Race War Friendly Fire

Photo credit: David Shankbone

Photo credit: David Shankbone

Evil begets evil, and violence begets violence. And the trial of George Zimmerman provided plenty enough suffering to go around.

All speculations, posturing, and tribalism aside, it’s important to regard the death of Trayvon Martin for what it was: a tragic situation for all parties involved. Who deserved to die? No one. It was a lethal confrontation that could have been avoided. But it happenend anyway.

Unfortunately, some saw it necessary to turn this tragedy into a race war, to paint Trayvon’s killing as an act of pure hate, to drag this simple case into the national limelight. And others sought to fight back, to “win” the race war for Zimmerman.

This brutal conflict has not been without its casualties. In particular, Trayvon Martin’s parents have gone through hell during the trial. As if the violent death of their child weren’t enough, the Martins were forced to relive every excruciating moment of the whole affair, in addition to suffering every criticism of their son that could paint him in a negative light, along with strong implications that he merely got what was coming to him.

That completely goes without mentioning the lasting implications of the race angle that was unfairly brought upon this whole case with an iron first. Will a black male youth have to live in constant fear of being instantly perceived as a threat, guilty until proven innocent? Will a law-abiding citizen have to take a second look at the appearance of his attacker before exercising his right to self-defense, fearing that, in the case of the wrong skin color, he could risk a near-lynching for defending his own life?

Because of the entire nation capitalizing on the tragic situation of Trayvon Martin, the whole affair caused even more harm and grief than a death should, some of it bearing lasting consequences into the future. Let’s not do that again.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.
  • srobart

    There IS no presumption of innocence in this nation anymore. Look at the way people have been treating Zimmerman, he’s been guilty from the start and now there are people who are threatening to commit further murders and riot if he’s not found guilty. In my mind, this is no different than the lynchings of blacks in the 1800s, only this time it’s Zimmerman with the noose around his neck and if people don’t get what they want, they will commit murder or violence. Zimmerman is not guilty until/unless that jury comes back and says “guilty”. If this trial/incident had been treated THAT way from the beginning, I don’t think we would be in this racially charged MESS that we’re in today.

    Individuals from different races get along famously. But when government, people like Sharpton/Jackson and media get involved, they pit one race against another to further their own power and influence. I agree, there have been transgressions in the past, there is NO doubt about that, but why are we furthering the hate TODAY? The PEOPLE don’t want this hate, individuals damn sure don’t want it, but we allow ourselves to be manipulated by the race-baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the media and government into HATING one another. It’s shameful and it needs to stop.

    I have sat through every minute of this trial and I see ZERO evidence of Zimmerman being racist or even malicious or hateful. Prior to the trial, I had thought something very different, I thought that Zimmerman probably DID do this out of hatred or malice, but that’s simply not the case, that’s not what the FACTS say. Yet we still have people who refuse to be swayed by the facts of the case and who say they will riot or murder if Zimmerman is found not guilty. If we want race relations to improve, we have to rise above assuming EVERYTHING is racially motivated, because I think very, very little actually IS motivated by race, these days.

    I genuinely hope that if Zimmerman is found not guilty, we can all come together, not be further torn apart. I hope JUSTICE prevails, not madness and hatred. There have been enough tragedies surrounding this case already.

    • I agree, it’s a shameful mob-like approach to “justice.” It isn’t even about justice at all, it’s purely an us-vs-them race war that didn’t need to happen. Poor Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time by unhappy chance, and both of them had to pay for it.

      We have to understand, though, the point of view of a lot of Trayvon supporters. Not the bigots who inflamed the race war, but the average folk dragged into it. Think of all the lynchings of the past, the segregation abuses, police brutality of Rodney King etc., the drug war, and the current dehumanizing stop-and-frisk policy in New York. All of U.S. history, including the present day, provides strong evidence that Johnny Law is out to get the black man, and it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the same thing happened with Trayvon, that he was an innocent kid who fell victim to the discrimination of the system, and was modern-day lynched. That’s not true, of course. But it’s important to see the right in the wrong, if you know what I mean.

  • YouAreUninformed

    You clearly haven’t followed the case whatsoever or looked at the evidence. During the 911 phone call, Zimmerman did not mention race until the dispatch asked him whether the individual was “white, black or hispanic” and he said “he looks black.” He wasn’t even sure of it.

    People like you, that write nonsense that involves nothing other than misconceptions about the case, are a large part of the problem and the reason why people believe race is even a primary reason for the encounter. Let me remind you that Trayvon’s mother herself stated that she did not believe his race was any sort of primary factor, but the way he carried himself.

    • ….have you even read the article? I don’t think we’re in disagreement at all.

      I never said race was an actual factor. It was just a tragic incident. It became about race, however, when what you refer to as “people like you” jumped on “nonsense” and “misconceptions” and turned it into a full-on national race war. You’re ranting, I’m lamenting… but we’re saying basically the same thing.