Thursday, July 18, 2013

Trayvon Martin Versus George Zimmerman

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In the recent light of the Trayvon Martin case and the not guilty verdict, I have been hearing some disturbing things that concern me about people’s outlook on black people.  I hear that because Zimmerman was Hispanic that he could not have profiled Trayvon.  This may come as a new flash, but minorities can be racist against other minorities.  Black people do profile other black people just as I am sure Asian people profile Hispanic people and so on and son forth.  Some other things that I hear is that Zimmerman had a black friend or took a black girl to prom, and all other type of nonsense that proves because he associated with some black people, he could not have possibly profiled Trayvon.  With my undergraduate degree being in criminal justice, this is somewhat of a passionate topic for me.  So I wanted to give my opinion on the whole thing.

I think the real issue here is not that George Zimmerman is racist against every black person. But that he stereotyped Trayvon for a thug because of the way he was dress and looked (him being black and the way he was dressed being another part). So yes that does equate to racial profiling. Just because Zimmerman likes some black people or took one to prom doesn't mean that he is blind to race or did not judge Trayvon. Just because he has one black friend or whatever does not mean like he likes all black people or doesn't mean that race did not play a factor in his decision to approach Trayvon. I think that Zimmerman thought he was chasing a thug that was trying to rob the neighborhood based off his appearance. Had it been a 17 year old white teen walking around in the area, dressed in khakis and a shirt, I can guarantee he would not have been shot, followed, or even approached. And that ladies and gentleman is the definition of racial profiling. I think that what most people's point is when supporting Trayvon and making it a race issues that others who do not support cannot understand.  Zimmerman supporters do not understand this aspect and feel that black people are playing the victim and making it a race issue.  I think by the remarks of some white people are quite disturbing (even the juror that gave the television interview) racism has become so imbedded in some peoples mind that they say it and do not even see that it is racist.

An example of this was a television personality that tried to compare Trayvon’s case to a case in which a black man grabbed a gun to defend himself against looters that were white.  She said people supported the black man and tried to say there was no difference in Trayvon’s case.  I think what she was missing was that Trayvon was not a criminal, looter, or was not in the neighborhood to do harm to anyone.  He was just trying to go home.  She herself categorized Trayvon as a criminal by comparing him to this other case, when it was like comparing apples and oranges.

Like one juror said Zimmerman’s heart was in the right place when he decided to follow Trayvon because of the recent break in’s in the area by black people.  My response is this just because there were break in's does not mean that Trayvon did them, nor does it mean that he deserved to be followed and die because of other black people's mistakes.  I keep hearing that Zimmerman was justified in his decision to follow Trayvon, because of what other black people that Trayvon didn't know nor was he affiliated with did.  It does not make sense to me, and although human nature, that we all may profile people (hence Trayvon seeing Zimmerman as a creepy a** cracker), I can say that most people do not approach the person they are profiling or feel is suspicious, and kill them. 

One thing that I think we keep missing is that a 17 year old kid (yes he is still a minor) and he is dead.  His life is gone and taken undeservingly so. Where was Trayvon's rights to defend himself against a "Creepy A** Cracker" (his words not mine) that he felt was following him?  Did he not have a right to defend himself against someone that he thought was following and could potentially hurt him? Trayvon did not know who Zimmerman was, for all he knew he could have been a kidnapper, psycho, or robber.  So where is his right to defend himself from being followed by this person?  We all have seen the pictures of Zimmerman’s face.  Somehow the trail turned into Trayvon being the aggressor.  Is possible that Trayvon was defending himself against someone that he saw was following him and someone he felt could attack him?  Is it possible that Trayvon was using self-defense against a man that appear to him to be creepy and he had no idea what his intention was as he was being followed by this individual?

I think that it is, I also think that Trayvon’s right was overlooked to defend himself, and people call Trayvon the aggressor for possibly defending himself against somebody that he deemed suspicious.  We all seem to overlook that because Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch person that he had the right to follow Trayvon due to other break in’s by other black people.  Trayvon had a right to be in that neighborhood like anyone else and did not deserve to die for other people’s mistakes or because how he looked.  Point, blank, period.   I myself live in a suburban area and have a son.  I myself am also black just like my son.  I think was most black people and mothers of black son’s see this and a chance to stand up so that when their child is out walking around the neighborhood that may return  safely, not to be profiled, shot down like a dog, and them blamed for their own death.  Truly a sad story not only for Trayvon, but also for the many unnamed people who have been killed in similar ways and their death still goes unpunished.  One thing that can be said, everything has a reason and a season.  No crime will go unpunished in the eyes of God.  I think we can all take heart in that when he hear about Trayvon or stories like Trayvons.  Perhaps it is situations like this, which brings attention to a bigger problem in American, and cause people to unite.  

Although Zimmerman was found not guilty under Florida law, you can still support Trayvon’s right to live, by signing the NAACP petition that says just that.  Trayvon had a right to live, he had a right to walk home, and he had a right not to be followed, and he had a right not to be shot and killed.  Check out the petition below by seeing what other ways you can show support.