Posted by: CeCe | March 29, 2012

A call to… moderation?

I’ve been watching the news unfold on the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and have been wanting to share my thoughts here, but have been hesitant to do so for fear of it seeming as though I’m capitalizing on this tragic situation.  That would never be my intention.

It may come as a surprise to some, but I’m holding back on forming an actual opinion.  The only thing I know for certain about the case is that a 17 year old boy is dead, and two parents had to bury their child.  Everything else at this point is speculation.  Was it self-defense?  Was George Zimmerman defending himself, or was Trayvon defending himself?  What did the witnesses all see and hear?  Why didn’t George Zimmerman appear to have any blood, scratches, or bruises anywhere on his body or his clothes?  Why did the funeral director say that there did not appear to be any signs on Travyon’s hands of him throwing punches of any kind?  Is George Zimmerman a racist?  Was Trayvon on his way to becoming a criminal?  Does it matter?

The thing about this situation that really sickens me is how fast people immediately chose a side, long before all the information was available.  On one side, the extremists are shouting that Zimmerman was a racist who deserves to die, that this was absolutely racial profiling, that Zimmerman must pay for what he’s done.  On the other side, extremists are shouting that Trayvon was a punk and a thug who attacked Zimmerman, and therefore deserved what happened, as though a 17 year old boy deserves to have his life snuffed out before it even begins.

It makes me sick.

More than ever, this is a time that calls for moderation.  Not one of us knows what really happened.  We don’t know what Trayvon was thinking the last moments of his life.  We don’t know what Zimmerman was thinking just before he pulled the trigger.  We don’t know what the witnesses all heard or saw.  I think we do ourselves a grave disservice when we jump to conclusions and begin fighting amongst each other over something for which we don’t even have all the evidence on the table.

What should matter is that a 17 year old boy is dead.  What should matter is that a family is grieving the loss of someone they loved, someone whose life had so much potential, someone who should have had their whole life ahead of him.  I know I’m betraying my own age in saying this, but Trayvon Martin, for whatever else he was, was a kid.  He was a kid.  He had yet to graduate from high school.  He wasn’t old enough to vote, buy tobacco, get married in most counties, or enlist in the military (without a GED or diploma anyway).  He will never be able to get married, have children of his own, care for his aging parents, be an uncle to his siblings’ children, buy alcohol legally, go to college, start a career, or have his own place.  His parents will never be able to hug him again.  They’ll never again hear his laugh in person, they’ll never again be able to touch him, or hear his thoughts on any matter.

We all want justice.  We all want to know what happened.  However, at this point in time, there is no way to know what transpired the night of February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida.  Not yet.  As such, I think that what we need to concentrate on is what’s important, which is the death of a kid.

We should not be so quick to rush to judgment.  I know it’s easy, especially when the sour taste of racism is still on so many tongues, but still, this is a time for moderation, not for hasty judgment.

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Responses

  1. Excellent.

    • Thank you very much! 🙂


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