Posted by: wordofexcellence | March 26, 2012

Murder Most Foul (The Trayvon Martin killing)

Any time a person’s life is taken by another, it is tragic. When there are laws established within our country’s boundaries that allow a person to take another’s life simply because of a claim that “I felt threatened…I feared for my life…he was acting very suspiciously” or a myriad of other plaints, then there is something tragically (yes, there’s that word again) wrong with how you rule ourselves in this society.

I am perplexed, saddened, at a loss to understand, frustrated, annoyed and aghast at the ease with which George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was able to track down, shoot and kill Trayvon Martin for the crime of walking through that particular neighborhood with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea.

Florida (along with a number of other states) enacted a law that allows any person, in any location, to use deadly force against another person if they believe that their safety or their life is in danger. It’s called the “Stand Your Ground” law, and since its enactment in 2005, justifiable homicide claims have tripled in the state.

 I’d like to offer the opinion that there can be no “justifiable” homicide. The definition of “homicide,” according to Webster’s, is, quite simply, “the killing of one human being by another.” Of course, we who read a bible can see that “thou shalt not kill” is one of the Ten Commandments. Jesus Christ told us that we are to “love one another.”  These latter two precepts are a far cry from homicide.

 It’s become pretty apparent that Zimmerman had suspicions about virtually everyone who traversed his neighborhood. It has been reported that he had called police on 46 different occasions since January of this year to report “suspicious activity” in his neighborhood. It sure seems to me that his fervor in reporting was based on an intemperate mind of his own. Neighbors of his had reported that he had a fixation on crime and that his focus was on black males.

 Even the details of the 911 call show that the man was of one mind as he chased the teenager. He is said to have told the dispatcher, “this guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.” He noted that he was armed with his gun and was following  Trayvon. The dispatcher warned him against doing so, but Zimmerman didn’t listen.

 Confronting the young man, he shot him dead, and then claimed self-defense. No charges have been brought. And now we learn that he once again “fears for his safety after receiving death threats.” He has gone into hiding, which is no surprise, and he is said to be “extremely upset” and “remorseful about” having shot and killed his victim.

 The law that allowed Zimmerman to hunt down, confront, and then shoot and kill his victim is heinous. The act of murder is heinous, and for a person to be able to claim self-defense and be allowed to walk away freely without investigation is a travesty.

 Zimmerman has apparently received death threats and is currently in hiding. Unfortunately, the best place he could find himself at this time is a jail cell, which is where most shooters would be; other than the fact that the killing of a black person is not yet considered a problem in far too many locations.

 Every time we think we’ve moved past a particular form of racist behavior in this otherwise wonderful country, it seems we somehow take a step or two backward.

 Justice is required in this case and countless others. The repeal of the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida and elsewhere is essential. How fitting that the killing despoiled the month of February, noted for being Black History Month.




  1. This incident has all the indicators of a preventable tragedy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: