Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trayvon Martin-What's The Issue?

Trayvon Martin’s murder……everyone is talking about it. That’s good. It gives us an opportunity to open a dialogue and see the scars that come with living in a free society. Trayvon Martin’s murder… gets everyone’s emotions up. That’s not so good. Emotions have a way of clouding reason. So let’s take our hearts out of it for a minute and look at what we know, which is by no means the whole story. But we know the basics. An unarmed 17-year-old was walking. The neighborhood watch volunteer felt he looked suspicious. He calls the police who tell him not to follow, pursue, or initiate contact. He ignores and follows, pursues, and initiates. They scuffle. The neighborhood watch volunteer shoots and kills the 17-year-old. He claims it was self-defense under the so called “Stand Your Ground” law. He was not arrested or charged.

How I See It
I believe the self-defense defense is completely invalid if the one claiming it is the one who initiated the conflict. Even if things happened exactly as Zimmerman claims, he was still wrong and should still be held accountable for Trayvon’s death. I mean, wasn’t it actually Trayvon who was acting in self-defense?

What If??
What if Trayvon had a weapon? What if he was everything Zimmerman and the media is portraying him to be? What then? Would you still be wearing your hoodies? Would there be such a huge public outcry for justice? Would he be any less deserving of that justice? What if Zimmerman was black? And the same thing happened? Would we still be so outraged?

Even if Trayvon was everything the media is making him out to be, even if he had weapons, drugs, or whatever on him, he would still deserve justice. Because this is not about who Trayvon was or what he has done. It’s about the fact that he was shot and killed and the man who did it was not arrested or charged. Period. Even if Zimmerman were black, he would still deserve to be arrested, charged, and held accountable. Period.

Now, for those who pop off about how sick they are of “white folks” judging blacks by their appearance, let’s be real. Black folks make the same snap judgments about our youth based on their appearance because they embody every depiction of “thug” we’ve been shown.

How I See It
I grew up with real thugs. I know some real thugs. Murdering, thieving, soul-sucking animals. And you know what? None of them wore hoodies. Or wore their pants hanging off of their asses. Most of them looked exactly like someone a mother would want her daughter to bring home. Clean-cut, well-groomed, well-spoken, intelligent…..not this stereotype that’s been concocted by the ignorant both inside and outside our community. It’s just the cover, not the book. And yet, we have our views on what a “thug” looks like. Not just white folks. All of us.

The Problem Is
In our outrage, we are confusing the issues. I have seen criticisms of the “hoodie pics” and people bitching about all of the support “we” are showing in this case because we don’t rise up this way when it’s black on black. We don’t get pissed when a young black is killed in the “hood” or about all the black men in the “system”. Confusing the issues. That is not this!!! We are not mad because Trayvon was killed by someone who isn’t black. We are mad because the man who killed him is not being held accountable. While the black on black issue is valid and needs attention, that is not this.

How I See It
Take out everything except what really matters. Don’t look at the why, just the what. We can only guess at why. Only Zimmerman and God will ever really know. But what I know is this…..a young man lost his life in a senseless tragedy that was 100% avoidable. And he deserves justice. Not because he’s black. Not because the killer isn’t. But because it’s right. Period.



  1. Love it! Love it! love it. Everything you say here is right on point. Great analysis of the whole situation. Damn you ARE a writer.