Last night, Facebook and Twitter were a flurry of emotions, negativity and racism. The case of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, was a strange one. How are we, as Americans, to feel about our justice system when it works this way.
Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch member. I’ve been on a neighborhood watch before. In fact I organized. Never did I drive around and wait for people to “look suspicious.” I only write about guns. My hands are so small I cannot handle them well and if I had a concealed carry permit I would probably just shoot myself. Birdman and I joke about me getting a gun, but I’m not sure either one of us is comfortable with it. But back to Zimmerman.
He was a neighborhood watch member. He had a concealed carry permit, which gave him every right to have the gun. He sat in his car and waited for something suspicious to happen. Every time it did, at least according to the recorded phone calls from the police dispatch, it involved a black “man” acting suspicious. How he acted suspicious is up for grabs. Zimmerman has obviously retold the story, the best he can since some of it was documented, in his favor. But what cannot be argued is this.
Zimmerman sat in a car, and watched. He saw a young black “man” wearing a hoodie, and “acting suspicious (video of Trayvon at the neighborhood convenience store where he bought his drink and his Skittles) show he was not aggressive, he was relaxed, and he was just a kid at a convenience store. Nonetheless, Zimmerman called it in to police dispatch. They told him to STAY AWAY from Trayvon. He disregarded their order, and got OUT of his car and confronted Trayvon. Trayvon “STOOD HIS GROUND.” And in the ensuing scuffle, George Zimmerman shot and killed a teenage boy who was headed to his father’s house, with Skittles and an energy drink in his hand.
All Zimmerman had to do to get off was say “I was afraid for my life.” DESPITE the fact that HE went after Trayvon, even after police dispatchers told him NOT to do so. Zimmerman was a giant “Stand your ground” blunder waiting to happen.
But this case is different for many other reasons, as well. Zimmerman was not charged and walked around a free man, who killed a teenager, until media roared loud enough the justice system in Florida HAD to do something. They were NOT EVER going to prosecute him.
Now I am not a real fan of our media right now, because there isn’t much middle ground and there seems to be no bastion of fair and unbiased reporting, as there used to be. But in this case, it was the right thing.
But the bottom line is the prosecutor of the county in Florida where this happened didn’t want to prosecute Zimmerman, and so when he was forced to do so, it was a half-assed job. The jury was given three choices. First degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter. The obvious choice is there: manslaughter. But that’s all they had. They couldn’t charge him with anything else. He could have been charged with violating Trayvon’s civil rights, or assault with a deadly weapon… A whole slew of things. But in the end, it was George Zimmerman’s word against Trayvon Martin’s word, and only one of them could speak, because the other one is dead.
There is no doubt that George Zimmerman retold the story in his favor, because he was fighting for HIS life, despite the fact he shot and killed someone’s son. But only two people know the rule truth, and one of them has no ethics, morals, or concern for life.
So, here again are the facts; the ones we can prove.
1. George Zimmerman was sitting in a car, with a gun, waiting for something to happen that he could report or someone he could confront.
2. Trayvon Martin, a black teenager wearing a hoodie went to the convenience store, happily bought an energy drink and some Skittles, and then made his way back to his father’s house, where he unfortunately caught the eye of George Zimmerman.
3. George Zimmerman spotted Trayvon, decided he was suspicious (for reasons we will never know) and called police.
4. Police dispatch told him to STAY AWAY from Trayvon.
5. He ignored the dispatcher and got OUT of his car, ran after Trayvon, who probably started running because someone was chasing him and he didn’t know why. They scuffled. Trayvon fought back. George Zimmerman shot him.
6. Trayvon Martin is dead. George Zimmerman is free.
7. Stand your ground apparently means confront and attack and then say you were afraid for your life so you can get away with murder.
Our country is cracking and crumbling and falling apart.
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?