Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trayvon and My Son

I happen to be in Ireland today; it's 10:30 am Sunday here, so still 5:30 am at home.  I woke this morning to news of George Zimmerman's acquittal, and my family talked it over at breakfast.

A few nights ago we were in Charlotte with our friend Ed, a lawyer, and I asked him how he thought the verdict would go.  Ed winced.  Since everyone knew Zimmerman had shot and killed Martin, he said, the only question was one of self-defense or not.  In Ed's opinion, guilt beyond reasonable doubt was going to be tough to prove.  "Only two people know exactly what happened that night," he said, "and one of them is dead."  The other, of course, had a vested interest in not spending his life in jail.

My son is the same age as Trayvon would be, if Trayvon were still alive.  Like Trayvon, he's a big kid, over 6 feet tall.   He's sweet and goofy and impulsive.  I can't prove it, but I'm guessing that if  George Zimmerman had seen my son walking down the street at night in the rain, talking on his cell phone, his hoodie up, and Zimmerman had caught a glimpse of my son's face, Zimmerman would not have called to cops.  He would not have followed him, a handgun in his pocket.  He wouldn't have confronted my son, wouldn't have pulled out the gun.  Wouldn't have pulled the trigger.

I'm only guessing, but I feel Zimmerman wouldn't have felt threatened by my son the way he clearly felt threatened by Trayvon.  We white people don't want to admit the force racism still has in our society, but whether we want to admit it or not, the truth of this tragedy is that Trayvon Martin, seventeen years old, was shot because he was black.

Because he was black.

Because I don't believe George Zimmerman would have shot my white son.


  1. Sad. I think this is the main dynamic of that situation, and it is sad. Whether getting angry about it or not is more effective to motivate for change, I do not know. Doing what I can, in myself and my community, is crucial.

  2. Kimberly,
    Trayvon Martin was a teenager who had been kicked out of high school twice and had been charged with drug and assault events previously. This shows that he had a solid reason to have abusive reactions. Also George Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch and he did he his job. Racial profiling had to be involved correct? Wrong. If Zimmerman saw an African American teenager, with the same description as robbers in this neighborhood,and he wanted to murder Trayvon then why call the police? Why follow him instead of just shooting him instantly? According to the ABA 62% of African American Males have committed assault charges.
    Do you believe Zimmerman was being racist by profiling or being a intelligent watchman?

  3. You are unbelievably naive and ill-informed.


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