I choose not to listen too closely to the news when I feel it pries too deeply into the lives of others, constantly flashing judgments and opinions in our faces. But the case of Trayvon Martin weighs heavily on the current climate of our country, more closely our own neighborhoods and communities.
I do not view George Zimmerman a monster.
TO ME, he is the unfortunate product of our time, and what happened between George and Trayvon that terrible night indicates that we need to closely examine our laws and prejudices we and why they exist.
TO ME, George Zimmerman is perhaps a zealot. That characteristic in a person who takes his duty to protect his own so seriously that he would take deadly action to do so can be dangerous. His zeal leads him to confuse his role with that of trained law enforcement, even when asked by the 911 responder to stay away.
CONSIDER George, armed with a gun, a gun he is legally allowed to carry, and he carries it into his duty to protect.
CONSIDER George, who grew up in a social climate where blacks or people of dark skin, especially young males in
hoodies, are viewed as a threat. That's a prejudice of deadly ramifications.
CONSIDER the "stand your ground" law, which essentially legalizes a person to use deadly force in exactly the situation George and Trayvon found themselves in.
The result of this combination is deadly. It is one which has the potential to blame the victim for has own murder. This is precisely what we have just seen happen in the Florida courts.
I FEEL for Trayvon Martin, his family suffering his loss, and all black teens whose parents fear they will be viewed and treated the same way, and who are fighting for justice.
I FEEL for George Zimmerman and his family, who will forever live with threats and hate from those who view him as a monster.
I HOPE that from this place we can bring about change, change that will help people to see the "other" as their
equal. to question whether a gun is necessary and right in a situation, and to closely examine the Stand Your Ground Law and its implications.
Whether you agree or disagree with what I have written, thank you for reading. By listing closely, we begin understand.
Kristen is the creator of Indieflow Yoga and Yoga For A Cause. She lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado