Culture

the trayvon issue

Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin
The shooting of Trayvon Martin took place on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin was an African American teenager who was shot and killed by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a man of mixed ethnicity (Latino and white American). | Photo: | Trayvon Martin, Shooting, George Zimmerman, Hoodie,

It's More than a Piece of Clothing

Saying a hoodie contributed to the death of Trayvon Martin is synonymous with saying a short skirt on a girl is an invitation to rape. It is giving a pass to someone's bigotry. Blaming an article of clothing deflects attention from the real issue. Injustice is the issue and racism is part of that. Yes, racism. Let's talk about the ugly word that everyone wants to push under the rug in the name of American decency. We dealt with racism already, right? Wrong. If we dealt with it, incidents like Trayvon Martin's wouldn't be so common. America needs to talk about this and the reality that if the shoe was on the other foot and Trayvon Martin had shot a White (or White "looking") person Trayvon would not be in jail. He would be under the jail. Despite us talking a good talk of "justice for all" and electing a Black president, racism is alive and well.

Another issue that's been spotlighted as a result of this case is gun laws. The Stand Your Ground law that many credit with keeping George Zimmerman out of jail is facing controversy. The law says that if you feel threatened you have the right to defend yourself. In light of news that Zimmerman may have been on the ground being punched by Martin before his death, one question comes to mind. If a person pursues trouble, is that person entitled to protection by this law? From what I understand, Zimmerman followed Martin after being advised against doing so by a 911 operator. If he wanted trouble, found it, and then tried to defend himself from found trouble, shouldn't Zimmerman be to blame? Purposely endangering yourself should not earn you a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. Or in this case a "Never Go to Jail" card.

The first step to solving any problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. We're never going to get anywhere if we keep pretending everything is okay. Trayvon Martin's death has reignited raw emotions from years passed. People are confused, hurt, and angry. Previous generations fought and died so this sort of thing would only be experienced through a history book. It looks like we're back to marching in the streets and that's okay'as long as it's not in vain. This is about getting justice for Trayvon Martin and getting justice for those who came before Trayvon Martin. A life has been lost and the best thing to do is to prevent this from happening again. History need not repeat itself.

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Updated Apr 22, 2017 9:06 AM EDT | More details

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