His death came about as a result of many things. One of them was a law, “Stand Your Ground” and the application of the law in Florida. It was written and put into place by ALEC backed by the NRA, Governor Bush signed it into law with the NRA representative standing next to him. Why? Who has made out like bandits, literally, since the law was passed? Gun manufacturers. The law was written and promoted, not to protect citizens, but to sell guns. What has risen besides gun sales in Florida?…. the murder rate. Every state that passed the ALEC written legislation is seeing the same results.
It wasn’t a law that citizens asked for, not something that people thought of and then brought to a politician to be addressed, it was backwards, it was a law that was conceived by gun manufacturers, brought to the attention of the NRA, written and lobbied to politicians by ALEC, and pushed through state legislatures by those receiving donations and increased funds in their investments in companies that manufacture guns. All the while, the public is buying the whole thing, many conservatives believing this is a law meant for protection, never realizing they’ve been used.
Another thing it is about is the way all people of any color prejudge black men of any age, but especially young black men are looked at by white and non-white people as having a predisposition for being criminal. It is perpetuated by a system that is not color blind. The legal system in our country 50-60 years ago, saw black people continuously wrongly convicted. If a crime happened, they would assume a black person committed the crime.
As a result of the civil rights movement, many practices were found illegal and much has changed, but deep in the psyche of this country’s citizens are those old beliefs, and even if they aren’t rounding up every black person as they did at one time, no one can deny that the system still targets, arrests, and convicts them disproportionately. They have less ability to hire adequate legal representation, which leads many to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to avoid getting a harsher sentence from a jury system that has failed to address the prejudices that exist in juries minds, just as they existed in the Trayvon Martin case.
The jury did not see Trayvon Martin as a young man who had every right to defend himself against a man who followed and confronted him. He had a right not to lead a potential threat back to his home. That’s what my daughter has done before, she has led people following her away from our house because she didn’t want them to know where she lived. Trayvon had no way of knowing what kind of person was following him, guys that follow other guys sometimes are interested in having sex with them, it happens, and I believe he was concerned about that, and didn’t want to lead GZ back to his home and have him know where he lived.
The jury couldn’t see anything from the perspective of Trayvon because they already had in their mind a preconceived notion that he must have somehow done something wrong, that he should have ran away, should have run home, but isn’t that the whole idea of stand your ground, that you have a right to defend yourself if someone is following and confronting you and you are afraid for your life.
They couldn’t see that a young teen would be afraid that someone was following him because he was black, what if he had been a girl, being followed by an older man? Or a young white teen followed by and older white man, would he have a right to defend himself?
We need to start the healing by talking about the realities that exist. No more pretending.