Trayvon Benjamin Martin Feb 5, 1995- Feb 26, 2012
I don’t want to view this case from a racial or civil rights point of view. So far I have viewed it from the point of a mother who has a son. My first born happily for me was a boy.
It breaks my heart to think about how I will someday have to approach this subject with my son. I know it won’t be easy as I will not only have to explain the meaning behind his colored skin and how that will ultimately affect his life, but how to approach maturity and sex in a responsible manner, and let’s not forget violence.
As an African American male in the United States my son will have to endure racism, sexism, hate, racial profiling, stereotypes of black men, lack of resources in the black community and I must include the pressure to survive poverty and make something of his self, should he choose to do so.
And as my son struggles through life to find his place in society, he will also endure the fateful pressures of being a teen and surviving puberty. Measurements of his body parts and if it will be sufficient enough to please a woman, drug and alcohol consumption pressures, graduating, dating, learning to drive a car…things we have all faced growing up.
These pressures I am sure we can wade through together, as I have coped with them. Mind you, I can only show him and teach him so much because I am his mother and have never experienced life from a male perspective, but I will try my hardest.
But how do I explain the results of the Trayvon Martin case and how this sets the black culture apart from others?
I know that last question may seem to be racially motivated and I know I stated I am not in a racial point of view on this topic, but I have to face the facts. My son is black. I am black and Trayvon Martin was black. The Black community is outraged.
And frankly I only decided to write this article because of the remarks stated by Juror B37.
As a woman I would like to ask her to put herself in the shoes and heart of Trayvon’s Mother. I don’t care what race or creed George Zimmerman lives by, but I can say one thing to this said Juror. Come step into a black community setting and then tell the people there that George had every right to fire that weapon to protect himself.
This is how I explain my thoughts to you Juror B37 and how I will one day try to explain this to my son.
So please read carefully because I am going to break this down for you in a mother’s point of view. No, scratch that a BLACK mothers point of view.
We come from a culture that is statistically and stereotypically faulted for black on black violence. For those who honor responsibility and humility we try to teach our children that violence is only necessary when there is a threat to ones well being and life. Now George said he felt threatened by a teenager armed with skittles and a soft drink…and a teenager who used his fists.
I cannot tell you Juror B37 how many mothers who lost their sons to gang violence, gun violence, knife fights or what have you, pick your weapon of choice, wish their son had chosen to use his fist as a means of protection instead of a deadly weapon. Look up any past article on a black man or boy being killed by a weapon and I can tell you, it’s sad.
The use of weapons instead of words to settle a dispute is mind boggling. So much wasted precious life taken away from young people who just need guidance.
Now let me tell you WHY people are angry that you chose to acquit a man who was obsessively taunting Trayvon on his walk home.
Trayvon didn’t call for help but spoke to a friend. Lord how I wish he would have dialed 911 instead of talking to his lady friend. Because then the world would know his side and every misunderstanding that happened that unfortunate night could have been handled correctly on all sides. In fact, my first statement to my son will be to call 911 try to walk away and if that doesn’t work- then and only then ---Stand your ground.
Now we are being told as viewers that Zimmerman called the police and reported Trayvon as a suspicious character in the neighborhood. He was told NOT TO FOLLOW Trayvon that they would handle it. Zimmerman chose to follow trayvon. In my eyes this is an act of aggression and failing to listen to instructions. For a man who wants to be a police officer he should know better than to disobey orders.
The fact that Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Trayvon makes him the aggressor in this situation. He could have asked trayvon what he was doing in the neighborhood before harassing the boy. He could have stayed in his car and let the police do their job, because he is not a law officer and should not be trying to apprehend suspicious people. In my eyes its like he was trying to impersonate a cop and that is supposedly against the law. He did not have the authority or right to do what he did. And being part of the neighborhood watch he should have known the proper protocol for encountering suspicious individuals. Should there be any threat of danger you call the proper authorities and LET THEM HANDLE IT.
Also Trayvon was walking! Walking! He didn't go into any yards, knock over trash cans. He didn't vandalize any property. He walked fast when he realized he was being followed. How is that a crime? How is that suspicious?
And if George was paying this much attention to the teen, how come he didn't realize the teen was on his cell phone? How come he didn't stay back and wait for Trayvon to do something, anything worth this type of surveillance?
Further more I find there is a flaw in the law of “standing your ground”. Because Zimmerman was the aggressor, Trayvon had every right to defend himself should Zimmerman make a move.
And I do not believe Trayvon struck first. I believe that Zimmerman based on statements he made to the dispatcher and the fact that he took it upon himself to continue to follow and harass Trayvon, and the fact that he is obsessed with law enforcement, went over the line and probably grabbed, shoved, held onto or any form of contact to Trayvon, and since the boy was scared, thought this man was crazy and felt threatened, may have pushed, shoved or forcibly moved Zimmerman’s hand off of him.
That to me is a misunderstanding on Trayvons part but I would believe it to be a defensive tactic because we all can see that Zimmerman has a screw loose.
Why was this man following him? Why was this man blatantly disregarding the advice to stand down and let the cops apprehend and/or question trayvon if he was a menace to the neighborhood? Why didn’t Zimmerman ask a simple question of “are you from this neighborhood?” before he trailed Trayvon?
