"These assholes always get away” is what neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman told the police dispatcher right before he got out of his car to follow Trayvon Martin.
Last night, another one got away.
I won’t bore you with the details. They have been well documented.
As someone who is a journalism student and a black man who has a job in the security field, I tried to look at the facts as they were laid out. Admittedly, I put myself in the shoes of Martin and Zimmerman. I’ve been the black kid who’s been followed in an area where crime has run rampant. I have also seen suspicious activity like Zimmerman claimed. I called the dispatcher and they told me not to get involved. That is exactly what I did. You know why? I’M NOT A POLICE OFFICER. I let the professionals do their job.
I don’t believe that Zimmerman got out of his car with the intent of killing Martin. However, he did put himself in situation that he was not trained for that got someone killed. Also, he profiled Martin by making assumptions based on his appearance.
Before the case started, I had three questions on my mind:
1. Why didn’t Zimmerman listen to the dispatcher?
2. What did he say to Martin when he confronted him?
3. Why wasn’t Zimmerman wearing anything to distinguish himself as neighborhood watch?
During the trial, I wondered why none of those questions were answered. If someone you don’t know is following you and they confront you while it’s raining and dark outside, how would you react to it? Negatively, I imagine.
The prosecution bit off more than they could chew in this case. Due to the way the case played out in the media, they went for the murder charge instead of manslaughter. That was a huge mistake. Whether Zimmerman knew it or not, he is responsible for a life being lost. Criminal justice system or not. Bringing manslaughter up at the last minute was an awful idea.
For the people outthere who believe that Zimmerman was in the right to go after Martin, I ask you this: Have you ever been racially profiled? If so, how did it make you feel? I can tell you how it made me feel. Remember, I wrote a blog about it once I wanted to kick the guy’s butt for assuming the worst because I’m black. I didn’t react negatively because I was fearful of how I would be perceived.
As the case went along, I started to notice that some of the people who claim that the case wasn’t about race were the first to make racially insensitive comments. I also noticed a disturbing trend about this case. The people who said Zimmerman wasn’t racist are some of the same who have made it clear on where they stand on race relations in this country. They have made little to no effort in erasing the stereotypes that have plagued the world we live in.
Since my ancestors were brought to this country as free laborers, their descendants, present company included, have been under the thumb of the society that looks at us as second-class citizens. I think a lot of people in this country do not know was it is like to be a black man in America. Even a law-abiding, tax paying citizen like myself, continues to get the shit end in most cases. People do not realize the amount of crap we’ve taken because of the perceived fear of the blackman. I remember my time in the bar industry when I would tell someone something and they wouldn’t listen until one of my white co-workers said it. This didn’t happen all the time but you can see what that can do a person’s psyche.
They seem to not to get that no matter where you go or how much money you make, to some, African-Americans are classified as dangerous and easily disposable.
Let’s face the facts.
Black people and white people look at race differently. It is what it is. Some believe that racism is alive and well while some still have a staunch belief that everyone is treated equally no matter what.
The George Zimmerman case was a microcosm of society. We still have a long to go. I fear we will never get there.
Now that I have gotten my thoughts about the case out in the open, it’s time to talk about some of the other “assholes” that get away with things that hurt the community. What about the gangbangers, drug dealers, poverty pimps and politicians who’ve done a lot more to our community before we even knew about what Zimmerman did. When will we protest to put those folks under pressure?? 70 people were shot here last weekend. Where was the outrage for that?? Trayvon is happening each and every day on our streets. We can’t pick and choose what we should be outraged about. The men who committed the crimes in the subdivision that Tracy Martin’s girlfriend lived in are just as responsible as anyone else. Think it about it; Zimmerman wouldn’t have even gone after Martin if it wasn’t for those robberies. I’d say that they threw Martin right into Zimmerman’s hands. The seeds of fear were planted way before Martin went to the store that night.
Next time, go to jury duty. You might be a part of a case like Zimmerman ‘s where you can personally put someone like him in jail.
Next time you vote, take a look at the side with all of the judges on it. Find out who they are and what they stand for.
Get involved in hyper local issues. We live in Chicago. There’s plenty to go around.
George Zimmerman was right about the assholes getting away. I wonder if he knew that they come in different shapes and sizes.