July 16th, 2013
By Jedna Vira
Win One for the Zimmer
I had the opportunity to listen to a number of close friends and family talk about the George Zimmerman verdict this past week. Everyone was very upset with the verdict and believed, “Zimmerman should have been convicted of something…if not stupidity!” While I can’t disagree that Zimmerman made some questionable choices (like following Trayvon), those who call Zimmerman “crazy”, “a nut job”, “rogue cop wanna-be”, or “vigilante” cannot ignore the questionable choices that Trayvon Martin also made. Trayvon knew he was being followed and chose to call his girlfriend instead of the police. There was ample stupidity exhibited by Trayvon and George.
The conversation with my friends and family was interesting and disturbing for a few reasons. Nearly all of them had formed their opinion based on the race-baiting media’s reporting of the incident and I don’t think any listened to actual testimony from the trial. There was also a gross ignorance of the law. They seemed fine to use emotionally charged language to defend their position that Zimmerman is a “stupid vigilante” that hated black people but ignore any evidence that contradicted their belief. I challenged my friends and family, “You can dislike the verdict or how the incident occurred, but a jury cannot convict someone for a crime when they are not offered the appropriate evidence to consider…the law must be followed and if a jury cannot determine Zimmerman is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence presented they should not convict.” I don’t think my friends and family realized what was driving their anger and confusion, but I pointed out that they simply did not understand self-defense laws and they bought the narrative being pushed by the media.
There is no evidence that Zimmerman is bigoted, but I think there is evidence that Trayvon was. There is evidence that Zimmerman was a bit over-zealous at being a neighborhood watch captain and it probably caused him to make a foolish decision; like following a much larger young man in the dark and rain. There is no evidence that Trayvon was doing anything illegal when Zimmerman called 911. However, there’s plenty of evidence that arrogance and pride forces people to do foolish things. Zimmerman wasn’t going to let another “thug” get away, and Martin wasn’t going to let a “creepy ass cracker” follow him; the conditions were perfect for a disastrous confrontation. Pride caused both Zimmerman and Martin to behave foolishly, and when Trayvon Martin started getting the better of George Zimmerman; Zimmerman resorted to his only defense, a gun. Call this event “tragic”, “upsetting”, “horrible”, and “hard to understand”, but the result of unfettered pride was one dead, one injured, and no conviction.Now…please don’t burn down our cities because Zimmerman wasn’t convicted of a crime.