Skin Color is Not a Reason to Die: Peace for Trayvon Martin
Lashauna D. Hinton
July 7, 2013
Life lost, taken too soon, we hear about it all the time. Violence is everywhere and has been for centuries. Racism is around and has been for centuries. Oppression, racial profiling, personal disregard, inappropriateness amongst us still remains. In these United States of America, we have not come to a point where we are able to connect as one. Racism has remained to the tune of fighting against the differences and not to mention one’s own cohort. Add to that; stand your ground, wanna-be-cops, and people with the intent to harm simply because they have the right to bear arms. Idiots with guns are weapons of mass destruction. We are in jeopardy of diminishing the population. The youth… Our youth are in tremendous jeopardy.
Many teenagers are engaging in reckless behaviors which include drugs, fighting, and many other violent activities. It’s not just one race committing these out-of-bounds acts of dismay. Its one nation divided into multiple segregated indigestible distortions. When you add common individuals with a gun license to that mixture, it is a complete recipe for tremendous disasters. Everyone wants to feel safe. There is not a soul on this planet that would suggest otherwise. With that said, it does not give anyone the right to bear arms to individually decide to take someone else’s life without justifiable cause, especially the life of an unarmed child.
What may be deemed as one of the largest racially charged cases of 2013, George Zimmerman stands trial for the shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. There have been numerous media outlets reporting the ignorance and negligence of Zimmerman and also the character of Martin. Several 911 non-emergency/emergency calls have been made to law enforcement by Zimmerman (at the time, community neighborhood watch) on multiply occasions in regards to “suspicious individuals” inside the gated townhouse community where he resided, as did the late Martin’s father. Warranted, there were a couple reports of actual break-ins, but even so; does it give one the right to profile the next individual seen within the community?
I am not going to go into the media hyped scenarios…the facts that are involved in this case are specific to the words of admittance from Zimmerman himself during his 911 call and the infamous 911 call that emphasizes that desperate cry for help that February evening. The facts as laid out in evidence are that an unarmed teenaged African-American male commuting on foot towards his home through the neighborhood was profiled, chased down, and killed by an armed neighborhood watchman.
On July 5, 2013, during a trip to the Juvenile Justice Courthouse in Sanford Florida, I interviewed the Atlanta members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA activists group. Spokesman Charlie Abrams stated, “Gun laws are not the issue for this case. Wanna-be-cop profiled, stalked, and shot Trayvon dead.” He referenced the murder of Emmett Till, 14 in Mississippi and how the shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17 was a similar a modern-day lynching. “Uproot the whole system which is found through slavery and white supremacy. The system is treating the whole world the same way; torturing people.” He also added, “Our mission is to help stop the assault on black and Latino youth.”
While the group stood at the courthouse, they were the only six individuals present. They held up signs and chanted, “Trayvon didn’t have to die; the whole system is a lie.” Activist group member Jack interviewed me and my dad. One of the questions he asked was, “Where are all the people?” In my honesty opinion I answered, many of them are nervous. He then asked what type of response we thought people would have to a not guilty verdict. In regards to the nature of the case, I believe that if George Zimmerman is found not guilty, the system would fail once again and people in the Sanford community and around the United States would feel an indescribable set back.
There were only two people who truly knew what exactly occurred that rainy evening of February 26, 2012 and it is extremely unfortunate and disturbing that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is no longer living to tell his side of that tragic night.
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. And so it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil –hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963
For difference and change, we must continue to speak in volume against our distaste of war and violence in the world. -Lashauna D. Hinton
*There are no winners in violence.