Weekly Political Report: Trayvon Martin


Each week I write an issue that affects YOU and the WORLD around you.

This week’s political issue(s): Trayvon Martin–Race and Justice in America

On July 13, 2013, after more than 16 hours of deliberation, a jury of six women declared Mr. George Zimmerman, the killer of Ms. Sabrina Fulton’s son [Trayvon Martin] “Not Guilty”–acquitting him of all murder charges both second degree murder and manslaughter.

This verdict has not only divided our nation in race and politics, but it has left many Americans confused and discontent in our American criminal justice system—whether you are OJ Simpson or George Zimmerman you can still get away with murder and still be proven innocent under the criminal justice system.

While we may never know what really happened that night the lead to the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, all of must know this:

“We will respect the rule of law. And we won’t do what George Zimmerman did when he got out of his car, profiled and pursued Trayvon and took the law in his own hands. We won’t resort to vigilante justice. We will let vengeance be onto God.”

These words that were espoused by Martin’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump after the verdict of George Zimmerman, should have been the focal argument to the trial case of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman may not be a racist, but he did show poor judgment: to profile a young man who he claims to be a criminal—that is prejudice. Furthermore, if somebody is profiling you and has the raging eyes of a bull to attack you, then you would run away as self-defense. Rather than approaching young Trayvon Martin with rational conversation to dispel conflicts like any sensible police official—“Are you lost?” “Do you need help?” “Where is your house?”—Zimmerman targeted Trayvon’s attire, which he used disdain language to describe him, and essentially attacked him which led to death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman can claim that he shot Trayvon Martin out of self-defense, but the State of Florida should have punished Zimmerman for his poor his actions.

While both sides of the justice system—prosecution and defense—have advocated that this is not racial issue, they have made it one when they selected a nearly all white jury, which historically has been crux to many criminal cases where African Americans have been wrongly accused.

As an African American, I must say that I am somewhat affected by this because I cannot even put on hoodie to protect myself from the rain—not to make a political statement. I cold heartedly believe that we all must dress appropriately regardless of race, but it should not serve as an excuse to not show common courtesy towards fellow man, even if that man, woman, or teenager is homeless or has menacing clothes.

I fear that this will put a hindrance upon the development of many young African American males who want opportunities [or justice] from their home country but can’t; because of what happened to Trayvon Martin. However, we must remember to use civil protest and not result violence or even hate speech to address this issue.  While the media and lawmakers want to label this as a “Black issue” and that it has nothing to do with the American agenda, I say to them that this is an American issue. When one American has been deprived of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, then all Americans have been deprived of these freedoms. I hope lawmakers will adamantly address this issue as they did with the four Americans who have died protecting our freedoms in Libya.

 

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