Reaction to the #Zimmerman Verdict
Tell Me More followers from across the country engaging around this story on Twitter and Facebook.
- This ruling is disturbing. I'm worried that we're becoming a nation ruled by fear, where it's okay to kill someone just because it "looks like they're up to no good," even if in reality they don't present any danger. The killing of Trayvon was a terribly wrong, totally unnecessary waste of human life. We have to challenge Stand Your Ground laws as well as conceal and carry. Let's stop equating self protection with shooting and killing any perceived threat.
- It's not like this is the ONLY young black male senselessly killed in this country, by a white male or anyone else for that matter. There's a lot of issues with this case. Jury of his peers? All white, all female? How does a woman fire warning shots against her husband in Florida and she gets 20 years. Michael Vick got 2 years for animal abuse. Yet for a human life...nothing?
- I had hoped this whole trial would not be viewed in a distorted prism of race. Trayvon's death was a tragedy, and should not have happened in most circumstances. Unfortunately the whole legal argument boiled down to the 30 second struggle between the two and what GZ might have believed was life or death. GZ was no "whitey" and his background proved that. I think he acted provocatively though, and the both of them could have disengaged without a horrible fatality. While I believe the legal outcome was consistent with FL law, I still am saddened that a fine young man died. Sometimes justice offers no solace or "winners". Just the facts under state law. I feel tremendously for the broader Martin family, who (watching interviews) have displayed courage and conviction.
- Will, while I agree with much you have said, don't you think that the "distorted prism of race" had a lot to do with why Zimmerman followed Trayvon home to begin with? It is there in the assumptions Zimmerman made, the attributions of motive to another person's behavior-- perhaps unconscious but still a highly likely factor in this case. I would love to live in a world where that distorted prism could be set aside, but (speaking as one White person to an apparent other) the context in which life happens IS this prism, whether or not we see it, and only skin privilege allows some of us to think that the prism can be set aside even temporarily. I can't imagine how in the world Black parents can even begin to keep their young men safe under these circumstances, because stereotypes mean many people are going to find them threatening when they are just walking home from a store. The stand-your-ground law means there is no effective safety strategy for them. Time was when teaching about how to survive an encounter with the police was of crucial importance. Now, what is the lesson? If a non-uniformed stranger is following you home and creeping you out, you can't confront him or you may end up dead. Oh, and he won't be convicted if he shoots you.
- The truth is Zimmerman not only had no business calling the police, he had no business getting out of his car and confronting him. Personally, I think race is beside the point, but it's very clear to anyone with two brain cells that Zimmerman only went after Trayvon because he was carrying and felt safe. He created the situation and he shot a young man. He is guilty of manslaughter no matter what this court decided.
- I cannot guarantee, nor can anyone, that race wasn't a component in this tragedy. I only hope and wish for for a world where it is not. While technically legal GZ did pursue, annoy and clearly antagonize Mr. Martin to a point where felt compelled to respond. I have been in a similar situation and let an intruder to my house escape, because I couldn't be sure he was simply drunk and mistaken. I am very glad I did that as police investigation determined he was a drunk, but innocent kid. We all need to use good judgement to try to disarm conflict. I have major issues with the tenants of "stand your ground". There appears to be too much legal wiggle room to convict on a manslaughter charge - in this case.
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