The text above is from my post on Facebook the day before the verdict came down in the George Zimmerman Trial. Here is an expansion on that...
I have not been one to obsess over these types of public court cases, but I do try to stay aware of the news. With a situation like this, seeing coverage or opinions of the case is unavoidable. Trayvon Martin's name has been a trending topic for the entire year and a half since the incident. During that time lines have been drawn and opposing sides have dug in their heels on the hot button issues – Gun rights, Race, and Self Defense. The first two of those issues, while clearly playing a role in how the events unfolded, both before and after the incident, are not the issues that truly matter in this case. They are just easy targets for media and politicians to steer the conversation to the things that distract us and keep us divided.
Did George Zimmerman racially profile Trayvon Martin? Fuck yeah he did. Did his defense shamelessly attempt to use anything they could to posthumously thug up Trayvon's character? Disgustingly yes. The sad part is that had Trayvon lived and killed George Zimmerman in self defense he would be on trial and the same character assassination would be coming from the state. George Zimmerman is a sociopath who aggressively pursued an innocent teenager, initiating a conflict that was bound to cost one of their lives because he brought a deadly weapon into the mix. The scary thing about all this is that there are people who think he's not a dangerous person, and not only that, but he did the right thing. Killing an unarmed teenager is never the right thing. Zimmerman was a ticking time bomb. Carrying a gun with him, playing police, following people; These are not the actions of a stable person. This man was directly told by 911 to STOP FOLLOWING Trayvon Martin. He ignored that instruction. Now, should we believe that had Trayvon submitted to him that this would have turned out better? How about if Trayvon had turned out to be a teenage girl of similar build and reacted similarly to how Trayvon did? The defense was right, there are “too many what ifs”, but not the ones they intended.
To the real facts of the fight, no one will ever know the full truth but Trayvon and Zimmerman, though regardless the circumstance, Trayvon did not have to die. Zimmerman was power hungry, but what he was really driven by was his own fear. Fear of different people, fear of being powerless, and god knows what else. If what has come out in trial is true, that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman getting the better of him, in my eyes Zimmerman was getting what he deserved. We believe in this country in standing up for ourselves. The irony is that at the time of the incident all the talk was about Zimmerman using the “Stand your ground” law, when what Trayvon Martin did was stand his ground. He stood up to a strange man who followed him, and may or may not have obviously had a gun. It took courage for Trayvon to confront the man who was stalking him, and it took a great deal of cowardice on the part of Zimmerman to gun him down, regardless the scenario. Zimmerman was no where near sustaining an injury great enough to truly have reason to fear for his life. He could have yielded, he could have run away, hell he could have pulled his gun and not fired to get the kid to back off. The bottom line is to believe the defense theory requires that we accept that Trayvon Martin was viscous and brutal enough to attempt to beat a man to death. That's is a pretty huge jump in logic, not to mention that George Zimmerman was the only one who entered this situation with a weapon and intent to use deadly force. This man tried to play super hero, but had no thought behind it, no training, no plan, just a gun and sudden confidence to feel empowered to pursue his own paranoid delusions. When he got bested, he used his false sense of power to take the life a young man who was simply fighting for his. That's not self defense, it's flat out murder. As I stated above, I don't believe this incident would have turned out better had Trayvon been submissive to Zimmerman. He had no plan for how to handle a situation like this, yet he pursued it aggressively, even against orders from authorities. That is dangerous, deluded, and frightening. He is a sociopath.
I hoped to see George Zimmerman get found guilty of the full charge. Alas, I sometimes have too great a faith in what I see as obvious logic. In my eyes I see a dangerous trend of people in this country becoming increasingly paranoid, xenophobic, racist, and feeling justified in their aggression. These are not the people I want roaming my streets armed feeling like they run the roost. Authority figures abuse their power enough without a bunch of crazy assholes running around playing cowboy. My streets feel safer when there isn't a local sociopath driving around with a gun looking for people he deems “suspicious”. Even as a white person myself, because of my tattoos or my style of dress in the wrong neighborhood people will look at me crossly, like I don't belong. It's a scary feeling, made all the scarier now that there are people out there who have gotten the message from this: “It's OKAY to be a vigilante”. Something gives me the feeling that the people who take that message away, are DANGEROUS. One of my favorite graphic novels, Watchmen, is about real life super heroes and the societal impact of vigilantism. A great question posed in the form of graffiti in the book is “Who Watches The Watchmen?”. I think that is a question we should be asking ourselves after all this.
I'll close with this, one of my favorite observations about Zimmerman in the aftermath, that came from comedian Matt Braunger: “Ironically, Zimmerman will spend the rest of his life worrying that someone with a gun and something to prove will murder him.” And if someone gets him, well, sadly I doubt anyone would feel pity.
I'm glad this Zimmerman trial is almost over and I do hope he is convicted of manslaughter at the very least. What parts I've watched of the trial, I have been absolutely floored by the defense strategies, particularly the fact that they feel they must spit on the grave of a dead kid to make it seem acceptable that he was killed. Race is a part of this whole ordeal, but it is also a huge fucking distraction with people caught up on both sides. The important part in this is about SELF DEFENSE. Let me be clear I am NOT talking about pussy ass Zimmerman's idea of SELF DEFENSE which is to feel more powerful by having a gun. What is at stake here, is a the right of a private citizen to DEFEND THEMSELF AGAINST A WEIRDO FOLLOWING THEM WITH A GUN. Trayvon Martin could very well have been on top of George Zimmerman and giving him the ass-whooping of a lifetime, which he rightfully deserved for following and harassing another human for no reason other than his own paranoid suspicion. The fact remains Trayvon was unarmed. Zimmerman initiated conflict by following him and approaching him, so if he got his ass kicked, sorry bud take it like a fucking man and learn not to follow around people you got no business following around. The claim is that Zimmerman "feared for his life" but it was in a situation HE PUT HIMSELF INTO. At the end of the day, Trayvon Martin is dead because George Zimmerman is a cowardly sociopath with delusions of authority. Think for a minute how this situation would have played out had Trayvon been submissive to Zimmerman, does it end with Trayvon alive?
Quanstar is an American underground hip hop artist, indie filmmaker, comic creator, and self published author from Atlanta.