The case of Trayvon Martin vs. Zimmerman became a nation wide issue. In a short period of time, people became well known of the case and very interested. Many individuals had empathic and apparent opinions that composed many controversial questions. The most common concern that people had was the thought of racism. The case was against a young African American boy vs. a middle-aged multi-racial man. The question of racism quickly became a hot topic. An article posted on The Washington Post entitled, “Racism and the Trayvon Martin case,” stated that, “Trayvon Martin was fighting more than George Zimmerman that night. He was up against prejudices as old as American history and he never had a chance.” (Washington Post) People quickly flocked to take sides, and made broad statements of our country.
Another aspect that had a big impact on people was that George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was carrying a weapon when that wasn’t the case. In fact, he was carrying a drink and a pack of skittles he had gotten from the local gas station. The whole case arose from a mistaken assumption made by Zimmerman. In our society a lot of assumptions are made which is where we go wrong; these are assumptions not facts. People are assuming things based on variables, such as what they see or what they hear, but they never know the full truth. The question that emerged from this was if we should act on assumptions or on actual facts? A common thing people do is apologize for things they might have thought. For instance, when they say, “Oh, sorry I thought I saw…” or “Oh, that sounded like…” The problem with these statements is that they are based on theories, not facts.
Both of these questions are focused around our society. Most people only care to “make a change” after something has already happened. We need to take the initiative to become aware of our problems and fix them, before cases like this happen. I do feel that the right inquires are incorporated into the public’s discussion of this case, but the actions are unorganized and complicated. It took months to decide on a verdict of whether Zimmerman was guilty or not. The real problem is bigger than this case. I think the most pursuant question that we should really be asking is if racism is returning as a significant problem in our society? More and more cases have occurred that have had the questioning of racism. Why are we letting our society go back to the old ways?
In the case of Trayvon Martin a stereotype was made based on his race. They instantly judged him of being a troublesome adolescent. This compares to what Sherman Alexie wrote about himself in his short story entitled, Superman and Me. He described how as a young Indian boy it was stereotypical for them to be considered dumb. However, he hinted how many Indian children are just hiding behind that stereotype. Both of these situations had a reference to breaking out of their stereotypes.
– Bree Marich