The world of social media especially Facebook certainly adds a different element to current events. As I was losing the battle over trying to fall asleep last night, I checked my Facebook feed. This is how I found out about the final verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. This is also how I learned that people who I had considered friends and respected were actually celebrating the not guilty outcome. This is when I began to cry and have not stopped since. I think a lot of us saw the writing on the wall and new the difficulty that lay ahead when seeking justice for Trayvon. I had sincerely hoped that our country and society had come far enough to bring about some level of justice. Last night, I learned that I was gravely wrong.
This truth haunts me. I weep for the ignorance that is still out there. If you are going to talk about how it is important to Stand Your Ground then you should also be talking about how a woman in Florida who fired warning shots is now sentenced to 20 years in prison. She didn’t even harm or kill someone. Yet, Zimmerman was allowed his right to stand his ground and killed a young boy. How is this just? How can this be the Country, the Society in which we want to raise our children? A lot of evidence most of which is debatable and lacking was presented in the Martin trial. Yet, at huge fact remains, Zimmerman was told to not continue following Trayvon after he called 911. Yet he still did, and somehow we now celebrate him as a hero? Something is gravely wrong with our Country. I have never felt such pain, disappointment or despair in my country and community as I did last night and today.
I am not proud of this outcome, nor do I think it is a cause for celebration. A young man died, America. We should all weep and we should all hope for a better day. A day in which we do not have to hear about young men being shot simply because they appear suspicious. True, we all have world views and lenses through which we process and see the world. It is called perception. Perhaps it is time for us to challenge our perception. Look beyond the barriers we create. Children are not born into this world with such barriers they are taught.
My deepest fear is this will set our country back to a time that many fought and died to change. And so I weep. I weep for the loss of a young man, his family, and those in my community who truly do not understand the gravity of this case. This is not something to celebrate America, but rather a time to ask why? We all need to do better. Otherwise what did so many people fight and die for?