Once again we are a country divided by race. Without any witnesses to the altercation between George Zimmerman and Treyvon Martin, sides have been drawn, and not much has to do with the evidence presented.
Zimmerman has injuries consistent with his story but Martin is dead with no way to tell us his version.
Instead the different versions have played out in the news and on social media. There is the George Zimmerman we hear described often as a white man, even if he is Hispanic, who was a racist wannabe cop.
We hear alternate versions of Treyvon Martin. He is either a church going honor roll student or a pot smoking truant graffiti artist.
If you notice, neither generalization depicts either as human like the rest of us.
Did you ever wonder what would be written about you if you were to make the news as your final act? Did you wonder what skeletons would come crashing out of your closet and be given to an eager news source waiting to put a spin on their sensational story?
Did you ever smoke pot? Drink too much? Make any mistake? Did you ever think afterwards, “God, I would hate for anyone to think that’s who I am?”
I do have sympathy for George Zimmerman. He’s a civilian who is now expected to know how to behave for a hungry media. His every word and action is dissected and it highlights why many in the news will only speak through a publicist. Its what we’ve become.
Then there’s poor Treyvon Martin. Walking home one night. Unarmed. With a bag of Skittles. Maybe if he took a little more time with his candy selection his path would have never crossed George Zimmerman’s. But it did and he’s dead and we don’t know if he attacked, if he was attacked. We just get to see his life play out in the news and on social media.
He smoked pot. He cut out of school. He gave someone the finger and it was captured on camera.
Imagine that! A teenager who smoked pot. He cut school too! Wow! The evidence is piling up. But wait, the clincher…there is a picture floating around on social media of him giving the middle finger to a camera.
Convict him! Oh wait! He’s dead.
But really, that’s the all the proof that people need to believe that a shooting resulting in his death was justified.
Lock up your kids if that’s the case. I don’t know who has those perfect kids but I sure don’t. I will even revisit my own teenage years back in the Dark Ages and say that I smoked pot. I cut classes. I also may have given the finger more than once. Thankfully it was before this great technological age where every stupid thing I did as a teen wasn’t recorded to be later used against me.
I also know that living in a predominately white neighborhood and raising my three white kids I don’t share the same fears that a mom of an African American teen has. My kids are never stopped because of the color of their skin, not even my son who favors hoodies and low riding pants.
Watching the reaction to the verdict made me think about that. I don’t carry with me a history of being discriminated against because of my color. My parents don’t have stories of times they were called racial slurs or not allowed to participate in things because of their color.
My children have no obstacles in their way because of their color. And if you think that color is not an obstacle I would ask you to really think about that. If it weren’t still an issue then why are we still so divided along lines of color with this verdict?
Kristen is a single mom of 3 kids and studying at The CUNY School of Professional Studies. She is blogging while she still figures out what she wants to be when she grows up.