Trayvon Is Everybody’s Son

zimmerman shoot firstThe killing of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, is shocking. Another young man, another teenager, killed senselessly. I cannot imagine the grief of Trayvon’s family. How does a family deal with this? Another young American family subjected to a horrendous act.

I believe that the President’s most personal message to the family – “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” –  is a metaphor. Trayvon represents my son, your child. None of us want any unarmed child, who is walking home from the store while chatting on his cell phone to a girl friend, shot down under any circumstances.

Period.

This is not about Black versus White even though Black children, for too long, have had to face the reality that in this land of promise, where we are all guaranteed freedom and equality, they can be denied these promises based on their skin color. To that extent, Trayvon bore the brunt of racism and hate.

This is about Right versus Wrong.

A posted sign at The Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated neighborhood where Trayvon was murdered, announces that it is part of Neighborhood Watch. There is no posted warning that armed volunteers are on duty. The shooting of a teen-ager, under the guise of pretend-authority, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, is reprehensible. The gunning down of a 17-year-old by an adult who has been told by authorities to stand down is unforgivable.

The killing of a youngster, the ultimate bullying!

Some facts are irrefutable. Trayvon, 140 pounds, was unarmed and was 17. His killer, 28-year-old George Zimmerman weighs over 200 pounds and was armed. George was very experienced at reporting “trouble” to the police. At best, he is an overzealous, obsessed neighborhood volunteer who had desires to be in “law enforcement.” At worst, he is a scared racist and a trigger-happy killer. George was a self-anointed and appointed Neighborhood Watch “Captain.” But he is not a professional law enforcement officer and his thinking is flawed when he arrives armed to carry out the benign assignment of neighbor/volunteer .

There are many reports about the events of that night. Unfortunately, Trayvon is not here to give his accounting. I’m sure that Trayvon didn’t know that a “plain ol’ Joe” was watching and that his “purpose in life” was to protect his neighborhood while carrying a loaded gun. Who else knew about George’s activities? Was George following Neighborhood Watch protocol?

And, we’ll never know what Trayvon faced that night after he was first spotted by George Zimmerman. We’ll never know how and when he became aware of being surveilled. Did he hear footsteps? See a shadow? Hear the click of gun’s trigger? We’ll never know when and if he realized he was the focal point of an adult who was carrying a loaded gun.

We’re told that George had a permit to carry. So? Does that give him a license to follow? To surveil? To intercept and stop someone? Who knew George would become chief judge and executioner?

Bill Lee, Sanford’s police chief, said “Zimmerman had the right to defend himself with deadly force.”

We’ve all been teenagers. We know the wonder of talking with a friend, walking home, free, happy, drinking Arizona tea, full of teenage hopes and dreams. George wasn’t “Big Brother” watching a young man from security cameras. George was an unpaid, untrained, self-appointed “watcher” who was told not to engage by the professionals at the police department. And Trayvon was not acting in a suspicious manner; unless you count being black as being suspicious.

carl matthesHow many other Neighborhood Watch volunteers across the country are armed and feel they have a right to confront someone?

For any individual acting alone or even for those of us who belong to Neighborhood Watch groups, being armed is not okay. Surveilling a lone teenager with a gun tucked in your waistband or shoulder harness is not okay. Brandishing or pulling a loaded gun is not okay.

George, killing is not okay.

Period.

Carl Matthes

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Comments

  1. Tyrannus Evisceratus says

    The evidence on this one seems to back up George Zimmerman(who is hispanic not white). He did indeed have injuries that showed his head was banged against the ground repeatedly.
    The only racist part of this whole thing is the insinuation that Trayvon Martin must have been innocent, because he was black.

  2. Deedra Brown says

    If Trayvon Martin went back to beat up Zimmerman, as the evidence now seems to indicate, then he’s NOTHING like my son or my sons friends.
     
    Let’s get all the facts before making him into a martyr, OK? If Martin decided to attack a neighborhood watch member for daring to follow him, and if he was nasty and aggressive enough to smash the guy’s head into the ground and punch him in the face, then the media should stop portraying him as a sweet little boy going out for candy. And what’s with that picture the family supplied and that the media keeps printing? He looks about 13 or 14 in that picture! Hispanic groups are announcing that Zimmerman isn’t Latino, as if this terrible tragedy will fit better into their preexisting stereotypes if Zimmerman was just a racist white man.
     
    Enough with the misinformation and spin. People need to stop trying to make this incident into something it is not. Let’s just wait until the police analysis is done before we get so polarized over this that people can no longer accept what happened as reality.

    • Clarabu77 says

      Madam: It would seem that you, like the person whose side you are taking, are only seeing what you want to see. There is an audiotape of police, real actual officers; telling Zimmerman to NOT follow this teenager. I wonder how you would feel if an armed person were to follow your own son and demand- well what exactly did this fool want Trayvon Martin to do? Stop walking to his father’s home? Drop the tea?  Stop being a young black man?
      The main point of all the protests is that the local police are declining to prosecute this killer…have you failed to notice this?  A young man is dead, for walking…
      Shame on you.
      p.s. I would hope that any son of mine would NEVER have to face this horrendous situation.

