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Trayvon: The Real Tragedy

by janderson on March 28, 2012

I’m just a lowly writer, a novelist, blogging for recognition and fame. I don’t have the chops of the schooled and road-weary pundits that grace the tiny head boxes of the cable channels, or the spotlight areas of news sites. Frankly, I don’t even like going political in my blogs, for the most part. Yet, I cannot remain silent in my observation of the investigation cum sensationalism cum circus that has revolved around the killing of Trayvon Martin.

He was killed. That is one fact. He was killed by a man who’s background is now under scrutiny. Further, Trayvon himself is now under scrutiny. It is the sad effect of stories that balloon beyond themselves and beg for scrutiny in all aspects.

What do we know about this case? I’ve heard the 911 calls. I’ve heard friends of Zimmerman speak. I’ve heard Trayvon’s parents speak. I’ve heard what you have heard, what every blogger and news organization has heard and reported on. It is not enough to clearly draw a conclusion, yet, conclusions are being drawn, and they are being drawn as wildly and speculatively as one can dream of.

People are dreaming of having a conduit into George Zimmerman’s head. I watched a forum of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday and witnessed a woman proclaim that racial profiling, racism and the ‘stand your ground’ law were to blame. She didn’t go on to offer any evidence of any of these proclamations. She just went on.

Since we’re into proclamations and speculations, let me offer one of my own. Here’s an equally legitimate scenario that could have happened – George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, went out to do his job. By all accounts, he’d called 911 an inordinate amount of times. He’d constantly called police to report suspicious people and wrongdoings in his neighborhood. That is what a neighborhood watch captain could be presumed to do.

George saw a suspicious person in the neighborhood and once again called the authorities. He followed the man and reported what he saw. On the other end of the situation is a young man who sees an intimidating figure following him. He calls his girlfriend and intimates his fear to her. He is afraid and trying to get away. Yet, his pursuer seems relentless.

The police tell George to stop following and he clearly says ‘OK.” What happened after that seems murky. He may have returned to his truck, he may have continued the pursuit. At some point, Trayvon decides he’s had enough and confronts his pursuer. According to the one eye-witness to come forward, Trayvon attacked George Zimmerman. He broke his nose. He bashed his head into the pavement. Trayvon likely believed he was fighting for his life. George Zimmerman likely believed he was fighting for his. Zimmerman, at some point, pulled the gun he was carrying and shot Trayvon Martin, killing him.

This is a tragedy, in all aspects of the word. Whether my speculation is correct, or not, a kid is dead, who doesn’t deserve to be dead. A man is being convicted in the court of public opinion, who doesn’t deserve his toxic tags. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that George Zimmerman’s, or Trayvon Martin’s race had anything to do with this tragic incident. Something may surface, which would completely change my opinion. At this point, however, not one thing has come to light to indicate that George Zimmerman shot Martin because of his race.

Yet, their races have penultimate import to the media and civil rights figures. Zimmerman was tagged a “white Hispanic” in the New York Times. I don’t know how many articles they’ve run on the president, but, I don’t recall him ever being referred to as the first “white black” president of the United States. Rep. Maxine Waters stated that there was “stiff evidence” that this was a hate crime. Al Sharpton has been taxiing between his MSNBC show and leading rallies about racism in Sanford, probably the stiffest evidence that real reporting is dead in America.

The anti-gun lobby is in an uproar. The NAACP is foaming. The president is planting questions with NBC reporters at press conferences so he can weigh in. The DOJ is stepping up to “investigate.” The New Black Panthers are offering bounties for George Zimmerman. Even Trayvon’s poor, distraught parents are being paraded around, like circus animals, to support the causes of all of these outside interests.

The real tragedy is that a kid is dead, who doesn’t need to be. A man is being persecuted, publicly, and possibly legally, who may not deserve it. And, all the media/political sphere seems to be concerned with is how to exploit this horrible incident for the furthering of agendas. Who is out there just feeling sick about the whole thing? Who is out there saying, “Why do things like this happen?” without having a cause on the back end of it. A kid is dead, who doesn’t need to be. We have to keep reminding ourselves of that. Instead of looking to blame some social ill, we need to really feel the tragedy of bad things. If only the two men had stopped and talked, stated their purposes, maybe, just maybe, none of this would have happened. This is an opportunity to mourn the senseless death of a young man, not vent the frustrations of a nation, ostensibly, in his name. We should be better than this.

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