Posts Tagged ‘Trayvon martin’


After watching and participating in the uproar about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, a discussion with a friend made me think a bit. Most of us realize that the “News” doesn’t report everything that is newsworthy, and that there is a political bias to much of what we see on TV. This case is no exception. Without social media, it is unlikely there would be an investigation by the Department of  Justice and the fact that Zimmerman is a free man and Martin is dead would not be much more than a police blotter report. After I saw the not-reported-on-the-news details about it, I joined the fight for justice for Trayvon and wrote this piece – “Walking While Black“.  Some of you have read it.

But we need to be careful. Kony 2012 went viral, millions joined in, but we have since learned the company responsible isn’t as much of a champion for justice as it is a PR / advertising company that while not-for-profit only paid 30 something percent of the money it brought in to the causes it supports, and that there are many other more current issues going on in Uganda and other places. Kony could well be dead- I first heard about him six years ago,  and the people who this video was supposed to help, well, they don’t think they need it.  They say he hasn’t been in there in years.  But damn, it makes for a powerful video.

George Zimmerman is, in my opinion, a racist vigilante who killed an innocent black teenage boy.  But he is also an American citizen, and as Americans we are entitled to something called “Due Process”. If he is arrested and charged (update : has been charged at the time I make this public) he will have his rights read to him, and he will have a lawyer, and investigators will examine the evidence, talk to witnesses if any can be found, and try him in a court of law. But will he get  a FAIR trial?  I hope so.  But it will be hard to find jurors who have not already formed an opinion either for or against him. I hope no one takes the law into their own hands as he did and stalks and murders him out of outrage.

After the internet furor, the whole country, indeed the world knows what we have decided is the truth.  People scream “murder” – did it myself – but “murder” is a legal term, something decided by a judge and a jury, in a court of law.

We should not be that judge and jury.  Demand an arrest, demand a trial, call him a killer – he admitted that himself.   But do not forget that  The Sword of Justice by Internet is two edged.  Just as the News chooses what we see, we choose what we “like” and “share” and Retweet and Reblog. Uncomfortable truth disappears.

Think about it.

MJ

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The Thinking Viking is a taller than average but not towering, usually well-groomed white man of 40, weighing in at 175lbs.  About as far as you can get from a slender  black teenage boy, 140 pound 6’3″ Trayvon Martin, aside from our gender and being tall.  I’m wearing a freaking hoodie as I type, I own four of them, three black, one grey. I wear one almost daily as I walk to the store a couple blocks away.  The rent-a-cops in my neighborhood are all – so far as I have seen – Hispanic or Black.  If one of them had shot and killed me while I was walking home, talking to my girlfriend on the phone, I can assure you, they’d be in jail – or at least charged formally – by now.  The man – George Zimmerman – who stalked and shot and killed Trayvon Martin has not been charged, and is walking around a free man.

Anyone who thinks this isn’t racially motivated isn’t seeing things clearly. As for the Stand Your Ground law he is using as his defense? You cannot claim self-defense if you follow a total stranger  in your car and then confront them after being told by 911 dispatch to stand down, wait for the real cops. Would he have done this  if a 40-year-old white man had been with Trayvon? I doubt it.

But I will tell you this.

If I had been followed by an unmarked car with some strange dude in it, clearly watching me, I would have run or at least hurried, as Trayvon did.  And if that car had  followed me all the way home, and the driver confronted me, he would have been met by a few things  a lot more dangerous to him than than a bag of Skittles.

A camera, a gun, and my phone dialing 911.

Trayvon, I wish I could have been there for you. Best I can do now is write this, and hope the outrage your murder has raised will change some minds.  I doubt it will change many, most  people who think like Mr. Zimmerman are like concrete – all mixed up and permanently set.

MJ