It is no secret where I stood on this high-profile trial. I stood for what I believed to be justice: Zimmerman in prison. I am of the mindset not that this was a racial thing, but a freedom thing. If we don’t even have the freedom to walk home from the store without being unnecessarily harassed and pursued as if we are guilty of some crime, what do we have?
Many on the conservative side were so quick to smear the background of Trayvon Martin. But many of them are casting stones without checking their hearts. Were they a perfect person at 17? Have they ever used drugs? What about Zimmerman’s criminal history of assault?
Many on the liberal side were so quick to smear George Zimmerman as a racist just out to murder a black teen. What many of them overlooked was Zimmerman’s work in his community, which included helping to tutor young black children, and helping to bring attention to the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a Sanford Police Department lieutenant in 2011.
In the end, I don’t believe this case had anything to do with race. I do believe it had to do with George Zimmerman chasing someone down against the advice of the 911 dispatcher and against the guidelines of his neighborhood watch, and eventually using a firearm irresponsibly to take the life of Trayvon Martin, who I believe was defending himself from what he thought to be a threat. I also believe Zimmerman, having the MMA (mixed martial arts) training that he had, could have subdued Trayvon physically, if Trayvon really was the aggressor as he said he was.
However, the justice system did speak. Zimmerman was found not guilty, and the response that ensued was pretty ugly on both sides.
On one side we had folks on Twitter calling for the death of Zimmerman and the jury that found him not guilty, as well as smearing anyone who disagreed, including the President of the Norfolk NAACP, who brought up a question about Trayvon Martin’s past, on his personal Facebook page and was pressured to resign.
On the other hand, we had people celebrating the release of Zimmerman and calling anyone who disagreed with their opinion on Zimmerman’s innocence a “racist liberal” (I was specifically called that and “disgusting” by fellow conservatives for my opinion), as well as some other choice, racial language. Oh yeah, and we had those saying all blacks were going to riot.
This is unfortunate. None of us should be subject to such garbage simply for having an opinion. I truly hope all of us can put aside our opinions for one thing, though: we cannot forget that a family lost their son. Regardless of how it happened, be it self-defense or murder, it did happen, and I can only imagine the hurt the Martin family have been through and will continue to go through. I hope we will all keep them in our prayers.
We still have the greatest system of justice, the greatest system of law-enforcement, and the greatest citizens in the world. Just because some of us may not feel like it worked in this case, does not mean any of us should lose faith in it, or believe that we should be scared to walk down our own streets.
Let us move forward, let us be vigilant and make sure nothing like this happens again, and let us continue to pray for peace.
– A conservative for Trayvon.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that it was the Sanford Police Department that beat a homeless black man — It was actually the son of a Sanford Police Lieutenant.