Live Your Most Beautiful Life
On the night of February 26, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch self-appointed "captain" in Florida, shot and killed innocent 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Martin was simply walking home to a nearby gated community from a convenience store with a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Zimmerman's own conversation with local police that night before gunning down Trayvon reveals his belief that Trayvon's appearance was enough to warrant getting out of his car, chase Martin, and shoot him down.
For example, he stated, "He's checking me out...this guy looks like he's on drugs, he's definitely messed up." He also stated, "There's a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he's up to no good, on drugs or something." You eventually hear Zimmerman get out of his car and start walking quickly. The dispatcher tries to discourage him and asks, "Are you following him? Okay, we don't need you to do that" and assures Zimmerman that cops are on the way to check out what's going on. Then, the police receive eight chilling calls from neighbors who called in to report someone's screams for help and subsequent gunshots.
You would assume that Zimmerman is locked up, right? Nope. The shooter remains free. However, there is mounting pressure for further investigation into this case and for Zimmerman to be locked up for his actions.
I personally think it is a very disturbing reality to live in a society where being young, black, and male is automatically considered "suspicious." This innocent young man was simply walking home and did not at all deserve to have his life ended simply because of societal ignorance and prejudice. The New York Times recently wrote an article entitled "The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin", where the author speculates about the degree to which race played a role in Martin's death. There is nothing "curious" about it. Black men have historically and continue to be painted as the prototypical villain, and the stories of innocent men who have been killed or locked up are buried within societal discourse as if innocent black men simply could not possibly exist. Here's the real truth: Being black and male is not the crime. Gunning down an innocent child simply because of the color of his skin is.
-Written by: Cafe Belle's Society and Culture Barista