as the zimmerman defense is preparing to rest their case soon, i’m preparing myself for the verdict…which may very well have zimmerman walk free. i don’t have the luxury of being able to watch the trial live but i do try to read about it when i can, and here’s what i know: an unarmed young boy who was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing, was pursued and killed by an armed man; an armed man who was instructed by authorities NOT to pursue the unarmed boy who was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing. a young boy is dead as a result. never mind any of the other details. that’s all i need to know. all i need to know is that if armed man had followed instructions from the authorities NOT to pursue unarmed boy, i would not be writing this post today.
acquittal for zimmerman would set a frightening precedent; one that says that at least in the state of florida, one can instigate an altercation, and use deadly force to end the altercation…as long as one reasonably fears for their life, EVEN if they instigated the incident in the first place. that’s like me walking around with a concealed gun and getting in the face of every guy i see, only to get my behind whooped by every guy whose face i get in, and then shooting dead every guy whose face i get in and claim self defense. Save race, class, gender, or religion… the situation is pretty goofy no matter how you look at it. Now…
race has not been used in the zimmerman trial, at least not overtly by either side. but it’s obviously the 900lb gorilla in the room. i’ve been profiled before as a young black male minding my own business. it’s not fun. degrading even. white privilege, specifically white male privilege is real, and zimmerman has benefited from it (yes I know his ethnicity is latino, his race is white though; his father is white.) let’s be honest…if this exact same event occurred between 2 blacks, or any 2 people of the same race for that matter, this wouldn’t have made national news. in fact a similar situation did occur where an african american woman was sentenced to 20 yrs in florida for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband (click link above). her defense was based on the stand your ground law as well. she didn’t KILL or even wound anyone. yet she will serve time in prison. george zimmerman wasn’t even arrested right away after KILLING trayvon martin. as dumb as the stand your ground law is in florida, it wouldn’t be AS dumb if it was exercised fairly across the board, but that’s the case with much of the criminal justice system isn’t it?
despite the prosecution’s inability to present a strong enough case of second degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt, the fate of zimmerman still lies in the hands of the jury; 6 women jurors, 5 of which are mothers. I think they understand that a boy’s life didnt have to end so soon. I think they understand that the only way trayvon could have been responsible for his own death was if he’d put the gun to his chest and pulled the trigger himself. I think they will understand the social justice and equality implications of the case as women are considered to be a minority in this country as well. I think they will see past the distracting details and recognize that an unarmed young boy who was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing, was pursued and killed by an armed man; an armed man who was instructed by authorities NOT to pursue the unarmed boy who was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing. If they don’t…I hope we receive the verdict in a responsible way that is accompanied with responsible action and not destruction. Either way, may God continue to help us all.