As the court proceedings wind down and come to a close I think there are a few things that need to be said before the jury brings back a verdict. Although I am an ardent supporter of George Zimmerman and those who choose to protect themselves from the criminal element, I also am a human being and I understand that anytime there is loss of life it is a tragedy.
This doesn’t make George Zimmerman a murderer, but this is why no matter what everyone loses.
If Zimmerman is convicted, an innocent man will spend the rest of his life in jail for no reason. His parents will have lost their child to the criminal justice system and it will be yet another family irreversibly damaged by this tragic event. If the jury convicts Zimmerman it will not bring Tracy Martin’s son back nor will it assuage the guilt and constant wondering of, “What could I have done?”
If Zimmerman is acquitted, as he should be, the Martin’s will be left without their son and George Zimmerman will never live a day without looking over his shoulder. I think that it will be many years before anyone in the Zimmerman family will be able to feel safe.
As Twitter erupts with violent threats against Zimmerman, his family and White people in general I think we are learning a lot about ourselves as a nation. Part of what we are learning is how America won’t be a winner in this either. Regardless of the outcome, I think we can all plainly see that we haven’t “come so far” with racism in America.
In fact, I would wager that we are almost as divided now as we were in 1964. I mean just look around. You have random Black teenagers and young adults threatening random violence on innocent White people because a Hispanic guy shot a Black guy in self-defense.
The key here is that underneath everything is this insidious thought process that, “Whitie is conspiring against us.” In a recent poll, thirty-seven percent of American Adults said they feel that Blacks are the most racist demographic in the country. Compare that to less than half, fifteen percent, that believe Whites are more racist. Ironically Blacks agree that they are the most racist.
The reason we are going to see rioting after this verdict is because the rioters have been raised in a culture that instills this racism in them from birth. They are told that White America and the government are against them.
In reality, most people didn’t approach this with an open mind. They saw George Zimmerman, who originally was reported to be White, then a White Hispanic and now the media begrudgingly say he identifies himself as a Hispanic and they saw Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old “angel”, who was murdered.