Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin is Not Black

Despite how it may seem, the title to this post is not meant to be a racial statement of any kind, but rather the title is meant to describe how I feel about the Trayvon Martin situation. Currently, news groups around the country discuss the racial implications of the recent killing of Trayvon Martin. For those who pay no attention to what is happening outside of entertainment weekly, Trayon Martin is a 17 black boy who was shot by George Zimmerman on February 26th in Sandford, Fl. George Zimmerman is of white and Latin descent, though most media outlets would prefer to call him white to portray the racial shadow that looms over this situation. The situation becomes a national headline when Zimmerman, after having already shot and killed Martin, is not arrested because he claimed he shot Martin in self-defense, which is legal in the state of Florida thanks to the state's Stand Your Ground law. Zimmerman has about 100 to 150 pounds on Martin when you take into account the Skittles and iced tea Martin was carrying.

 Trayvon Martin, left; George Zimmerman, right (Image Credit: ABC News; Orange County Jail)
Now that we are all on the same page, I want to be perfectly clear: This story is not important because Trayvon Martin is black and George Zimmerman is white(ish). George Zimmerman probably is a racist. If you listen to the 911 call Zimmerman sounds like he has a suspicion of all hoodie-wearing, black men that happen to be standing in his neighborhood. I don't care. Why it is important to be angry at Zimmerman and the Sandford police department is not because of race, but because a 17-year-old was shot and killed for being in a neighborhood. He was shot and killed for looking "suspicious." Trayvon Martin was shot and killed because he ran away from someone that was staring at him, and George Zimmerman was NEVER once taken into custody because he said one statement, "it was self-defense."

Zimmerman claims that he killed Martin in self defence and the police took him at his word, except a killing is not self-defense until proven murder or otherwise. No, the correct assumption is Martin was killed and we have yet to prove self-defense. When ever there is a dead body found, the assumption should never be settled at self defense. I will not argue the point that Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty, but the police just let him go home after he killed a 17-year-old. I would hope that the Police would at least want to take him to the police station and question him on the situation, especially after having told Zimmerman to not follow Martin, which he did against their guidance.

There is a possibility, though I admit I believe it to be an extremely small probability, that Martin did attack Zimmerman and Zimmerman did fear for his own life. After all, the police say that Zimmerman had a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head from some sort of altercation. I would, however, like to know why the police seem to think that only the person still living was afraid of their life and fighting in self-defense. At the risk of sounding repetitive, Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old boy, young man if you prefer, who was being followed by a person probably two times his size. Trayvon having only a bag of Skittles to use in his defense probably felt at least a little afraid, wouldn't you?

People are racist, that is the reality of the contemporary America, but what is more appalling than a person killing another person because of the difference in skin pigmentation is a police department ignoring some obvious evidence to point to a contrary initial assumption. I won't hide my bias, I think Zimmerman is guilty of killing a very young man and not in self-defense, but I would feel much more comfortable with George Zimmerman walking free if he had been arrested and treated like a person who had actually killed someone.