One nine-millimeter slug fired amidst an unprovoked altercation has resurrected racial tensions and political indifference not seen since the sixties. At this point most have heard all of the intricate details pertaining to the Trayvon Martin murder and have come to their own personal conclusions whether sympathetic or unsympathetic. The historically known Pandora’s Box subject of race relations in America have indeed played a role in this death but some refuse to see it as such. African American organizations and civil rights groups have staged marches in protest of the murder itself and law enforcements peculiarly odd handling.
Historical perceptions of African American males in particular as aggressively violent, unrelenting, and yes, suspicious have been at the forefront of the biased typed notions that plagued George Zimmerman’s thoughts and does so many others. These perceptions evolved during the early years of slavery from the fear of slave revolts and insurrections that often failed. The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803, the most notable and successful slave revolt in history, led by Toussaint L’Ouveture, was victorious in defeating Napoleons Army and creating a fear or perception of African people that still exist today. The magnitude of the Haitian Revolution sent shockwaves through the minds of slave-holders throughout North, Central and South America. Now, the burdensome fear of that time has traveled centuries and caused a seventeen year old African American male to be gunned down while walking home armed with skittles and an iced tea as his weapons. Someone or something has failed horribly when a child is murdered and his murderer is given a free pass to walk based on a law that allows killers carte blanche by screaming, “Self-Defense!”. These wild wild west laws must be revisited, refuted and reversed so outrageously ill-advised releases, such as George Zimmerman’s, never happen again.
The initial thought was that George Zimmerman was a white male and this was the typical black/white issue that has been a part of this country’s fabric and history since its inception. But, after closer identification it’s been revealed that he’s half white and half Peruvian, which adds a slightly different dynamic to this incident. One, rarely discussed, which is that anyone of any descent can have biased perceptions or racist views of African-Americans. Its naive a thought to think that it’s solely “some” white people who possess these thoughts only. Most, if not all, Central and South American countries have had the same color dynamic and same race issues that have existed in North America. And realistically, these attitudes are worldwide wherever the black and white dynamic of race exist.
Trayvon Martin’s life has been cut short by someones perception of him and his attire. It’s inconsequential that Zimmerman is of biracial descent, that doesn’t lessen the guilt of his deed nor provide evidence that this crime wasn’t done or initiated based on racially preconceived notions. He used the racial slur “coons”, which confirms that he considered himself to be a part of a racial category of people who’ve commonly used the term as a slur for African-Americans. Its a rarity that an African-American would refer to another African American with that particular slur so that alone speaks to Zimmerman’s self perceptions and his perceptions of black males. A public discourse of enlightened minds must take place to discuss the evergrowing issues surrounding stereotypes, perceptions and ignorance that we now know can lead to death. What year is this again?
As right and left wing media outlets battle over the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman and the newly released tapes and interviews by his family members arise, Trayvon Martin’ family is left to mourn and fight for justice. Which is something no family should be tasked with when their child is killed unnecessarily and his murderer is set free. The overwhelming evidence that soaks our nightly news proves undoubtedly that an arrest of George Zimmerman is at least necessary and beyond late. Greater minds must prevail immediately and bring justice to an injustice of grand proportions!
What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong.