Sunday, April 1, 2012

Since When Did a Bag of Skittles Become Dangerous?

It's been exactly five weeks now since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by a Sanford, FL resident named George Zimmerman.

And, like millions of other Americans, I'm still sick about the murder of perhaps the most talked-about teenager to ever come out of Miami Gardens, FL.

All Trayvon was doing was coming back from a 7-Eleven convenience store in Sanford; he was coming back to his father's fiancee's house in a gated community in that city of 54,000 people. Trayvon was trying to check out the second half of this season's NBA All-Star Game...played 19 miles to the south in Orlando.

And all he was carrying were a cell phone and his two 7-Eleven purchases: A bag of Skittles candy and a can of iced tea.

But that didn't matter to George, a 28-year-old who serves as a neighborhood watch captain in the gated community in Sanford.

In fact, the hoodie Martin was wearing- to say nothing of his skin color- gave Zimmerman enough "justification" to label young Martin as suspicious.

So that gave our neighborhood watch captain the impetus to call 911.

And it didn't matter that the dispatcher who took the call told Zimmerman NOT to chase Martin.

He chased him anyway.

After five weeks, no arrest has been made.

In fact, it might be that the police officer who checked out the scene- and bought the idea that Zimmerman's life was threatened by Martin, hence the murder- might have publicly (or privately) congratulated Zimmerman.

This is what happens when a state signs into law "Stand Your Ground" legislation.

The killing that took place on 2-26-2012 was THE outgrowth of a law now in 13 states here in the US.

The Sanford Police Department simply didn't do its job. And if Sanford's government leaders had shown any guts, they would've asked for Bill Lee's permanent resignation as the city's police chief.

There's so much- way too much- we don't know about the shooting of a young man who loved sports and, yes, WAS trying to get his life back on the right track. (That's why he went to Sanford.)

And I'm still wondering how spokespersons with the National Rifle Association (the group that's been on bended knees begging for these "Stand Your Ground" laws) really feel about this Central Florida murder.

How many hate-radio hosts (okay, talk-radio hosts) have been praising George Zimmerman for what he did? (Remember, last year, Neal Boortz got on his show and asked his listeners to pack heat and get those so-called "urban thugs." Does carrying a bag of Skittles make you an "urban thug?" Does wearing a hoodie?)

Bill O'Reilly, on his Fox Gossip (oops, I mean Fox News) Channel show, defended this vigilante. I can imagine how O'Reilly's network colleagues, such as race-baiter deluxe Eric Bolling (from The Five), feel about this incident in Sanford.

John Bush's silence is deafening. [After all, in 2005, when he was the Sunshine State's governor, he signed this into law. (And no, I can't bring myself to call him Jeb!)]

One thing I'm GOING to bring myself to do is this: I'm going to stand with Trayvon's parents- Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton- and millions of others to say: "Let's have some justice and get George Zimmerman in handcuffs! What are you waiting on?"

No comments:

Post a Comment