Monday, March 26, 2012
I Have A Question
by S. Paul Forrest
Given the rush to judgment in the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, are we who are emphatically claiming a case of racism really acting in a racist manner albeit reversed? After all, innocent until proven guilty is still Justice's credo so why are so many, as was the case of Casey Anthony, so quick to judge and condemn Zimmerman without substantial proof? Is it because we do not want to be seen as racist or in anyway supporting of it if it did in fact, exist? By collectively hating a "hater" have we have become the same kind of racist we so emphatically judge Zimmerman to be?
Ask yourself this: If Zimmerman were a black man, would we all be so quick to judge this as racism or a hate crime? Likewise; if Trayvon were white, would justice have been so slow in rendering a verdict and would have investigators done their job properly? The view of this incident is as murky as any other where none of us were physically present when it transpired. We can only know what happened in Sanford by information told to us in reports from news agencies which have in the past, only been used to guide our opinion instead of reporting actual fact. None of us were there. Supposition is not evidence nor is it enough to render judgment in any case; even this one.
Racism and prejudice do exist in America in a devastating way but this travesty cannot define exactly why we see so much of it across this country and be solved it by electing a martyr; nor can it be used to change the reality of Trayvon Martin’s death. What it can do though, is open our eyes to the reality of how the color of skin and ethnicity of those involved affects our reaction but also, how it opens the door into a land of self awakening where we all realize that George Zimmerman is not the only one who should be accused of racism. We all in some part, large or small, should be judged of the same for not only our immediate desire to look righteous but our desire to judge without evidence the guilt of one man which if I recall from these same news agencies, was exactly what Zimmerman is said to have done in his jugement of Martin.
These are not the only questions to ponder. What about “Stand Your Ground” as a defense to justify a man killing someone in a neighborhood when he was the one pursuing, not being pursued? I teach my children to defend themselves if a stranger walks up to them and they feel threatened but according to this Law, if they attempt to fight off a would be abductor or attacker, that attacker now has the right to shoot them. This incident has major potential to take gun control and those who use such Laws to act as vigilantes to a deadly level and all but render us all victims rather than allowing us the security we are told we have a right to. How many more of these incidents do we have to witness or how many will go unnoticed in this nation before we either self-destruct or we come together to find real solutions to our ever growing social dilemmas?