Archive for May 23, 2012

Why I’m Through with Trayvon Martin

The verdict is not in. We do not know what transpired between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin in the Sanford, Florida shooting that captured national attention. We may never know. But I will tell you this much. I am sick and tired of defending ignorant people.

When the Martin shooting first broke, the media portrayed this as the shooting of a “boy” who had nothing but Skittles and an iced tea. That phrase alone made me think of a kid ten or eleven years old. Then came the pictures of Martin, all of them portraying a very young kid. As the story unfolded, we learned that the “boy” was 17 years old. We saw new pictures that portrayed a less innocent visage than what we had seen before. Truth be told, the more facts emerged, the less sinister Zimmerman appeared and the more “complex” Martin appeared. Our President said that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon. Well after weeks of maintaining my objectivity on the matter, let me tell you what would happen if I had a son.

  1. First, I would not be shacking up with my girlfriend in her house. That way, when my son came to visit me he would have a role model worth a damn. I know cohabitation without marriage is the cool thing nowadays but I still say a kid is better served by seeing his divorced father either living alone or married to a new woman. Not shacking up.
  2. Second, my son would not have a Twitter handle so vile that I could not write it on my blog, or brag about it to my friends. Nor would the content of his tweets suggest he has no better than a fifth grade education.
  3. Third, if my son were visiting me, it sure as hell would not be because he was suspended from school for possession of an illegal drug.
  4. Finally, if my dearly departed son’s autopsy yielded a positive test for THC, the main intoxicating ingredient of marijuana, sonny boy would be getting a burial at sea. In other words I’d throw his sorry ass in the nearest river and save on funeral expenses.

Does this seem harsh? Well you know what? I’m tired of defending ignorant kids raised by most probably ignorant parents. Every new detail that emerged about Trayvon I tried to absorb, keeping in mind “don’t blame the victim, don’t blame the victim.” But let’s look at the issue at hand here. Zimmerman is claiming self-defense. Advocates for Trayvon say his character does not matter. Excuse me? His character is the primary determining factor in whether Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense holds any merit. Was Trayvon the type of kid to run from a fight or lean into one? The more I hear about him, the less able I am to conjecture that he would run from a fight.

Here’s the scenario that I can live with:

  1. I am divorced from Trayvon’s mother and I live alone in Sanford, Florida.
  2. Trayvon comes to visit me as part of the normal visitation agreement with my ex wife. Trayvon is a good kid. Good kids don’t possess illegal drugs.
  3. Trayvon goes out to get a snack from the nearest convenience store.
  4. About 20 minutes later, Trayvon comes running back into the house, out of breath and scared to death because some stranger approached him menacingly.
  5. Because my boy Trayvon is a nice kid, he ran like hell from this stranger. He didn’t stop to talk to him. He assumed the stranger was dangerous and he got away from him.

We know for a fact that Trayvon was not shot running away from George Zimmerman. A nice kid, an innocent kid, a kid afraid of trouble, would have run like hell. If he wound up dead it would be because Zimmerman shot him in the back. Didn’t happen that way.

You know what my tipping point was in this case? It was when I read the kid tested positive for THC. I almost dropped my outrage on his behalf when I found out about the Twitter handle he used. But I allowed myself to get suckered into that “it’s just a cultural thing” type of bull crap. But the THC was the last straw.

I’m sorry Trayvon’s parents had to suffer the loss of their son. No one should see their children die. But the fact remains that Trayvon was not a nice kid. The only way Trayvon comes up nice is if you view him through some bogus double standard that forgives ignorant behavior of young black men. As a black man, I reject that. I find it insulting in the extreme.

Verdict or no verdict, it is pretty clear to me that Trayvon was a gangsta-wannabe who encountered a cop-wannabe and got way more than he bargained for. Make no mistake. I don’t retract my objection to the Florida stand your ground law. It stinks. But I am sick and tired of ignorant people raising ignorant children and then wondering what went wrong when they get in harm’s way. To some extent, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were made for each other. Trayvon has paid the ultimate price for being a young fool. What price Zimmerman pays remains to be seen.

Regardless of the outcome here on out, I’m done.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Photo by David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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May 23, 2012 at 1:51 am 178 comments


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