My Thoughts on the Zimmerman Verdict

My Thoughts on the Zimmerman Verdict

On the evening of February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin left his house not knowing that in a few short hours he would die gasping for air as precious blood spilled from his body and soaked into the soil beneath him. He left his house not knowing that it would be the last time he would jokingly roll his eyes at his father or embrace his mother in a hug. He left his house not knowing that simply walking through his neighborhood would be suspicious enough to warrant a confrontation that would ultimately end in his death.

When news surrounding the death of Travyon first began circulating, the public outcry was deafening. Thousands of people wearing black hoodies flooded the streets. Facebook became an online battle ground. For every "Justice for Trayvon" post that appeared, several others quickly followed expressing their satisfaction that another black gang banger had gotten what he deserved. Public figures came forward pleading for people to keep calm and wait as justice was served. And so we did.

For over a year I've avoided discussing the death of Trayvon Martin on social media. I've watched as the media chipped away at Trayvons character. I've watched as his image transformed from one of an innocent young boy who was racially profiled, to a black thug who was a known troublemaker.

To many, the events of February 26th were quickly forgotten. They continued on with their lives, completely unaware of the trembling effects felt throughout the entire African American community. We were shaken to our core--again. We once again had to sit our young sons down and remind them that the same rules did not apply to them. We had to remind them to be vigilant and to not draw unnecessary attention to themselves. We had to remind them how to act when approached by the cops--keep their hands in the open, remain calm, and above all else, do not resist.

But now we were faced with a different problem. How could we explain to our sons that walking through the streets of their own neighborhood was now considered punishable by death?

The only two people on this earth who know the events that unfolded on the night of February 26, 2012 are George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Today, only one of those voices can be heard. The other voice is muffled by 6 feet of dirt and a tombstone that reads "Rest my son. Job well done."

In my eyes, justice will never be served. No amount of weeping and protesting will bring back Trayvon Martin. He was someone's baby.

He could have been mine.

He could have been your's.


  1. I don't necessarily agree with the verdict but I'll respect it because that's what our justice system commands.

    I think the race card was played a bit too much throughout the entire ordeal. Both Martin and Zimmerman are minorities.

    We also have to remember that Zimmerman is NOT a police officer. Law enforcement wannabe but not an officer of the law.

    I won't claim racism doesn't exist because it does... I'm just not sold that it was the cause of this tragedy.

    I personally think Zimmerman was a trigger happy jerk who would have shot anybody who crossed his path black, white, yellow, young, old, or otherwise at some point. Unfortunately, Martin was the unlucky one to cross his path that night.

    1. Ashley, I'm going to respond as politely as I can to this comment, because I truly do value your opinion and do not wish to offend, but I honestly need you to take a step back, look at this comment, and think about the gravity of what you just wrote.

      Relegating an entire races experiences to "the race card" is extremely disrespectful. Yes, Zimmerman is a minority. So is my father. Who was a FEDERAL AGENT. Who obviously has a great deal of respect for the law. Who has also been repeatedly pulled over by cops because he looks suspicious. My father who wears button up polo's, glasses, hates rap and plays golf every second he gets a chance.

      Please read this:

      If you can honestly read this article, digest it, and then come back and still defend your previous stance, then I can respect it.

      Unfortunately the two of us will be held to two different standards. No matter how educated, well spoken and polite, I will be forced to carry a burden you can not fathom. That burden is why Trayvon Martin is dead.

    2. Theresa, I completely agree with what you've said here in your reply. What a sad time. One of my very good friends responded to the verdict saying, "This is why I have no confidence in this satanic evil system that controls this nation and the world...even so, come, Lord Jesus, come!" My feelings exactly.

    3. Theresa you're good. If this comment was on my blog I'd be like Ashley you need to sit down somewhere with your dormant racist, white privilege having disrespectful ass.
      But it's not my blog.
      So I won't say that.

    4. That is pretty disrespectful itself resorting to name calling and insults because you disagree with someone? Come on.

    5. I'm not racist. I know that. I don't have to prove I'm not. I'm also not privileged. I come from an extremely poor family. I've had to bust my tail for everything I have in life. No handouts or affirmative action helped me get where I am.

      I won't resort to name calling or being rude here. Theresa has made her feelings about my comment known. We may not agree but I can respect her opinion. I don't expect mine to be respected by all but I won't change how I feel about a situation just to appease someone. No one should.

