On Saturday, all I could see on both my Facebook and Instagram newssfeeds were images and photos somehow related to the Trayvon Martin case (I don’t have a Twitter, but I bet that would have been overflowing with tweets about Zimmerman). I spent the last week reading articles describing the racial profiling that was occurring inside of the court; ironic, because I believe this entire trial is occurring because, initially, someone racially profiled an individual. I also spent my week watching the trial live—and I know there were so many moments filled with doubt about what truly happened that night between Martin and Zimmerman.
This case, although I believe was not treated adequately and the Martin family did not receive any justice, has made me think about so many other dire issues. For example, how would this trial’s verdict differ if Martin was white (or if he was a female) and Zimmerman was black? What about if Zimmerman was white? Of course! The verdicts would have been the extreme opposite. It is such a tragedy that racial profiling is STILL present throughout the court system. Just because the victim is black, he or she is seen as more dangerous than a white victim. Or, simply, because the perpetrator is not white, he or she could not have possibly racially profiled a black person.
What is this world that we have come to? Why is it that our race make such a huge impact on how we are perceived and how we are treated—even worse, why is our race judged by the court system? Shouldn’t all women and men have equal rights as well as equal opportunities, regardless of their race?
Like Martin, he did not have a choice that night. He was innocently walking home and although he had some contact with marijuana in the past, (similar to almost every other teenager in this country), what makes him a target? Is it that he was wearing a hoodie—umm, why wouldn’t he? It was raining. Or is it that he was black? If the reason is because of his skin color, then the legal system must also understand that as a colored young man, unfortunately, Martin had probably been stereotyped throughout his life before this incident. Therefore, as Zimmerman followed him, of course he is going to act defensive! Martin probably thought to himself, “Why would an older and bigger man be following me?” Even to me, that’s scary—I would have probably acted in the same manner that Martin did. If Zimmerman was allowed to “stand his ground” then Martin should be allowed too—Martin acted in defense to an older man following him.
I guess what I am trying to describe through this post, is that the society that we live in and the way people are allowed to treat one another scares me. This trial sends the message that racial profiling is allowed—racial profiling is the only mechanism that can be used to solve issues. Isn’t this supposed to be something that our country has been fighting since Abraham Lincoln roamed these states? Almost 20 centuries later, we are still facing these issues.