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I Am Trayvon Martin

by on March 22, 2012

Trayvon Martin is not only a race issue, it’s an American issue. As a black male, I feel an extra burden and even more disappointed and mad towards this situation but in all honesty Trayvon could’ve been any of us. We’re all judged on our appearance every day we walk into the world and sadly Mr. Martin was wrongfully and unfairly mistreated and harmed for his. If you don’t know the back story to what happened, here a basic summarization from MotherJones.com:

On the evening of February 26, Trayvon Martin—an unarmed 17-year-old African American student—was confronted, shot, and killed near his home by George Zimmerman, a Latino neighborhood watch captain in the Orlando, Florida, suburb of Sanford. Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime.

Martin, a Miami native, was visiting his father in Sanford and watching the NBA All-Star game at a house in a gated Sanford community, the Retreat at Twin Lakes. At halftime, Martin walked out to the nearby 7-Eleven to get some Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. On his return trip, he drew the attention of Zimmerman, who was patrolling the neighborhood in a sport-utility vehicle and called 911 to report “a real suspicious guy.”

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something,” Zimmerman told the dispatcher. “It’s raining, and he’s just walking around looking about.” The man tried to explain where he was. “Now he’s coming towards me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male…Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is…These assholes, they always get away.”

There’s a lot of things that disturb me about this whole case that is at the forefront of many Americans due to the coverage it’s receiving on hip-hop radio and cable news.

1. How can Mr. Zimmerman have not been arrested by now? This guy murders an innocent human being and is still walking free, roaming the streets as if he doesn’t have blood on his hands? What gives? Zimmerman claims that he was using self-defense to protect himself from Trayvon Martin, but is it the police’s jurisdiction to determine whether that is valid or not? No.

The courts and a jury are supposed to determine that, so to not arrest him make no sense to me. He blatantly did not listen to authorities after being told not to pursue Mr. Martin. If Trayvon were to have killed Mr. Zimmerman, would Trayvon still be free? You should ask Troy Davis that question.

2. Since when does “walking while black” make you a “suspicious guy” as Mr. Zimmerman claimed? I can’t lie, when I see a young black male wearing a hoodie and baggy jeans and speaking in a certain way when I’m in certain parts of town, I definitely don’t get a positive vibe from that. All sorts of negative connotations, stereotypes and thoughts go through my head when I see others wearing this type of attire. It’s wrong, especially because once in a while I also wear hoodies and baggy jeans, but it’s the truth.

With all that being said, that doesn’t give me the right to act on my thoughts unless my life is being threatened. How do I know if someone w/ this attire is a drug dealer or a Fortune 500 CEO? The point is I don’t, and just because Mr. Zimmerman had those thoughts doesn’t mean he should’ve have followed Mr. Martin and got into a conflict with him. Everyone has a freedom of expression and Trayvon’s freedom of expression through his attire should not have killed him.

3. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law states according to IBTimes.com:

The law extends what has been called the Castle Doctrine, which asserts that a person has the right to defend his or her home with deadly force if they are in “fear of great bodily injury.” Unlike similar laws across the country, the Florida provision does not require residents to retreat before using lethal force — whether it be with a gun, knife or baseball bat — against a home intruder, a concept that is based off the English common-law idea that an individual’s home is their “castle.”

Although I am a supporter of gun control, I agree with this part of the law. If you feel that your life is being threatened, you shouldn’t be charged for a crime if you end up doing bodily damage to them. But it’s this part of the law that is protecting Mr. Zimmerman which I totally disagree with.

With the Stand Your Ground law, a person no longer needs to prove that they feared for their safety, only that the individual they either injured or killed — even those who are unarmed — had forcefully and unlawfully intruded.

Although Gov. Jeb Bush had good intentions when he signed this bill into law, it has only burdened the state with further consequences that are unnecessary because according to the Christian Science Monitor, the number of supposedly “justifiable homicides” has more than doubled since 2005.  How does someone have the right to defend themselves if they don’t need to prove that their life is in danger? That’s an oxymoron and makes no sense to me as well.

4. Why is it that black activists and pastors and left-wingers are the only ones who are deeply concerned about this issue? This isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican issue. This is a human rights issue we’re dealing with. This is an abortion issue we’re dealing with. Where are all the pro-life activists protesting a life that was taken too young? Why is it that CNN and MSNBC have covered it extensively but the conservative commentators at Fox News have shed a blind eye to this case.

A young American life was taken away without reasonable cause. Why is it that when a beautiful blonde disappears from Aruba, it’s unanimously and unequivocally a travesty for America’s next generation but when a nappy-headed black boy is innocently killed right before our very eyes, news outlets like Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” must research Mr. Martin’s police record to find a good reason why he’s better dead than alive. Why wasn’t Ms. Holloway called out for underage drinking but Mr. Martin’s past of being suspended for tardiness is critically analyzed? I have to admit, black people love calling racism and pulling the race card WAY TOO MUCH, especially when it’s not necessary but let’s call a spade, a spade and speak honestly when something is so easy to decipher.

We need everyone, no matter black or white, Republican or Democrat, Christian, Jew or Muslim, to stand up against injustice. This is Current TV host Jennifer Granholm standing against injustice.

5. Mr. Zimmerman’s father put out a statement saying that Mr. Zimmerman was raised in a bi-racial household which exempts him from accusations of this being a hate crime but just because Mr. Zimmerman is a Latino doesn’t mean he’s not racist. Latinos and African-Americans have faced many trying times especially in the Los Angeles community where there are many rival gangs of opposite races. I understand Mr. Zimmerman’s dad is going through a tough time right now, believe it or not, but everything is out in the open and we know that Mr. Zimmerman was paranoid about seeing black males walking through his neighborhood to the point where he used a racial slur as he watched Mr. Martin lay on the ground lifeless.

If I’m part of the Zimmerman family, I would put out a statement saying that they are praying for all sides of the issue and I would reach out to the Martins and pass along my condolences. There’s no need to add more oil to the fire. I hope Neighborhood Watch leaders, security guards and mall cops learn from this situation, just do your damn job don’t try to be a hero!

R.I.P. Trayvon Martin. That’s my two cents. May God comfort both the Martins and the Zimmermans and provide peace in this calamity.

This happened in America. I am shot and killed in a residential neighborhood. My cell phone is on me, and I am found to have been carrying only a bag of candy and an ice tea. 911 calls from neighbors record my screams for “help” in the moments before my death. No one uses my cell phone to locate my family. No one canvass the neighborhood to see if someone there knows me. I am a John Doe in the morgue for three days. But, my body is tested for drugs and alcohol. My killer is not tested for anything. My killer is questioned and released…and he is still free today. I am Trayvon Martin, and WE are better than this.

Repost to get justice for Trayvon Martin and his family!!!

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