Time and changes reveal the politics of political challenges
By Derek Joy
Black History Month progresses in its educational recognition of a people’s triumphs and tragedies.
Sure seems like eons ago when Trayvon Martin was senselessly murdered in a gated community in Sanford, Fla, on Feb. 26, 2012.
Celebrated actor, singer and song-writer Jamie Foxx joined Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton joined the activities sponsored by the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
They honored the teenager with the “I am Trayvon Martin Day of Remembrance Community Peace Walk,” in Miami Gardens.
Martin was visiting his father while serving a suspension from Dr. Michael Krop High School in northeast Miami Dade County. He innocently returned home from a neighborhood convenience store.
A cell phone conversation with his girlfriend was abruptly interrupted by the intrusion of George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed. There was no provocation on Martin’s part for any confrontation whatsoever.
And a family’s nightmare unfolded. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
The travesty weaved its way through a maze in which politics was confronted by public outrage. Zimmerman claimed self defense under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
Meanwhile, the light of truth demands equal evidentiary weight rather than factual omission by legal skullduggery. That’s right. The scales of justice are balanced by truth in fact.
Now, truth is there was no legally constituted Neighborhood Crime Watch Organization in the gated community where Martin was murdered. As such, Zimmerman could not be correctly considered a “crime watch volunteer.
Secondly, Zimmerman called 911, reporting Martin’s presence while providing a description indicative of racial profiling.
There was a certain arrogance displayed as Zimmerman told police, “I’m following this guy,” while adding, “they always get away.” The officer promptly responded with the clear and concise statement, “We don’t need you to do that.”
Even worse is the fact that Zimmerman did not approach Martin by introducing himself by name and assumed position of neighborhood crime watch volunteer. He did not ask Martin his name, whether or not he lived there. Didn’t ask Martin if he needed directions.
Zimmerman, despite police instructions not to follow Martin, was clearly the aggressor. That fact alone negates any self defense claim under the “Stand Your Ground” law.
The bi-polar condition that plagues Zimmerman isn’t a defense, either. It is evidence that confirms culpable negligence on the part of the Sanford Police Department and the homeowners association.
Martin’s murder should provide added support for stronger gun control legislation. It demonstrates a need to prevent firearms from landing in the wrong hands.
If nothing else, it is a haunting confirmation of the kind of institutional racism that limits Black History lessons in public education.
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