When I watched the George Zimmerman verdict, I cried, relieved there would be no further injustice. It is a bad situation and there are no winners. It is not like George Zimmerman is all good or all bad. Same is true about Trayvon Martin.
Sending Zimmerman to jail was not going to make anything better. It was not justice. Why do I say that and why do I think that neither person was completely innocent?
I think George Zimmerman, with a desire to be a hero-cop and exhibiting poor judgment, followed Trayvon that fateful night with knowledge of recent crimes in the neighborhood on his mind. He was, after all, on the neighborhood watch. He should have listened to the 911 operator and backed off. But he followed.
From Trayvon’s perspective, I can see why he was annoyed–and possibly alarmed–that George was following him. He didn’t know what his intent was. His friend, Rachel Jeantel, implied to Piers Morgan that there was concern that the man following Trayvon could be a gay rapist.
What Trayvon supposedly did next finally makes sense to me. He allegedly started beating up George who, older and out-of-shape, was no match for 17-year-old Trayvon. Except George had a gun and he used it.
If he had shot Trayvon unprovoked as Trayvon’s supporters allege, then it would have been murder or manslaughter. Once George was in the position of having to defend himself from Trayvon’s attack, it was self-defense–and perfectly legal.
Tragic but legal.
Sending George to jail is not the solution. In fact, for his poor judgment he has already suffered immensely–and likely permanently. He is the new Casey Anthony who will not be able to live a normal life.
This should be the end of it. A sad story with no winners. A terrible loss for Trayvon’s family and friends.
But because Trayvon was African-American, the race hustlers, like Al Sharpton, are going to turn a tragedy into a racial event. This is not a white and black situation. George is half Spanish, which makes him white according to the media. Funny how President Obama is half white, but somehow he is the first black president and considered a black man.
Generally in society and per the media when someone has a mixed racial heritage, the bi-racial individual is considered whatever the minority half is. Not so with George because then the story could not be manipulated into a racist one.
However, this is not about racism. It never was but the Al Sharptons of the world wanted it to be. And still do. So apparently does President Obama, who surprised me with his statement almost a week after the verdict just when things finally started to calm down.
Insofar as African-Americans have suffered in this country, I completely understand why they are sensitive as Obama pointed out. I feel awful for Trayvon’s parents. However, would their pain be any less if he had died at someone else’s hands?
Which brings me to the real problem in this country for African-Americans which is black-on-black crime. Like what happens daily in Chicago. Where is Al Sharpton to denounce this real danger? Because what happened between Trayvon and George was the result of misunderstanding, stupidity, and poor judgment, not racism. Yet every day all around this country the biggest problem for African-Americans is not being victimized by racism but by crime–and unemployment and broken families and a poor educational system.
But why fix those real problems if you can play racial scapegoating? Because the reality is those who seek to fan the flames of race don’t really care about their fellow man. That does not get them fine clothes and belongings, media attention, and money.
Who is the biggest offender? I would have guessed Al Sharpton but after Obama’s speech, I think he may have earned the title. He is so self-centered–going from Trayvon could have been my son! to I could have been Trayvon!–and willing to deepen the divide. For someone elected in part to bring healing–heck, he was personally going to heal the oceans–he has done the opposite.
The president has made inappropriate comments on race in the past. This time Obama was not just identifying with Trayvon, but went so far as to say there would have been a different outcome if Trayvon had been white.
Healing? I think not.
First, just because President Obama is half-black does not mean that he has to inject himself into every racial issue in America. Second, a jury has reviewed the evidence and made an appropriate ruling that should be respected. Finally, this is a tragedy but it will be made worse if more violence and hatred result. We should seek calm and reason, not the exploitation of painful emotion.
So while Obama and Sharpton claim they want to advocate for black people, theirs are just words. Their actions show that they, like many before them, don’t want to help black Americans and heal historical racial division. And that is a real shame for all Americans.