Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Will Trayvon Get Justice?

It is probably the most notorious murder case since the O.J. Simpson trial, and once again 20 years later we are a country divided. The Trayvon Martin case has set a firestorm of speculation, racism, and doubt in the criminal justice system. We all know the story, on February. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida an unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by an over zealous, mentally impaired neighborhood watch commander named George Zimmerman. Martins crime? Walking down the street wearing a hoodie with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.
Zimmerman pursued Martin while repeatedly using the word nigger and murdered him in cold blood after being given explicit instructions from a 911 operator not to engage in a pursuit several times. The recorded call was released months ago, and Zimmerman's intentions were crystal clear.

It sounds like an open and shut case even if you remove the race factor. When one person intentionally shoots and kills another person who is unarmed without the slightest hint of provocation. It is nothing short of murder, regardless of what the variables are.

But unfortunately this is not the world that we live in, and race was the difference between Trayvon Martin being shot dead and making it home alive.
From day one there have been attempts to assassinate, and defame Trayvons character. Everything from his High School disciplinary record to his so called "thug attitude" have been fair....or should I day unfair game. The most recent conservative commentary suggests that Trayvon could have broken the bottle of iced tea that he had and used the pieces of broken glass as a weapon. Which might have been possible if he were not carrying a can of iced tea. Ever try stabbing someone with a can?

Perhaps even more disturbing than the level of extreme absurdities, preposterous innuendo, and endless supposition that now seems to be a media staple, is the support that George Zimmerman has gotten from some of the public since the shooting. He received more than $100,000 in donations for his legal defense fund from anonymous donors who supported him after soliciting funds on the Internet.
The Internet provides what I call Clan anonymity. It gives large swaths of people the opportunity to anonymously voice their opinions, and support their causes. Most of whom would not do so in public for fear of not being politically correct. The Internet takes the concept of the "telephone tough guy" to a stratospheric level. But it also gives those of us who are paying attention, the opportunity to realize, recognize, and understand the fact that there is an unwavering commitment to ignorance and bigotry lurking in the shadows. 

After what seems like 12 eternities the Trayvon Martin case has finally gone to trial, and a jury of six women will decide whether George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin,  at townhouse community in Sanford, Fla. Legal experts say a jury of all women, all but one of whom is white, is unusual and may work against Zimmerman given the perceived sensibilities of the gender. Whether any of the women are mothers, particularly of a teenage son is unknown. But regardless of what their personal details entail, I hope that those women make an intelligent decision after having weighed and analyzed all of the evidence.

Trayvon Martin's family deserves justice.


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