Somehow Trayvon Martin did not have the right to defend himself as he felt threatened or was threatened by a complete stranger who followed him in the dark. In New York, in1984, Bernard Goetz (37 years old), who was white, felt threatened and he opened fire and shot four young black males. He was later acquitted of attempted murder but found guilty for possessing an illegal gun. He served only 8 months in jail. Suppose Trayvon carried an illegal gun, shot George Zimmerman, would he only have served 8 months like Bernard Goetz did? Suppose he had killed George, instead, would he have been out on bail or would he have been on death row already?
Bernard Goetz just “thought” that four (4) black young men were going to mug him on the train and he “opened fire” and wounded all four. Many hailed him as a hero, while others saw him as a racist. The four black men, in this case, “pursued” Bernard Goetz to his subway seat. Bernard Goetz was asked for $5 by four young black men and he opened fire because he “felt threatened.” He felt “threatened and he “opened fire!” He concluded that he was being mugged, again.
Trayvon Martin was “pursued” by a white man (Spanish mom does not necessarily mean, “nonwhite” mom, there are plenty of Spanish people who’s race is “white”), he obviously felt threatened and possibly “fought” for his life before his life was unnecessarily taken by George Zimmerman. George could have followed the direction given to him by the “real” police but he instead aggressively “pursued” an innocent (was not committing any crime which warranted apprehension or lethal force) “young black male.”
Surely, in America, we are not saying that only white men and women have the right to defend themselves (“stand your ground”) when they “perceive” a threat or are aggressively “pursued” in the dark of night? Suppose Trayvon had managed to wrestle the gun out of Zimmerman’s hand and shot / killed Zimmerman, would he have been found “guilty” of murder / manslaughter? Would it have been an “open and shut” case? Bernard Goetz carried an illegal gun to “protect” himself and used it, not against one person, but against four (4) people, and he was not found guilty of the shootings. He carried a loaded, illegal gun. That showed premeditation! Yet, as a white man, he was not found guilty of the shooting.
Why is Trayvon Martin’s “right to life” an issue? Perhaps he fought George? Perhaps he knew martial arts? Does that take away his innocence in this situation? If he fought George Zimmerman, he may have done what any white American has the right to do, defend himself based on a “perceived threat.” If someone who is not a police officer pursues me and he has a gun, I can only assume that that person is out to harm me in some way.
Goetz was asked for $5 by four young black men and he “opened fire” because he felt threatened. Why are so many shocked and concerned that Trayvon Martin may have “fought” Zimmerman for his life? If he fought for his life it was because he, like Bernard Goetz, felt threatened. Only, in Trayvon’s case, he was black, he was not armed and he was killed after he was “pursued” and threatened.
Whether Zimmerman should be convicted of second degree murder is for the court and jury to decide. But it is clear that Zimmerman “pursued” an innocent young black man and caused the death of that young black man, Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman disregarded the direction given to him by the police and he escalated the situation until it became violent and eventually, lethal. Trayvon Martin did not bring this on himself, Zimmerman “brought it on” Trayvon Martin. If George Zimmerman had listened to the police, we would not have even heard of a Travon Martin or a George Zimmerman. It would not have been a story at all. Trayvon would have gone home to his family and that would have been the end of the story!
The fact that there is a Trayvon Martin story is because this young black man was wearing a “hoody” in a certain neighborhood (his father’s neighborhood). We have to explore this issue and address the “profiling” that occurs in America. We have to address the racism that causes the death and incarceration of so many young black men in America. We have to take a “real” look at this issue and not be quick to dismiss it as “nonsense” or “sensationalism.” There is still a race problem in America and the sooner we address it the healthier we will be as a nation.