In the months following the death of Trayvon Martin, we as Americans have all pretty much taken one side or the other. And while the side of the Martin family has been much publicized, it’s that of George Zimmerman that has captured my attention.
In an NPR story that I saw this morning, details of what transpired and what was said between Martin and Zimmerman have been released, and I sure hope they are true because I’m a Team Zimmerman member.
But the veracity of Zimmerman’s statements in this article aren’t what I’m intent on blogging about today.
The subject of today’s post is blanket justice. By that I mean how the country has mobilized around Martin because, in my opinion, he was black. He was a minority member.
Whether or not Zimmerman is acquitted, the case has already been tried in the minds of African Americans and even sympathetic whites. Simply because Martin was a young black teen, his potential guilt in the matter has been totally overlooked. In fact, the clean-cut image his family would have us believes isn’t quite so squeaky-clean. He was suspended from school three times, one case involving a baggie found that formerly contained pot. In his backpack, twelve pieces of women’s jewelry were found, and he claimed “a friend” gave them to him. Huh? Suspicious much? I’d say so. He also included W.T.F. graffiti on a door at school. These are not major blemishes unless the kid stole the jewelry, and some people think it’s a possibility. He wasn’t caught smoking the pot; maybe the bag belonged to someone else. The point is, he wasn’t this Bible-toting exemplary kid his parents have made him out to be. Reports claim that his mother is marketing his image – selling her dead son, as it were, for exploitative profits.
Adding to this, major news networks have even admitted to editing evidence such as 911 calls to cast Zimmerman in the light of a criminal when he may have just been defending himself! I am ashamed to have once worked in an industry so filled with lies and misinformation and sensationalism.
People of the same race or culture tend to stick together – they understand each other. That’s not a fault – it is just human nature. But it is when by sticking together you hide crimes and evidence of crimes from others that it becomes a major problem. It is when you proclaim blanket innocence just because you are of the same skin color that you cross the line into, at the very least, utter ridiculousness, and at the very worst, obfuscation of truth and justice.