      Call names, spread hate... its your choice to do so. I'll respect your choice.

    6. Ashley,

      Whether you realize it or not, whether it was intentional or not, you've just insulted African Americans again by insinuating that the only way we can get somewhere in life is though affirmative action or handouts.

      I can assure you my success has had, nor will it have anything to do with affirmative action or handouts. It will have everything to do with the fact that I am a highly driven and motivated individual who understand the power of education. I don’t accept mediocrity. I've already graduated with one degree (with honors) and now am two classes shy from obtaining my second degree (which will once again be with honors).

      In addition to being a mother, I am a full-time student, a communications specialist for Lambda Phi Eta (the honor society for communications majors), a member of P.R.S.S.A, a volunteer note taker, an intern for the Alzheimer’s Association and have just been invited by the director of my department to take an advanced communications leadership course—which I might add is only open to 15 communications students in the entire department, with a gpa of 3.5 or higher.

      I've also gone far beyond the curriculum of a typical PR student by operating a successful blog and developing skills that will make me an invaluable member of any organization that I choose to become a part of. My success will have nothing to do with affirmative action and everything to do with the fact that I worked two jobs while putting myself though college WITHOUT asking for handouts. Oh yeah, and I did it, Like. A. Boss.

      Just as you did, I came from a poor home. The only difference was that in addition for living below the poverty level, my father was getting deployed and going to war to fight for a country that insists that he has only gotten to where he is in life because of affirmative action or handouts.

      We should not have to justify ourselves, or walk around with a resume in our hand to prove that are deserving of our success. What you said, is not helping matters. Right now, people are justifiably angry and instead of recognizing that and backing off you are adding more fuel to the fire.

      You can get on twitter and post as many one sided screenshots of this conversation as you would like, but at the end of the day, what you did and are doing is no better than what the media did to Trayvon. I think your readers/followers deserve to see this conversation in its entirely, rather than only being presented with one response and not the three others that preceded it.

      This will be the last comment I make in regard to our discussion. The rest of my time will be devoted to those who were shaken by this incident and want to ensure that what happened to Trayvon, never happens again.

    7. Anyone who is white has privilege, no matter how poor. That privilege may not be as strong as the person who came from wealth, but it is privilege, nonetheless.

      I think Zimmerman's actions elicited a response from Martin. I think Zimmerman was the one screaming because he did not have his gun out. I think Zimmerman is the bully who is really frightened when someone actually challenges him.

      Mark my words: Zimmerman is empowered by beating the accusations and he will kill again or be a loose cannon as he pursues his dream of being a police officer.

      I am very white, educated, and believe Zimmerman should have been found guilty of something.

  2. I hear the black community, the white community, the Asian community a lot. But it doesn't matter what race someone is that dies, we all hurt. I know their is racism but for Jesus people we love all our brothers and sisters no mater what race, religion, sexual orientation, color, short, tall, fat or skinny. We love like Jesus loved and anyone getting killed makes us hurt inside and we pray for them and their family and friends. I prayed for Travon, his family and friends and asked GOD to comfort them all. I do understand racism because my best friend is black. Part Jamician and part American Indian. I see it and pray for GOD to turn their hearts.
    Thank you for letting me comment. I also know justice is not always fair.

    1. This is true. My fiance is white, and even he is shocked and dismayed at the outcome. Like you said, we all hurt. I wish that we lived in a country that did not have to be separated by distinctive communities, but unfortunately it is a sad reality.

      Trayvon Martin is dead. His parents will spend the rest of their lives suffering. George Zimmerman is alive. As you said, justice is not always fair. My hope for this country is that we heal peacefully and continue to fight for justice. Together.

  3. Those who wanted to make this an issue of race did just that and are continuing to do that. Race has been planned up in the media since this case was first publicized and for that reason alone it continued to be played up. The fact of the matter is another unarmed child is dead and a man who, according to Florida law, was justified in using deadly force is free to leave the courtroom yet he'll never be free. The is much loss here. There is loss everyday. Each person lost whether by death,jail, or otherwise is someone's loved one. Trayvon Martin will not be forgotten to me. Neither will George Zimmerman. This is a sad case in a very sad world. This post is well written and thoughtful. Andrea, Your Fellow #BLM Girl

    1. I agree with you. Regardless of race, this case is so sad for everyone involved. I was not in the courtroom and trust that the women on the jury made a fair judgement based on the evidence they were presented with. They must now live with the decision they made and the blame they will inevitably receive. Although Zimmerman was found not guilty, he will live his life in fear & hiding. Trayvon, obviously, paid the ultimate price. I now fear for our country and what will ensue based on this outcome. I pray we are not headed for more violence and Rodney King type riots, etc.

