The Lessons of Trayvon Martin

I have seen quite a few interesting websites in the past few weeks that have cropped up that have evidence of various kinds that Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by a neighborhood watchman, was suspended from school and that he was a small time drug dealer. None of the websites I have seen thusfar have provided any reason why he, at the time that he was killed, was doing anything remotely threatening that would possibly cause a person to feel the need to shoot him in so-called self-defense.

I feel that so far nearly everything has gone wrong in this case. The first thing rests in the timing — specifically the duration of time between when Martin was shot and when the person who shot him was arrested. It was not hours or days as it often is the case, especially in cases where it is quite clear who was holding the gun that shot the lethal bullet. It was more like weeks.

The second bit of craziness to me is in the way that the country seems to be fundamentally split again. One group is more sympathetic toward the Martin family, saying that young Martin was only holding food from a convenience store and that there is absolutely no reason that he should have been shot. The other group is on the sympathetic end for the Zimmerman family, stating that he was only doing his duty as a neighborhood watchman and that since he felt threatened by Martin, he had every right to do what he did.

As a father I cannot help but feel more sympathy for the family whose son was shot to death, particularly when he was walking around carrying food and was not looking to start a fight. Let us even say that he did have a past as a drug dealer and skipped school and had tattoos and listened to bootleg copies of Henry Rollins. (I fabricated some of those, but does it matter?) Even on the roughest of nights when young Chaim Yosef gets up every couple of nights for seemingly no reason, I know that I would be devastated if he were to be suddenly taken away from us like that. The parents of Trayvon Martin did not deserve to lose their son because he was Black.

I would like to say that we have learned something from this ordeal but I fear that we will soon be collectively moving on and looking for the next big thing to catch our attention. How many more times will we see a media circus when a white woman goes missing all while conveniently ignoring missing black women or not paying nearly as much attention to them? I must wonder when we will have genuine racial equality in this country.

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