I swear I feel like I could be watching the discovery channel with an episode of a lion hunting his prey. Tackling him and moving in for the kill. How the hell do you justify what Zimmerman did? Do you lack common sense Juror B37? This man is obviously confused about his duty as a civilian and a neighborhood watchman. He obviously took the law into his own hands and forced an unpleasant situation into a brutally aggressive one resulting in the murder of an innocent boy.
You allowed Trayvon’s past to be a factor in your motivation for providing the wrong verdict but failed to take into account how Zimmerman conducts himself in normal society.
I ask you this, do you think Zimmerman would have stalked Trayvon if he had been a grown man? No I think not. He took advantage of a teenager. And yes I said Stalked because that’s exactly what Zimmerman an adult decided to do that day. He took it upon himself to apprehend Trayvon. And if he decided to “apprehend” Trayvon, then he is in the wrong. He is not a cop. He cant and has no authority to apprehend anything or anyone.
How are any of us, especially his parents supposed to cope with a wrong verdict? How can we view Justice as mercy and salvation for innocents who cannot speak for themselves when you have so blatantly destroyed it?
How the hell am I supposed to tell my son that he can be killed for walking home from getting a snack and visiting friends?
How am I supposed to tell my son that not only will he be unjustly persecuted for having dark skin his entire life but that he will also have to be faced with violence because of bigoted prejudice on behalf of years of stereotyping, statistics, and the fear of what we are as a race?
How can anyone on that Jury explain to trayvon’s family that they let this man go because he felt threatened by a weaponless kid who he stalked, who he victimized, who he profiled wrong? Who he didn’t even take the time to yell out and say “hey do you live around here?” if he took the time to ask that one simple question instead of taking it upon himself to scare the hell out of a helpless teen who did nothing to him, trayvon would still be alive.
You, Juror B37 and your fellow peers who decided on this verdict have justified racism, prejudice, hate, and lack of humility. This is why people are saying its racism. This is why they are crying for a civil suit. This is why the Black people in America are outraged. No Zimmerman may not be racist, but his motivation for harassing Trayvon was. And you have further put this country in a condition to publicize hate. To try and rationalize your opinion for giving a not guilty verdict by the means of the stand your ground law is absurd. Zimmerman was wrong. And so are you. And you have stepped so harshly on the hearts and caused heartache for so many mothers wishing to shield their children from such disgrace. Thank you for opening up wounds that were just starting to heal. You have set this country back a few decades.
Moral of my article? I didn’t mean to draw the race card. I simply meant to prove some points.
1. Stand your ground law has a flaw. Because Zimmerman harassed trayvon, and trayvon lived there, he should have had every right to defend himself against Zimmerman without being shot. Trayvon had the right to stand his ground because he felt threatened by the aggressive harassment of Zimmerman.
2. Regardless of whatever went down, Trayvon used his hands as weapons, Zimmerman used a gun. The unfairness in that battle tells it all. If Zimmerman was black, it would be seen as another black on black crime and swept under the rug. If Trayvon had a knife I could see Zimmerman’s defense, but he had nothing. SO how threatened could the man feel by a teen’s fist?
3. If Zimmerman was really into law enforcement he would know that officers use every means necessary to apprehend a suspect, from physical fighting, pepper spray, batons, and last form of defense is their gun. The LAST form of defense is their gun Zimmerman. You would not have had to fight with this boy if you had listened when you were told to walk away, you didn’t have to follow that poor boy. And you wouldn’t have felt your life was in danger if you hadn’t aggravated the situation.
4.There was some speculation as to who was heard screaming for help. I wish they had had a behavioral profiler do a study on Zimmerman and Trayvon. Because if we go by things Zimmerman has stated, his obsession with becoming a police officer, his use of cop language, his indifference to the situation, and his provocation of the situation can tell anyone with a brain that those cries for help was Trayvon not Zimmerman. Zimmerman has proven he has a temper, not only that, but an over inflated ego that when provoked by any means of insult, he will strike. If at some point Trayvon had the upper hand in the fight, this would have made Zimmerman even more aggressive and could be the very reason at that moment he pulled out his gun.
5. Zimmerman is older, heavier and had more training than Trayvon. If he was studying and preparing to become a police officer that would mean he had the known how, the training and knowledge of defensive tactics to take down or apprehend a criminal with brute force, without having to draw his weapon. Even if Trayvon did get the upper hand at some point, Zimmerman would have the skill to take him down. The fact that he drew a weapon at all shows he needed power and authority and his ego and pride were at stake. He wanted to be a law official so badly, he hated the fact that “these assholes keep getting away” so much that he took his hatred out on that poor boy. Anyone that can’t see that lacks common sense.
His blood is on your hands Zimmerman and may god have mercy on your soul.
What you and these Jurors have done to this country is added another sliver of pain to it. You have opened up wounds we all thought were healing, that we were progressing from. You have given every mother of a son another reason to fear for his life. How dare you. You should be ashamed.
I ask you this Zimmerman…Look your mother in the eyes and ask her what would she say, do or feel if You were Trayvon and Trayvon were you. If she had to bury you because of an unjust murder…Do you think your not guilty now?
What would you say to a man that took the life of your only son Zimmerman? How would you feel? Would you think this was justice?
Signed, an Angry Mother who fears for the future of her son.