    2. Yes, I fear for our country as well. We can either choose to respond with peace and intelligence, or with anger and violence. Only one of those ways will result in a POSITIVE change. The other will only fuel more hate.

  4. Remember, he was found not guilty. This does not mean that the jury felt he was innocent. It means that they did what they were asked to do and made a determination based on the evidence they were provided and they did that. There are no winners here.

  5. I'm not sure what the answer is. I wish that I knew All that I do know is that my heart hurts for Trayvon's family. My heart hurts especially for his mother. I am angry that the monster who killed him is at home with his family today and did not receive the punishment he deserved for taking a young man's life.

    I will do the one thing that I can do - I can promise you and your beautiful son - I will raise my 4 children to see beyond skin color, beyond race and realize that each and every one of us is a person who deserves RESPECT and that NO ONE can be judged simply by the color of their skin.

    I'm not sure that racism will ever disappear but I will do my part to help make sure that my children are as disgusted by it as I am.

    1. I agree, I truly don't think racism will ever disappear. Someone will always find a reason to hate another person. The very nature of racism is so embedded in our culture that it going to be impossible to completely get rid of it.

      However, we can do exactly what you are doing, making sure that our children learn that it is not okay and raise them to see beyond skin color and race and realize that each of us deserves respect.

      Thank you for your beautiful and thought provoking comment. We need more momma's like you and Christine!

  6. You know how I feel about this, and I am so sad that you feel like you should "back off" from topics like these. The world needs your words now more than ever, Reese; they're beautiful and honest and thoughtful and RESPECTFUL. Whomever was ignorant enough to call you a racist on Twitter obviously hasn't read you for very long, nor does he/she know you.

    Thank you for writing a response and sharing your feelings. They're just as valid as everyone else's, and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise.

  7. There are sound reasons that society discourages vigilantism. I am astonished at the aquittal. However, it suits the agenda to foment social disorder in order to justify further implementation of martial law.

  8. I'm so glad to see so many bloggers breaking their silence on what happened to Trayvon Martin. Honestly, I was shocked that the jury found him not guilty. How do you gain the right to defend yourself if you're the one provoking a fight? And for those saying Blacks play the race card too much, I just want them to try being Black for a day. Most us have experienced so much discrimination over the years that's it hard to know when people of the opposite race are doing mean or ignorant things either because they truly have no respect for anyone period or if they're truly being prejudice.

    So, yea, most things do become about race for us. We're discriminated against more than any other race (with the exception of Middle Easterners after 9/11). Why should we keep quiet about being racially profiled and stereotyped? If the Martin family feels like their son was targeted because of his race, then we should allow them to have their opinion and anyone else who feels the same. No need to rip people apart because they don't feel like you do.

    Until we stop brushing racism under the rug because it makes certain people feel uncomfortable we're never going to get to a place where tragedies like Trayvon's don't happen very often. He was not the first person this happened. His parents just made sure that they got the story out there because they didn't feel like it was right that their son's death could just be so casually brushed off. And at the end of the day, what parent would want that? We have to do better. And the key to that is breaking our code of silence and talking about the difficult and the painful stuff.

    Great post!

  9. Oh gosh, I'm getting all worked up all over again over some of these comments! Your post really drives home the point and I'm glad you spoke up. Privilege is about so much more than socioeconomic status. I have too many friends who have had to raise theirs sons, teaching them to "not run" if they are confronted by someone (to help avoid them looking suspicious or getting shot). Trayvon didn't run. Now what are they to teach? There's no justice in it at all. He was a CHILD and now for him to have his character assassinated on top of everything else is horrifying. I also have too many friends who have been approached or pulled over for "walking while black" or "driving while black". Even the head pastor of our church, who is a very well respected figure in the DC/Baltimore area has had to deal with this personally. Privilege is not having to think or worry about that. Racism does exist and we need to start doing more than just talking; We all need to start being more aware of one another's struggles and helping each other with them. Here is my favorite post verdict blog post to date... it's from my friend Lynne


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