Current Magazine

The Aftermath of the George Zimmerman Trial

Posted on the 16 July 2013 by Barrysblogging

It is over, and the verdict is in. Zimmerman was found not guilty of manslaughter, nor second degree murder.  One would like to think that this will bring closure to all involved, but this is not the case.  It is in the interest of the news media to keep this story going as it is exciting. There are people who are not happy with the verdict because they had made up their minds before the trial began, and the verdict handed down by the jury that heard all the facts of the case presented did not agree with their preconceived notion. These poorly informed people with preconceived notions that cannot be convinced they could be mistaken, take to the streets, encouraged by egocentric orators like Reverend Al Sharpton who will be readily available to speak platitudes on the airwaves in ways designed to keep this case alive and to make himself the spokesman for these people with preconceived ideas. We need
responsible journalism to avoid the tendency to put public pressure on politicians to act irresponsibly, just to make this story last. Avoid covering Sharpton and the other egotists masquerading as public speakers.
What do we actually know? We know that two people met at night; probably both were somewhat anxious at the time. We do not know how the situation started, except that both parties were nervous. In the phone conversation between Trayvon and Rachel Jeantel, he referred to Zimmerman as a “Cracker” following him. In the phone report to the police, Zimmerman responded to the request for a description of the stranger he George Zimmermanhad spotted, as a Black man.  Both of these individuals were in a situation that was conducive to problems. Again, although we do not know what actually started the fight, it is likely that challenging words were exchanged, with Zimmerman perhaps saying something like Trayvon should not be going home through this development, and Trayvon, being a teenage boy, saying something like, I can go wherever I please, and this is a free country. This type of challenge and response can lead to more challenge if neither is ready to stop and move on. If one of the individuals then touches the other, it can lead to pushing, shoving and fighting. I can conceive of the fact that this is what happened that night, and the stronger person in this fight was Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman had a gun, and used it when he felt that he was losing and was in danger of being severely injured in the fight. This may be the way it actually happened.  It is a situation that should not have happened, but did. Teenage boys can get feisty when challenged, and George Zimmerman may have gotten feisty in response.
Who is at fault? Who started the challenge? Who refused to back down? Who touched who first? We will never know. What we can learn from this is that even if know we are right in saying that what we are doing is OK, it may not be worth a fistfight, or a gunfight. Just walking away and defusing a potentially dangerous situation is what we as adults should learn. Even now, whether we are pleased by the verdict or dissatisfied, we should walk away instead of fostering a new dangerous situation. It is the responsibility of the media to act in a way that is mature and not inflammatory. The egocentric ranting of the Al Sharptons should be quieted, al-sharptonnot broadcast. Right or wrong, if we cannot know exactly what happened that night, and the jury was convinced that this was not racially motivated, the only evidence we have is that both parties were aware of the race of the other and it may have played a role in increasing tension between them, but it was not felt to be a motivating factor in the killing. The Chief of Police of Sanford Florida has been proven correct in not arresting George Zimmerman when he could not obtain sufficient evidence to justify an arrest. It was public pressure that led to his being fired for this correct decision, and to the arrest and trial of George Zimmerman. When we are motivated by political pressure, we sometimes do stupid things. Let us avoid the tendency to skirt the justice defined by this verdict because we think we know better what actually happened that night. George Zimmerman’s life will never be the same again, whether this story remains in the news or not.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog