March 27, 2012

Don't Tread On Me-I'm Standing My Ground

I get extremely upset when I hear people saying we don’t know what happened or who started the fight in Sanford, Florida between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The facts are played out in the 911 tape; Zimmerman had no right to pursue Martin. A man with a violent past walking around with a gun followed and antagonized a 17 year old who had every right to be where he was and was not engaged in any illegal activity. I submit he followed Trayvon Martin because of his skin color. Now we have Zimmerman using the media playing into the stereotype that all black men have to be violent criminals.  Now he is saying that Trayvon sucker punched him in the nose (from behind). According to Mr. Zimmerman, Trayvon came out nowhere knocked him to the ground straddled him and started pounding his head into the ground. It is so much easier for “white America” to believe that a “black” teenager is more violent than the grown white man stalking him with a gun.

Why would Trayvon Martin confront Zimmerman? If you check out where Mr. Zimmerman reported seeing Trayvon Martin, by the main entrance or by the club-house, and where Trayvon Martin was shot (100 yards from his front door) it is clear Trayvon was heading home. Why is there a question as to whether Trayvon tried to defend himself against an armed man that was trailing him, isn’t that what George Zimmerman claimed he was doing, defending himself? Of course Trayvon Martin only had skittles and an Ice Tea—yet he didn’t use the ice tea as a weapon. Where is the evidence that Zimmerman ever tried to return to his vehicle? Yet we should believe that Trayvon deviated from his intended route. Where is the evidence that Trayvon Martin ever initiated contact with George Zimmerman other than Zimmerman’s words? Why wasn’t Zimmerman processed; he was taken to the station, photographed, interviewed and recorded. I say that Zimmerman knew the law and was looking for an excuse to test it. What does the autopsy tell us about the shooting? Trayvon Martin was in the morgue for three days, I’m sure a thorough autopsy was done. What position was Martin’s body in when he was shot? What position was it in when the police arrived?

All that said I think it comes down to should Mr. Zimmerman have left his vehicle, why did Zimmerman leave his car? He was in no danger inside his vehicle and could have continued his surveillance of Trayvon Martin'; he would have seen that Trayvon Martin was going to his house.

Why is Zimmerman’s actions protected under the law but Trayvon Martin’s is not. Is “stand your ground” for “whites” only? This incident reeks of “white privilege” and cover-up. A guy with a violent history and a gun, who was in violation of Neighborhood Watch regulations, who admittedly followed an innocent minor, pursued that minor first by car then on foot, shoots that child and is allowed to walk away. Now we hear that the lead investigator didn’t believe Zimmerman’s story but George was let go due to “lack of evidence”. Zimmerman was the suspect and he should have been processed like any other suspect. Zimmerman should tell his story to the judge, and the Police department needs to be investigated. Was Zimmerman given preferential treatment because his parents are part of the justice system? We need justice for Trayvon Martin.

The thing about this whole event is that Zimmerman claimed Trayvon Martin broke his nose and banged his head against the ground, but waited until the next day to seek medical help, I would love to see what that nose looked like after waiting a day to get medical assistance. He was willing to endure all the discomfort of a broken nose and banged up head for hours--but it only took him about ten minutes to kill an innocent child walking through his neighborhood.

Is this a racial issues…you betcha! Would he have pursued a white person with the same vigor? Where is the evidence of that? With all his 911 calls did he ever call for someone who was not a person of color? The demonization of the African people is part of the American culture—all whites benefit from the practice of “white privilege” just as Zimmerman is benefiting now. Others benefit by getting the loan, the job, the apartment. It is part of the institution of America.

A black friend does not mean you don’t have biased tendencies. Zimmerman is putting up his black friends to show he is not a racist, but you don’t have to wear the white sheets and hood to have the tendencies. Some whites appreciate that they live in a big multi-cultural city yet there are only whites in their building, children school, or club. It’s alright that only whites shop at their store or eat at their restaurant and some look at you funny or ask strange questions if you try to enter—you can ask Oprah Winfrey or Dr. Henry Gates.

I guess this was bound to happen, issues regarding race percolating to the surface with the election of a “black” man. President Obama admitted that even his grandmother had a fear of black men, people brush it off as “the times”, and we speak of it as if “the times” are not still with us. Everyone wants things to be equal yet with all this desire things are never really equal. The least we can do is have an honest conversation.

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