Zimmerman will be charged but has anything changed?
By LRaine on April 11, 2012
While I have remained mostly silent on my blog, I have followed this case closely. I do not subscribe to the race baiting, the calls for violence against Zimmerman are unjustified and criminal, and I believe Spike Lee deserves to be charged and sued in civil court for his irresponsible behavior. Behavior which placed not only Zimmerman but an unrelated elderly couple in peril.
However, the comments I read regarding this case by people claiming to support Zimmerman sadden me more by the day. They discount the value of this child's life based on a Twitter account of questionable source, previous school mistakes, and false pictures made to make him look like a thug. (anyone who looks objectively can tell those are not pictures of Trayvon Martin). Nothing brought up in Trayvon's past has had anything to do with the night of his killing. The problem with smearing the victim is that is serves to excuse choices made at that moment by an adult. One man I had a conversation with on Facebook, over this article. He was irate over the author's gall to question Christians and said that this minor should not have been frightened by being followed in the dark and rain. Instead he should have politely waited and asked what was wrong. I in turn questioned him if he would advise this same strategy for his own mother, wife, or children? I question why a gun toting George Zimmerman should have been assumed safe, while it was okay to peg an unarmed Trayvon as suspicious based on nothing more than him being appropriately dressed for the weather?
As a mother of two sons of color, hearing people say Trayvon deserved the result is frightening. Vilifying this boy allows people to feel alright with his death. It says we can stay in our comfort zone of assumptions and stereotypes. It makes it safe to look at my cancer surviving, honor student and call him a thug. It says that if he isn't living a life of perfection he can have no value. in society...EVER.
There has been no apology or regret for taking Trayvon's life. Even if Zimmerman felt it was in self-defense, this is even more tragic. A life was lost and when it's claimed as unintentional, then it seems an expression of condolences should have been forthcoming. My heart sinks with each conversation I have had and read with people who don't even want to see him arrested or required to go through the justice system. They then base their reasoning on things that have no basis in fact, such as assuming the child stalked Zimmerman (no evidence outside of personal speculation).
I am pleased the prosecutor has decided to pursue charges against Zimmerman--not because I assume he is guilty, racist, or wanted to cause this child's death. I am glad because I believe the parents deserve answers. I believe the community deserves answers. I also think the better place to get those answers will be in a court of law, instead of in the highly divided, emotional court of public opinion.
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