In Sanford Florida a young man was walking through a neighborhood. He was shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain. The neighborhood watch captain (George Zimmerman) saw what he considered a “Suspicious” person walking through his neighborhood. That person was 17 year old Trayvon Martin who was on his way to a 7-11 when Zimmerman spotted him, followed him in his SUV and then confronted the teen.
Zimmerman’s version is that the teen attacked him and he shot the young man in self-defense. Neighbors and other neighborhood watch members interviewed stated that they had never heard Zimmerman use racist terms in their conversations with him. At first, the Sanford Police did not even arrest Zimmerman citing a “Lack of Evidence” Florida does have a law that allows people to use lethal force if they are defending themselves and fear for their lives.
As Martin Luther King Day approaches, I was thinking about Trevon Martin’s Legacy. What have we, as a world society learned from the life, death and aftermath of Trayvon Martin? Although many people are currently focusing on the issue of racial profiling, I believe that the Stand Your Ground Laws are equally to blame and their abolition should be included in Trayvon’s legacy.
I am not going to deny that there is racism in America. I have written much on this topic and have fought against it my whole life. This issue and Trayvon’s Legacy go beyond a race. Florida, as well as other states have a deadly force law on the books. Florida also has a law allowing people to carry guns. When laws allow people to carry guns and give them the option to use deadly force, people are likely to use it.
Even after the not guilty verdict, no one except George Zimmerman knows his state of mind at the time of the incident. George Zimmerman may have been in fear but he could have decided not to use deadly force. It is a terrible thing to take the life of another human being. In the history of the world there will never be another Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman does not have the power to restore Trayon’s life back to him. He should not have the power to take it away. The Deadly Force Law is wrong and should be abolished everywhere it is present.
Instead of turning Trayvon’s tragic death into a bulwark that sets racial relations in America backwards, let’s honor his life by working to abolish deadly force laws in every state where they exist as well as calling for an end of racial profiling. Let us all, as human beings, show that we value human life by abolishing all of the laws that allow and thereby encourage people to take one.
In True Faith,
The Prophet of Life
from the Kindle book Black in America by The Prophet of Life
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