This morning I was reading Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum speak out and against the statement that President Obama made about Trayvon Martin. Barrack said: “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” Now, of course, Newt and Rick are going to pounce on this as a racist statement. It is not. I have three sons ranging from 17 to 26. They look like Trayvon. They are white.The truth about Trayvon is he didn’t look suspicious because of his race, it was because of the way he was dressed. I can’t tell you how many times I have told my sons they looked like “a thug” when they wore the hood of their hoodies over their heads, especially over a fitted 59/50 New Era. This isn’t racism, this is discrimination based on fashion, nothing more. People my age should recognize this from the long hair era of our pasts. Petty? Yes.
I understand why the black community thinks it is racial, but in reality, if it was any of my three sons, George Zimmerman would have still walked free in that community. The same conclusions would have been reached. My sons, too, would have looked suspicious. One of those sons has light hair and blue eyes, but he would have been deemed “dangerous” just because the hood of his hoodie was over his head. There would have been no arrests. Not with that Florida Police Department.
Police have been granted far too much power. In real life, or real American life as it used to be, George Zimmerman would have been arrested first, cleared, and released later, if the information cleared him. In this case, from what I can gather, the information didn’t clear him. In this case, he shouldn’t be cleared. He initiated the altercation without cause or justification. A half time trip to 7-11 to buy Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea doesn’t constitute a cause for concern. Nor does it justify a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.
In the 911 call, George reported Trayvon as looking suspicious. Yes, he was the neighborhood watch captain, but it wasn’t his job to “stalk” Trayvon, especially after he was told by 911 not to follow him. Obviously he decided to take those matters into his own hands.
Again, comparing black Trayvon to my white sons, David, Eric, and Austin, if a man walked up to them in that exact situation, they would rebel against him out of fear. They would also wonder what was up with this guy, watching them, following them. People are taught not to trust strangers, especially strangers stalking them in the dark and more so in the rain. In their minds they would think George was looking for trouble or out to hurt them in some way. Self preservation becomes pretty strong in those situations. Teens, basically without power, have nothing to defend themselves with but their mouths and their fists. My sons would have used both. Should they be shot? No. Even if they overcame their “attacker” and held him on the ground, or knocked him out and walked away, should they even be charged, again, of course not, but this is a different world. Any of my sons would have been arrested and charged if they didn’t die in the altercation. Trayvon would have probably been arrested if he didn’t suffer a fatal gunshot wound at the hands of a criminal justice major. All because of judgemental speculation.
George would have looked like an “creepy old man” compared to Trayvon’s 17 years. I’m sure he was scared and though nobody knows who threw the first punch (there was proof of a physical altercation) it doesn’t matter. George approached a seventeen year old, at night, in the rain and with an attitude. That much is obvious from the 911 call when George stated: “These a**holes always get away.”
George didn’t listen when he was advised to stay away, but he continued to stalk Trayvon. Was it because he was black? I doubt it. I think it was because he was a kid, with a hoodie, period. If nothing else, George stalked Trayvon, scared him, making it almost impossible for Trayvon to feel safe enough to continue on home.
The responsibility doesn’t only fall on George, but on the police department as well. A witness, as they told the police officer, heard Trayvon cry for help. It’s obvious on the 911 recording that it was a child screaming, not George. The officer then “advised” the witness that the cries heard was “really” George, not the victim.
Yes, George is a criminal justice student. Yes, George had a criminal record. Trayvon was squeaky clean. So what happens next? They post pictures of Trayvon flipping off a camera somewhere, probably a facebook picture. Yep, that will certainly prove he is a thug out looking for trouble. Again, if you have sons that age, they too may have a facebook picture looking about the same as Trayvons, no matter what color he is. Just like Barrack’s statement was about race. Good job Rick and Newt! Your comments show how weak you two are…you’re grasping at straws. Sad thing is there are people, you know, like the Ku Klux Klan, Arian Nation, and the neo Nazis’…. that will buy into it and they will praise those statements, because that’s just what they are looking for. Amazing and totally irresponsible of both Newt and Rick. It's pitiful to try to gain points on the back of a young murdered teen.
To the Trayvon Martin family: I reach out to you with many prayers and heartfelt condolences. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. I’m so very sorry for your loss and the inability of law enforcement to grant you justice. May your son rest with the angels.