The controversy over the death of Trayvon Martin, shot by George Zimmerman, has many unanswered questions and underlying themes to the scandal. A main universal question was whether Zimmerman shot Martin because it was self-defense, or because he was black and “suspicious”. CNN presented an article by Greg Botelho and Holly Yan testifying that “A 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman that officers were on the way and not to follow the allegedly suspicious person. But Zimmerman still got out of his car…” (Botelho). Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara stated “I think things would have been different if George Zimmerman were black for this reason: He never would have been charged with a crime” (Botelho). These racial disputes caused many people to take a side. Another racial question that was brought to attention was that there were six jurors “…all of them women—deliberated for 16 ½ hours. Five of the women are white; one is a minority” (Botelho). The main theme/similarity between these questions was racial discrimination, whether it be between Zimmerman and Martin or the race of the jury. Most of these questions suggest that decisions made in this case were strongly influenced by hatred between races.
After researching the case and seeing questions from all different types of people, these questions were very relevant and accurate. It was said later in the article that Martin attacked Zimmerman by jumping out of a bush, but even if that were to be true, Zimmerman was informed not to get out of the car and he still did anyways, bringing the alleged “attack” upon himself. The question of the race of the jury and whether Zimmerman would be prosecuted if he were black both refer to racial hatred in the same way. I agree with both questions because I’ve seen real life examples of both. Saying that a mostly Caucasian jury rules that a Caucasian/Hispanic man is not guilty for murdering an African American man, and saying that an African American man wouldn’t be prosecuted for shooting another African American man both imply that races stick together. That’s what most people have been taught growing up, stick to your race no matter what. Having said that, I do agree with those questions being asked but I do not agree with the implication and assumption that all people are prone to do that.
The most important question to the verdict would be whether Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense or because he was “suspicious”. No matter what the reason was for Zimmerman shooting Martin “…the foundation really stands for getting people to understand that violence is not the answer” (Stewart). Whether Martin attacked Zimmerman or Martin just shot him because he “wanted to”, violence will only make matters worse.
Botelho, Greg. Yan, Holly. “George Zimmerman found not guilty of murder in Trayvon Martin’s death.” CNN Justice. CNN, 14 July 2013. Web. 14 July 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/13/justice/zimmerman-trial/>.
Stewart, Ayana. “Florida Memorial University is now home to Trayvon Martin Foundation.” Miami Herald [Miami] 26 June 2014: 3. Print.