Sunday, July 14, 2013

The verdict is in

The verdict in George Zimmerman's murder trial is in: not guilty.
Celebrities (always quick to grab the spotlight), civil rights leaders (just as quick) and ordinary folk are outraged.
How could Zimmerman get away with murder?
Well, he didn't. He's free because he's legally innocent.
A lot of people will stop reading now and write angry rebuttals and personal insults in the comments section; but to those of you who can control their emotions long enough to finish reading this article: I congratulate you.
Emotions make people upset, and they forget facts. They exaggerate rumors and hearsay, and then believe in the lies and myths that they helped to create and spread.
A common myth is for example that George Zimmerman is a racist. People believe that he called the police on that night to report a "black man" walking through the neighborhood. This is actually how NBC first aired a recording of the police call, but they edited it so that it would show Mister Zimmerman as having a racist motive. The actual, unedited police transcript shows that Zimmerman reported a suspicious person, was then asked if that person was white, black or hispanic by the police dispatcher, and only then answered that the person in question was black.
Zimmerman himself has black family members, identifies as hispanic. His neighbors and coworkers have nothing bad to say about him; and a black acquaintance - Joe Oliver, TV news reporter- said "I'm a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color."
It is also known that Zimmerman was unhappy with how the Sanford Police were treating the case of Sherman Ware, a black homeless man, who was beaten by the son of a Sanford police officer in 2010. On a recording of a January 2011 community forum (well before the Martin shooting), Zimmerman can be heard condemning the Sanford Police Department and its former chief Brian Tooley. Zimmerman said that Tooley had engaged in a cover-up and should lose his pension. Later in 2011, Zimmerman distributed fliers with details of the case in the local community to get more people involved.
These are not the words or actions of a racist.

Another fact, verified by one of Martin's friends at trial, under oath, is that Martin referred to Zimmerman as a "creepy-ass cracker." If anyone was racist here, it wasn't George Zimmerman.

Yet another fact is that only Zimmerman suffered wounds during the struggle with Martin; only he had cuts and bruises. these were on his face and on the back of his head. Martin meanwhile suffered no wounds, except for the fatal gunshot. Does that not make it obvious that Zimmerman was being beaten up by Martin, and not the other way around?

So does this mean that Zimmerman's actions were reasonable? No, not in my opinion. He should have stayed in the car. He should have waited for police. And if he hadn't had a gun, he might just have done that. But in a country where people take 9mm pistols with them when they go to buy milk, "reasonable" isn't something that you expect. Zimmerman had apparently only bought a gun (in 2009) to fend off a pitbull that sometimes ran through the neighborhood. Seriously, the man bought a gun because there was a dog running around in his neighborhood! Now, dogs have never been friends of mine, but I think pepperspray or a taser might have done the trick, don't you? Imagine what would have happened if Zimmerman had tasered Martin? He'd still be here, and Zimmerman's life wouldn't have been ruined by a very public trial.

And if you can imagine that, imagine a situation that you could reasonably face in America where a taser would not be enough. Dark parking lot. Bank robbery. Break-in. Do you really want to kill somebody?

Think carefully, because if you answer "yes" you might find yourself in the same position as George Zimmerman one day. A position that you'd deserve.

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