Judgment in Florida
By now, if you haven’t heard of the Trayvon Martin case you either live under a rock, have little or no contact with he outside world and shun all forms of technology in reference to communication – it has got that much attention this past week.
Sadly, a young man has lost his life and the case has the appearance (in some aspects) of injustice on the part of the local police department. I must also submit to you, that there seems to be some injustice on the part of some media outlets, as well. The usual suspects have arrived on the scene, shouting cries of injustice and demanding the immediate arrest of this Zimmerman character. I hope we’re not seeing a re-enactment of some old western – complete with lynch mobs.
There are facts to fuel both sides of the argument. Zimmerman, based on the volume of calls he was making to 911, was clearly overzealous and absolutely wrong to disregard the operator and follow Trayvon. Moreover, I think carrying a 9MM gun is out of hand, too. I thought it was called Neighborhood Watch, not Neighborhood Executioner? Clearly, Zimmerman caused this tragedy through his actions – there is no way to deny that. he set into motion a chain of events that led to a young man’s life being snuffed out. I’m not at all sure this is a racial thing, though – and I know some of those who think it is might be quick to point out the fact that I am white and, therefore, somehow prejudiced against seeing justice done in this awful situation. It is true that I have not walked in the shoes of an African-American or suffered any of the injustices specific to their race. I can, however, understand anger and have had unjust things done to me in my life, as well –so I can imagine the anger and see how, left un-tempered by intellect, it can easily turn into hate. Certain media “celebrities like Rev. Al Sharpton aren’t helping the situation, in my opinion. I fail to see how a network like MSNBC can allow this sort of thing – it removes any possibility of fairness or objectivity. I would hope we can let the authorities gather the facts and make an objective determination as to whether or not to charge Zimmerman. I like Rev. Sharpton, although I do think he jumps to race as a motive a little quickly. Perhaps I would feel differently if I were African-American with the history (not all that long ago) that people of his race have endured. Regardless, I think it is not right that someone in his position be doing these rallies and his show at the same time. Any resemblance of fairness is nonexistent for Zimmerman as things stand, with a host from a major network screaming for his arrest and inciting all of this anger around the case.
When I first heard about this case and saw Trayvon’s picture on television, I was immediately angry and a little enraged that the authorities has not immediately arrested Zimmerman. As the facts began to unfold, however, I started to understand why things have not happened the way I thought they should at first. Nonetheless, based on what I have heard thus far, I hold Zimmerman accountable (at least in part) for Trayvon’s death and don’t see how this “Stand Your Ground” law actually applies. Zimmerman disregarded the request of the 911 dispatcher and followed him, clearly soliciting some sort of possibly angry response from the lad who was probably sick and tired of what he perceived as prejudice for being a person of color. Regardless of how this turns out, George Zimmerman’s actions set into motion a chain of events that led to the death of a young man walking back from a store. That’s pretty safe to say.
If the evidence is sufficient, then this should be tried in a court of law – not the court of public opinion.