      • Deedra Brown says

        It would seem that you, like the person whose side you are taking…

        I’m not taking any side. I want to know what happened so we can prevent future tragedies like this. I’d like to find out what happened without all the public hysteria and without the media editing police tapes to prove that Zimmerman was a big ‘ole racist. (See NBC’s false reporting.)

        … what exactly did this fool want Trayvon Martin to do? Stop walking to his father’s home? Drop the tea?  Stop being a young black man?

        Oh please. Listen to Zimmerman’s call to the police. He may certainly have been a fool, and a dangerous one at that. But you and the author keep trying to make this incident fit your preconceived opinion that this kid was a sweet, innocent little boy who was just walking home from the candy store. That’s not what happened, the situation was a lot more complex. When Zimmerman saw Martin, he was standing in front of someone’s house, not walking home. It was his behavior that made him stand out as suspicious, not his skin color. Listen to the police call. Martin may even have reacted aggressively toward the guy who called the cops on him. If that’s the case, your false scenario does a great disservice to other young black men who could learn from this tragedy, IF THEY HAVE THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED.

        A young man is dead, for walking…

        The evidence my show that Trayvon Martin ran away, then went back to beat up the guy who called the cops on him. Why do you insist on framing this as something that might not be true at all? You don’t know what happened.

    • Carl Matthes says

       Dear Ms. Brown…I know you can do better, your response starts with “If”…this boy was 17…that’s not an “if”…the boy was not armed, Zimmerman was…that’s the facts…Trayvon is dead, Zimmerman has yet to be arrested…that’s not an “if”, Ms. Brown…investigative procedures were not followed…that’s the truth…audio tapes show that Zimmerman was not yelling for help…that’s the facts…Zimmerman was told not to follow Trayvon, a fact, Ms. Brown…Neighborhood Watchers are untrained volunteers, not armed, Ms. Brown, that’s a fact…Zimmerman knew how to call the police, if there was a trouble, that’s not an “if”…please look in the mirror and read your last paragraph out loud…thanks, Carl Matthes

      • Deedra Brown says

        Carl, look in the mirror and reread what you wrote:

        To that extent, Trayvon bore the brunt of racism and hate.

        Nonsense. Listen to Zimmerman’s call to the police. He wasn’t even sure of Martin’s race until Martin came toward him. Does Zimmerman sound hateful on that call? Because to me he sounds like a concerned person reporting someone suspicious tanding in front of a neighbor’s house. I would have done the same, especially given the number of recent burglaries in the neighborhood.

        … this boy was 17…that’s not an “if”…

        Martin was over 6 feet tall, a strong young man who’s identity may have been obscured by his hood. He didn’t look like the little 13 year old boy the family and media portrayed him as.

        … audio tapes show that Zimmerman was not yelling for help…that’s the facts…

        That is NOT a fact. There is at least one witness who was close enough to see that it was Zimmerman who was on the bottom screaming for help and Martin was on top, beating him. When that witness testifies, we’ll have more information. And when the tapes have been analyzed by the defense and presented in court, the results will be more believable that “experts” paid for by the lawyers for the Martin family (who all stand to gain a huge amount of money if they convict Zimmerman in the court of public opinion).
         

        Some facts are irrefutable. Trayvon, 140 pounds, was unarmed and was 17. His killer, 28-year-old George Zimmerman weighs over 200 pounds and was armed.

        Wrong. Recheck your sources Mr. fake journalist. The “little black boy killed by big old white racist” meme is clouding your ability to research the facts. Trayvon weighed more than you say, he was over six feet tall, and there was no way to tell if he was armed. He could have appeared very suspicious with his face hidden by a hood. If he went back to beat up Zimmerman, then Zimmermen’s life may have been at risk, which is what makes the shooting justified. The court will determine that. Meanwhile, it would help if people like you would stop pretending you know what happened.
         

        And Trayvon was not acting in a suspicious manner; unless you count being black as being suspicious.

        Again, listen to Zimmerman’s call to the police. He wasn’t even sure of Martin’s race until Martin came toward him. Martin was standing in front of the neighbor’s house in the rain, which is what looked suspicious to Zimmerman. It would have looked suspicious to me as well.
         

        … we’ll never know what Trayvon faced that night after he was first spotted by George Zimmerman. We’ll never know how and when he became aware of being surveilled. Did he hear footsteps? See a shadow? Hear the click of gun’s trigger?

        Now you’re just making stuff up. But hey, as long as it fits into your preconceived notions of what happened, it’s all good, right?  Poor little kid ran home with his candy but the bad white guy tracked him down and murdered him. Oh wait, they somehow ended up back near the shooters truck, even though Martin had many minutes of running away between the original police call and the shooting. Maybe the big 200 pound guy picked up the little 140 pound child and carried him back to the starting point before murdering him…
         
        I don’t know who is at fault in this tragedy, but it certainly could have been both parties. Zimmerman may have overreacted because he’s a cop wannabe, and Martin may be a hothead who felt dissed and decided to kick some @ss cause he thought a white dude profiled him. We don’t know yet. Why don’t you just wait until we have all the evidence before you decide what happened and write articles like this that perpetuate what might be a completely false scenario.
         

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