George Zimmerman Charged: Not a night of celebration

I was on my way to Washington DC, taking advantage of JetBlue’s free TV when I saw Breaking News: George Zimmerman Charged with Second Degree Murder.

I watched bits of this news segment and below is one thing a pastor with Trayvon Martin’s family said that really got to me.  While saying that what they hoped for was a fair trial, I was struck by their lack of this push for retribution.  I was also struck by the humility of allowing the judicial system (that in a sense, initially betrayed them until they rallied media support) to continue its work.  I am glad that they reminded the world that this isn’t a viral hype, but the start of a movement that requires sober discernment.

“There are no winners here. There are no high fives tonight. They have lost a son. We will not be gloating around here. We are still mourning with this family. We will monitor this trial every step of the way. This is not a night of celebration, it is a night that should’ve never happened in the first place.  We are trying ot make sure that something happens so that this will not happen again.

Personally, I am not very “PC.”  I get irritated when people don’t give others the benefit of the doubt or too quickly label something racist or culturally-insensitive.  I wonder if instead of hollering about race, why not just shrug it off, keeping living, and respond to ignorance gently?

I wonder about George Zimmerman. Is he a product of racism or ignorance?  Both?  Does the latter breed the former?  I don’t believe he is an anomaly.  I don’t think humans are naturally good and Zimmerman is just a bad egg.  I wonder what the outcome would have been if Trayvon Martin’s story didn’t become viral.  Perhaps because the nature of the death was so violent and because the actions so blatantly stared us in the face, we were forced to take action.  But so many things like this happen every day (albeit at a milder part of the spectrum).

I still have plenty of thoughts but I’m rambling, and I’m trying to learn to cut myself short.  I will end with a few words from Trayvon Martin’s mother.

I want to speak from my heart to your heart because a heart has no color. It is not black nor white, it’s red. So I want to say thank you from my heart to your heart.

In all this pain, I am amazed and encouraged to see this family glorifying God in their responses of grace and trust.  We can know that even in this, God is still good.

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5 responses to “George Zimmerman Charged: Not a night of celebration

  1. Until the court proves otherwise, Zimmerman might also be innocent, and not racist or ignorant. Florida has a “stand your ground” law.

    I think it is interesting that when a black person kills another black person, nobody cooperates with the police. “Snitches get stitches.” But when a nonblack person kills a black person, the black community unites and demands justice.

    I don’t have statistics, but as someone who follows news a lot, I would hypothesize that blacks are victims of violent crime at a higher frequency than other races, typically at the hand of other black people. I just wish there was as much outrage and demand for justice everytime.

  2. Oh and I was talking about this with my coworker, there are no winners here. Everybody lost.

    • Dear Nate,
      I agree with you and your coworker that there are no winners here – but I don’t think anything that is being said right now is implying anything along those lines.

      I do think that you’re making broad generalizations and pointing out details that are peripheral to the actual issue at hand.

      The family says they desire a fair trial, and the facts are a larger man carried a gun in public when he wasn’t supposed to, he sought out and killed a smaller, unarmed teen whom he thought was suspicious, and he did so within a span of 5 minutes between the 9-1-1 call and the police arrive on scene. So yes, he’s innocent until proven guilty, and 2nd degree will definitely be harder to prove than manslaughter, buuuut come on now.

      I think the group advocating on behalf of the Martin family is right in saying that this is more than a moment, but a movement because racism, whether overt or subconcious is an issue that pervades everything. I am glad they’re pursuing a harder case, and I think that our justice system has flaws. But I respect that this group is going through the justice system rather than taking things in their own hands (a la Zimmerman).

      • Yea.. I know what I said is mostly peripheral since I don’t know much about the actual facts if the case, which no one will until the court sorts it out. I am just disgusted with how the media politicized everything. A big lesson here is to take what you hear with a grain of salt, NBC finally fired an editor who edited the tapes to make Zimmerman look racist in front of the whole nation.

        But I believe you are wrong about one thing, Zimmerman had every right to carry a gun. Concealed carry is legal in Florida, as it is in many states. Whether he had the right to shoot, the court will figure that out.

      • Meant to include the examples of Al Sharpton stirring the pot, Spike Lee tweeting Zimmerman’s supposed address and the New Black Panther party putting a bounty on Zimmerman as the context for my first reply.

        They weren’t outraged when hundreds of black kids killed each other in just the Bay Area last year. But if Obama had a son, he would look like Trayvon. This whole thing is a circus.

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