Why is this Anything Other Than Just Murder?

Once in a while there is just that story that, for many, just doesn’t sit right. If the story sparks up enough controversy, this could not only cause large groups who are concerned to link arms, but create a political divide amongst an entire nation. The Trayvon Martin story has done just that; a boy who was murdered on his way back home from the
convenience store.

Sanford, FLA – On February 26th, Trayvon Mart in, 17, was walking home early evening when George
Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed the minor. Zimmerman was not charged even though he admitted to the shooting, but claimed that it was in self-defense.

The reporter in any story is supposed to provide the answers to the questions, who? what? when? where? And why? But some stories just don’t have the answers to “why?” — or, in other cases, there is so much information out there, it skews our perception of why it actually took place. What we do know is that Trayvon was a 17 year old African American boy, and Zimmerman was a 28 year old Caucasian man, and that
can’t be ignored.

At least by the global community, who took on the “I Am Trayvon Martin” slogan, in fighting the war against racial discrimination. Also wearing a hoodies in response to Geraldo Rivera’s comments that “if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”

Even President Obama stepped out and commented on the incident saying, “If I had a Son, he’d look like Trayvon,” and critics on the other side of the argument took offense to his comment, claiming that as president he was being biased.

It is hard to determine Zimmerman’s intent on February 26th, but it is hard to take race out of the equation. I mean why else would Zimmerman shoot Martin? If he was walking away from Zimmerman, what ways could Martin pose a threat? Gripping 911 calls reveal that Zimmerman was following the 150 pound teenager, undermining Neighborhood Watch rules. If Martin was alone, how could he be up to no good? Or how could Zimmerman determine whether or not Martin was unstable, intoxicated, or on drugs?

It’s inevitable that Zimmerman couldn’t get past the ‘hoodie,’ even if it was raining that day. It’s unfortunate
that in 2012 there are people out there who can’t look past the differences of other human beings. I wonder if a white male walked by in the same clothing, if Zimmerman still would have reacted in the same way; but unfortunately we may never know the answer to that question.

It would be amazing if we were able to reach the level of social equality that some believe we have reached after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But with stories like this it’s just a reminder of how far we still have to go. People of all races and ethnicities are bonding over Trayvon Martin’s controversial murder but unfortunately there isn’t only one Zimmerman; he was just the only one that got caught.

BRYANT ANTOINE is a Suffolk University student and a Spare Change News editorial intern.

Related posts

Top