An inquiry on an earlier post regarding my opinion brought me out of blogging hibernation and allowed me to become person number 1,256,369 to express an opinion on the verdict.
I believe the verdict was correct (hardly a surprise given my disident-right leanings). It is true that Trayvon Martin cannot speak for himself, but it does seem most likely that he made the first aggressive move (Rachel Jeantel admits that it was likely Martin who struck first). Zimmerman did not stalk Martin, he got out of his car to ascertain the direction Martin had gone and to locate himself (find a street address he could give the operator). Martin had plenty of time to make it home safely.
While Zimmerman’s suspicions appear to have been groundless, and perhaps even over eager, he did have a right to investigate. He had that right, not because he was a neighborhood watch captain but because anyone has the right to protect their neighborhood from actual or potential threats (a break-in is about more than the loss of stuff). I am not sure what Zimmerman could have done differently other than turn his head the other way and drive on, assuming it “was not my problem.”
Someone asked what would have happened if sometimes hoodie wearing Mark Zuckerberg was in the place of Trayvon Martin. The answer is likely nothing because Zuckerberg would most likely not, having eluded his pursuer doubled back to give him an ‘ass whooping.’
Interestingly: while stand-your-ground played little part in Zimmerman’s defense in different circumstances (had he lived) Martin could have used it in his own defense (against, say, an assault charge). Even asserting the dead Martin’s right to stand his ground would change the outcome: both men were in fear of harm, sadly one ended up dead.
Personally I have dealt with officious types inquiring after my intentions. It is annoying, and I can understand Martin’s annoyance. However, I never figured the correct response was to punch them in the face. A cool, curt “I live here/visiting a friend. Who are you?” is enough to both answer their suspicion and cool my feeling of being ‘dissed.’ Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he had just gone home (he had plenty of time to do so).
I cannot imagine may other cases where you could call a fully grown black male ‘child’ or ‘boy’ without causing an uproar. Anyone that describes Martin as a child is a propagandist; legally he was still a minor, but in no way was he a child. He would probably have punched anyone that referred to him as such.
If the races were switched I imagine initial news reports would have described the shooting of an unarmed Hispanic by a neighborhood watch captain (race not specified). It likely would have ended right there (a tragic misunderstanding).