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Monday, July 15, 2013

I've Never Walked That Walk

I just read somewhere on Facebook that the Trayvon Martin case is not about race.

Anyone who thinks that this case is NOT about Trayvon Martin's race isn't thinking critically and is making it about something else they deem more important. Self defense, 2nd amendment rights, the justice system are the ones I see popping up most often. I wish I could agree with you, but I can't. FACT: It IS about race. It's not exclusively about race, but to deny that race is a factor is just ludicrous.

If a white kid had been walking Trayvon's path, it most likely would've ended differently. It very well would've been a non-issue. MAAAAAYYYYBE a white kid in a hoodie would've received some attention, but a white kid doesn't carry the same fear that a black kid carries in our society, so likely, the hypothetical white kid in Trayvon's position would most likely have a different response than Trayvon did.

I like this video commentary regarding how race played a role in this situation from Martin Bashir more than any others I've seen--> MSNBC.

This case is also about self-defense and 2nd amendment rights.

When does self defense become murder? What does STAND YOUR GROUND mean? Why did someone who fired a gun into the air resulting in ZERO deaths get a 20-year sentence? (I don't know the answers; I'm just really good at posing questions.)

This case is also about our justice system.

I can't judge that jury for making the decision they made collectively because I don't know what evidence was presented. I trust that they made the decision that aligned with the evidence presented, the law, and their consciences. That's all I can hope for.  Even if it didn't turn out the way I think it should have--the only information I have is what the media has told me on days and in moments when I was listening.

I wasn't there when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. Neither were you.

I wasn't in the courtroom when the prosecution and defense presented their evidence.

The jury was not allowed to try George Zimmerman based on what they read, heard, and saw in the media. They were only allowed to make a decision based on what was presented in court. I wouldn't want to have that grave responsibility, so I admire them for doing something that had to challenge every fiber of their consciences. I can say that I think I would've used the evidence presented in the courtroom and shut out the media buzz and used the justice process as it is intended to be used--but I don't know. I've never walked that walk.

I can't judge Trayvon for what he did either (fight?/get confrontational?/attack?) George Zimmerman because I've never been a young, black man. I can say I think I would probably go into fight response mode if I was in the same situation too--but I don't know. I've never walked that walk.

I can't judge George Zimmerman for what he did because I've don't know what led him to that moment--what led him to go against the advice of the 911 operator who advised him to stay in the car--what led him to target Trayvon for taking a walk. I can say I think I would've stayed in my vehicle and waited for law enforcement to get there, if I was truly concerned about someone's presence--but I don't know. I've never walked that walk.

Unless we have walked in someone's shoes, we cannot judge. We can question other's motives. We can ascertain what we THINK we would do if we were in the same/similar situation, but it's not anyone's right to judge. It's our human tendency to do so, but it's not a right.

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