The Facts of the Case

On the night of February 26, 2012, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, a volunteer watch commander. Zimmerman had confronted Martin after he called the police saying that he had spotted a suspicious looking person in his neighborhood. Police reports indicate that Trayvon proceeded to scuffle with Zimmerman, allegedly breaking his nose and slamming his head on the ground. Zimmerman then pulled his pistol and shot the teen. I don’t presume to know whether Zimmerman is telling the truth or not, but based on the story presented to the authorities, he acted in self-defense, so the only reason for the widespread call for his arrest is the public’s conviction that this was a hate crime.

Stand Your Ground

According to Florida Statutes Chapter 776.012, “a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if… he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself.” Zimmerman’s father has stated that Martin said “you’re going to die now” during the scuffle he had with his son. Martin was also, according to witnesses, beating Zimmerman’s head against the ground, causing cuts and bruises to form. If this is the case, then the D.A.’s office is correct in not bringing Zimmerman in on murder charges.

Another recent case in Florida, decided by Circuit Judge Beth Bloom, found Greyston Garcia not guilty for murder for similar reasons. A burglar, carrying a bag of stolen stereos, attacked Garcia, who stabbed him with a kitchen knife in self-defense. Judge Bloom declared that the stabbing was a “necessary defense” for Garcia’s life. Martin was just as threatening as this burglar, if eye witness accounts are taken at face value.

The reason I continue to qualify my statements is that a recent police video shows Zimmerman entering the station after the attack without any blood on him. His nose appears fine and there are no gashes on his head, leading many to speculate that he may have falsified his story. However, it is important to remember that, according to the police report, he was treated by an EMS team on scene and would have been cleaned up a bit.

Was This A Hate Crime?

Martin is black, and Zimmerman is a “white” Hispanic. It has become clear that the mainstream media wants to make this into a case of white on black violence.

The Associated Press reported that one of Zimmerman’s 911 calls included a sound bite, in which “some listeners” claim Zimmerman muttered a racial slur. That same report speculated that the U.S. Department of Justice could get involved. I wouldn’t be surprised, since President Obama has already shown that he supported Martin before all of the facts were even out.

At first, the media tried to portray Martin as an innocent black teen, killed by the mean white neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman had good reason to confront Martin, though, and it wasn’t because he was a random black teen. Recent burglaries committed by young black males had occurred in Zimmerman’s community, so when he spotted a black teen in a hoodie, it was his responsibility to confront him. It seems as though Martin was the one who decided to throw a punch. This wasn’t Martin’s first transgression, either; he had been suspended from school because marijuana residue was found in his book bag.

In case that isn’t evidence enough for why this isn’t a hate crime, Zimmerman and his wife mentored two black children for free. The mother of these children has stated that she had never heard Zimmerman use racial epithets nor do anything else to make her believe he was a racist.

George Zimmerman: Victim of Racism

In today’s society, the term “reverse racism” is often tossed around, but in reality, “reverse racism” is still just racism. Hateful individuals in the media, social groups, and the American public are labeling Zimmerman a racist, and want him strung up because he is half-white. He is already guilty in their eyes.

The New Black Panther Party posted a “WANTED!!! for the murder of Trayvon Martin… ALIVE, not dead or harmed,” message on the internet, calling for a citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman. The New Black Panther Party’s Mikhail Muhammad then went on the Anderson Cooper Show and told him that the New Black Panther Party member doesn’t “obey the white man’s law,” but rather the “street people’s law.” So, apparently anyone with at least one white parent now has to worry about having the right to due process stripped from them by these thugs. I wonder if people with two white grandparents will be classified as “whiteys of the first degree” and those with only one white grandparent as “whiteys of the second degree.”

In another equally ignorant act, filmmaker Spike Lee accidently tweeted the address of an innocent lady who lives in Sanford in an attempt to get people to go to what he believed was Zimmerman’s house. This put an older lady in danger for no good reason. This is comparable to Al Sharpton’s involvement as an agitator in the Crown Heights riots, which resulted in the death of a Jewish student.

Think about this: if Zimmerman’s name sounded more Hispanic, would the media be acting the same way?

Adam Ondo | University of Rochester | Rochester, New York | @JoplinMaverick