Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

As a mother, my heart hurts when I listen to the Trayvon Martin 911 tapes. In the recording, this 17 year old is clearly heard pleading and screaming for help before being executed by a self-appointed neighborhood watch vigilante. While no one knows for certain what happened between the time George Zimmerman saw Trayvon walking through the gated community and the time he was killed, it is not a stretch to conclude that something quite sinister occurred.

This man, George Zimmerman, claims that he was concerned about recent break-ins in the area when he saw the young, black male walking in the neighborhood. Zimmerman calls police and reports a "suspicious" person. He is then advised not to follow the "subject." The young man had gone to a convenience store during half time of the NBA All-Star game and purchased a can of ice tea and a bag of candy.

While talking to his girlfriend on the cell phone, Trayvon tells her that he's being followed. She advises him to run. He puts the hoodie on his head and walks quickly to "lose" Zimmerman. A few short minutes later, the child is shot dead as his killer stands over him. I wasn't there but this is my interpretation of the events:

Trayvon Martin was walking through the gated community in Sanford, Florida when he was spotted by Zimmerman. Reacting to stereotypes of young black males as thugs and criminals, he began to follow the unsuspecting teen. When Trayvon finally realized that he was being followed, he told his girlfriend about it as they talked on the cell phone. I can believe that he became alarmed and fearful, trying to run away. Zimmerman was determined to confront Trayvon because in his warped mind, the black boy didn't belong there.

Once he caught up with Trayvon, he began to harrass him about being in the complex. Not knowing what wrong he had committed, Trayvon resisted and questioned Zimmerman's actions. I believe that Zimmerman put his hands on Trayvon--perhaps grabbing him to keep him from walking away. Trayvon likely swung at Zimmerman to get away and a fight ensued. I can believe that the teen knew that his life was in jeopardy and fought back with all his might. Zimmerman was fully aware of Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law" and knew that if he shot Trayvon, he could hide behind the controversial legislation. He claimed self-defense and the police didn't bother to question him further or investigate to see if his claim was valid.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed. Perpetrators don't retreat or cry for help. One defending himself, don't chase perpetrators. Trayvon was shot down in cold blood and his death treated with indifference by law enforcement. He was a son, brother, classmate, and human being. He did count. He was not less than. He didn't deserve to be executed. There is something profoundly wrong with this whole scenario and sequence of events and as we await facts in this case, I pray for justice and change in a law that gives any armed person free reign to kill anyone that they deem a threat, real or imagined.

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