Meditations of a christizen (christian-citizen)upon today's topics.
The killing of an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by self-proclaimed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has sparked considerable debate. The backdrop of race relations is considered to play a large role in the tragedy. People continue to argue over the degree to which race played a part in the murder of the 17 year old victim and his offender’s not guilty verdict coming from a nearly all white jury.
The racial element to this story is significant. The fact is the killer saw a young black male and immediately assumed that the teenage boy was doing something wrong. This is an integral part of the narrative as told by George Zimmerman himself. The race debate hinges on whether Zimmerman’s perception takes place if the young man he sees is not a black male. Therefore, the race component is significant and cannot be summarily brushed aside.
The race debate however doesn’t address every aspect of this crime. It is not necessary to perceive George Zimmerman as a card carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan, Neo Nazis or skinheads to see the evil in what he has done. He may simply be a “Hispanic” Archie Bunker* who isn’t part of any hate groups but who shares the same biases. He may have had a black friend at some time in his life and thereby claim this black friend makes him incapable of racism.
The fact remains that he shot someone in a confrontation that he chose to start. It was the firing of a loaded gun that killed the young man. And, that shooting occurred because the killer chose to initiate a confrontation with Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman had the option of simply watching him. Upon doing so, he likely would have seen the young man walk back to his family’s house if Zimmerman could see the distance to the house.
The killer could have as believing in the boy’s guilt, called 911 and left it at that. The likely result then is a a police officer who stops Trayvon Martin and simply delays his return to the house to watch the 2nd half of the N.B.A. all-star game** due to the obligatory questioning. This of course assumes Trayvon Martin hasn’t already walked back home unmolested before any police arrive. Regardless of George Zimmerman’s inherent racial bias or lack thereof, the situation did not have to result in the end of an innocent child’s life.
There lies a considerable leap between one’s perception of all young black males as perpetrator s of crime and the eventual taking of this young life. George Zimmerman had the ill will and deadly weapon readied for use. Here, we have the combined mix of a soul with a murderous heart armed with a lethal weapon who chose to engage in conflict with another who threatened neither he, anyone else or anything else.
This is evil no matter the race, color or ethnicity of the perpetrator. And, in civilized society we are supposed to put people like that away. Evil is as evil does.
*Carrrol O’ Conner portrayed Archie Bunker, television’s prototype racist reactionary bigot on the 1970’s era sitcom “All in the Family.”
LeBron James the 2 time NBA champion and face of the league spoke out on behalf of Trayvon Martin. He and his Miami Heat teammates tweeted a picture of themselves wearing hoodies.