Unless you live under a rock you probably have heard about the sad case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot and killed in a Florida suburb on February 26. Trayvon was unharmed and had just visited a local when George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer saw him heading home.
Apparently, Zimmerman thought Trayvon looked suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie and probably because he was a Black American. He phoned 911 but was told not to pursue Trayvon.
But Zimmerman did pursue the young teen and what happened next could definitely have been avoided.
Zimmerman said that Trayvon attacked him and that he shot him in self-defense. Under Florida’s “stand your ground” law people can shoot to kill to protect themselves in certain situations. The police, believing Zimmerman’s version of events, did not even arrest him.
Since February 26 this case has taken on a new life and people from all across the United States, and in many parts of the world, are demanding an investigation into the ‘tragic incident’.
Indeed some points need to be considered – Tryavon was unharmed; Zimmerman, apparently, was in a vehicle and could have left the scene and we only have Zimmerman’s word that Trayvon attacked him.
Many people believe that this is a case of racism, pure and simple. They believe that Trayvon would not have even been considered suspicious if he had been white, let alone been shot.
What about if Trayvon had shot Zimmerman in self-defence – would he have been let go Scott free by the police?
This case opens up the old wound of racism in the United States but it’s more than just a ‘black and white’ story as it’s about ‘right and wrong’.
In this editor’s humble opinion Trayvon was shot just because he was Black and for no other reason that that, pure and simple. For all the distance the black population have gone in the United States in their fight against racism, they haven’t really gotten very far in some areas of the country, and the ‘war’ against injustice is far from over.
One more point – do you think Zimmerman was sorry or remorseful about killing Trayvon that night or did he lie in his bed with a wide, smug, satisfied smirk on his face? Which case do you believe?
If any good can come from this terrible injustice maybe it will lead to people facing more serious changes in cases like this and that Trayvon’s family will eventually see some justice in the matter.
But don’t hold your breath.