911 call to the local law enforcement. The 911 operator urged Zimmerman to wait on the police, in simpler terms, stay in your car and do not approach Martin.
Yet, reports indicate that Zimmerman exited his vehicle with gun in hand. One does not come to a fight with a gun if one does not plan to use it. Were Zimmerman’s actions premeditated? Why would he arm himself to confront Martin? What evidence did Zimmerman see which led him to think that Martin was worthy of death–being shot dead on the streets without a plausible cause?
Reason would dictate that if Zimmerman feared for his own life, he would have stayed in the safety of his car and waited on the police. However, Zimmerman’s racist attempt at profiling motivated him to save the streets from a black kid eating Skittles, walking in the rain, wearing a hood to cover his head, seemingly headed on his way home.
Zimmerman in actuality followed a black youth in a hoody, exited his car, and decided to kill him without provocation.
Why? Not because Zimmerman feared for his life, not because Martin was running down the street with a flat screen television under his arm, not even because Martin stood in front of Zimmerman’s car and taunted him with racial slurs.
Because Martin fit the profile of America’s number one antagonist.
America the divided
There is a political and social undercurrent to every act of racism and profiling of an entire group of people. The theories and activities encapsulating the latter are intricate and deeply rooted in ones’ environments.
Every since Africans were forced to come to America, we have presented a problem. Does America let us vote? Should America let us read? Should America let us live in all white neighborhoods? Does Affirmative Action need to be? Do persons living in America with African descent need to be? Accordingly, did Trayvon Martin deserve to be?
America’s judicial system is on a slippery slope. If a person can follow someone in his or her car, exit their vehicle and kill the unsuspecting victim, and walk away a free person, then premeditated murder no longer holds up in court as a punishable crime. But rather a loosely defined act of defiance targeted at a “disposable population”.
Three Civil Rights workers were pulled over by police and gunned down in Mississippi in 1963. The white killers of the workers were also acquitted in their first trial. This writer sees a pattern that appears to be history repeating itself.
What makes the case such an outrage is the blatant nature of the act and the intentions that were demonstrated in the evidence submitted by the courts and reporters. Often, murders are not committed in such deliberate defiance with racial overtones hanging from the very court doors that oversee the proceedings.
Zimmerman did more than just kill a man. Zimmerman shot a hole in Martin Luther King’s “Dream”. Zimmerman continued to turn the clock back in a civil rights war that has yet to be won. Zimmerman gave a thumb up to anyone who might feel that another black youth wearing a hoody should die because he walked down the wrong block. Zimmerman furthered the call for open season on black youth. Zimmerman was able to make the American judicial system yield to his demands, giving him ultimate power over life and death.
The power over life and death in the hands of our court systems is even suspect at best, therefore; giving such power to a lone citizen is corruptible, calculated, and costly to the stability of an already racially divided America.
To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.