The murder trial of George Zimmerman is over and returned with a not guilty verdict. I haven’t said anything regarding this trial in some time, not since the initial report of Trayvon Martin’s death were announced.
I’m going to be blunt, there’s just no way to say it. George Zimmerman is a man living on borrowed time. He got away with murder, and for as long as he lives, he should be reminded that it was a murder. It wasn’t self defence, it was murder.
There is something I am very worried about. It has nothing to do with anything that may have some form of retaliation against Zimmerman. I’ll get to that in a bit.
I’m somewhat torn on the outpouring of support for Martin and his family. I only hope that it doesn’t become commercialized as so many other things often are. Like the commercialization of Che Guvera. Or the commercialization of the hammer and sickle (ironic as it is to capitalize on a communist symbol). Or the commercialization of Occupy Wall Street. A while ago, there was a large group of people that got together through a tumblr announcing they “are Trayvon”. The sentiment is sound, and for a lot of people, the killing of Trayvon was something they are all too familiar with. Many face the fear of going out of the safety of their homes with the very real possibility of being attacked.
I took part in that show of support, but I’m sort of regretting the commercialized aspect of wearing a bunny hug and taking a selfie and sending it off to submit to a tumblr. I’m not saying that justice shouldn’t have been found (for the record, it still hasn’t been found). But I’m saying as a white, straight, male I cannot personally identify with the situation. I can’t even identify because I’m Canadian, not American. I don’t know what it’s like to live in a State or Province that allows common citizens to carry guns (for the record, we in Saskatchewan cannot carry guns on our person, ever, unless transporting them in a safe and visible way). Because of that, because of my gender, my skin colour, and my nationality, I deal with a lot of privilege. Deal is not exactly the right term. I have a lot of privilege. So it’s hard to relate to a situation such as what happened to Martin’s family.
Let’s also not forget, Martin isn’t just some anomaly that happened. It wasn’t a rare case of a young man who was gunned down. This is a common trend where a young, black man is shot and killed by a white, male citizen (and sometimes police officer) for the most lax of reasons.
Zimmerman said he was afraid for his life and the lives and property of his neighbours when he saw Martin. Had Martin been, say, me, I’m going to bet Zimmerman wouldn’t have called the police, wouldn’t have gotten into his car with a loaded gun, wouldn’t have gotten into a scuffle with Martin, wouldn’t have shot and killed him. The only difference is I’m white while Martin is black.
Zimmerman, as I said before, is a man living on borrowed time. Someone is going to get angry enough to gun him down. Either shoot him, stab him or beat him, Zimmerman is going to feel some reaction. He’ll either end up in hospital or dead. Part of me isn’t going to be surprised nor will I shed a tear for it. Zimmerman is a sociopath. He feels the need to feel manly and what better way than by killing an unarmed young man. Part of me won’t be sorry if Zimmerman does get killed. Because justice didn’t get served for Martin and the countless other young men who die needlessly at the hands of racists. Let’s just call it as it is. North America, both Canada and the United States, are run by racists. People who want to continue the status quo and want to get rid of as many minorities as they can. Zimmerman, to that point, is a victim of a patriarchal system that has built his mind up to believe that he’s white and he deserves everything just because he was born.
But make no mistake. Zimmerman is also a murderer.