R.I.P Young Trayvon

In recent days the story of the murder of an African-American teenager in Miami has been blasted across the front pages of newspapers and the green screens of American cable news. What is so compelling in this case that warrants such tremendous interest and sensational reporting?

That murder is a terrible crime is not new. The 7th Commonadment is, after all "Thou shall not kill." When anybody is murdered, there is left a broken family, a wounded community, and a saddened city at large. But then again, there have been over 100 murders in Chicago this year alone, and the epidemic of young men being murdered in gun violence in that violent city is in dire need of first class media coverage. It would seem natural that the President might use his bully pulpit to take a stand on the murder of so many black boys in his own backyard. So when the President of the United States makes a public statement about young Trayvon's death, truly something exceptional must be evident in his case.

Zimmerman, the accused killer, it appears, was a well known resident in the community, and was elected head of the local neighborhood watch program in the Twin Lakes area of Florida. Though the neighborhood watch program was as yet unregistered, we might ask why such a program was necessary in the first place. According to this article, there is reason to believe that there had been a rise in crime in the area, which perhaps had made Mr. Zimmerman more jittery than usual. He had already made 46 calls to place in the previous year, for indecencies including "unruly people at the pool, potholes, dumped trash, and kids playing in the street," and in recent months, "burglaries and a shooting."

A tragedy this most certainly is, but the campaign to demean gun-carriers, neighborhood watch programs, and so-called citizen-vigilantes is overblown and is nothing but political leveraging. Looming even larger is the element of race. The racially divisive Al Sharpton and the NAACP have per usual instigated with bombast, proclaiming a war on the blacks, and a light-skinned lunatic killer obsessed with racial prejudices. The reality of course is a bit more complex, with Mr. Zimmerman the progeny of a white father and Latina mother, with many black relatives, a man who even took the time to "mentor a young black boy, taking him out to play basketball and participating in fund-raisers at the boy's church."

In the end, it seems that:
"the actions of Zimmerman in Florida were... based on a series of poor decisions: the decision to follow a suspect after a police dispatcher told him not to, the decision to confront a suspect with a firearm off his own property, and a split-second decision to shoot an unarmed person when Zimmerman felt his life was in imminent danger, resulting in tragedy.

As Charles Filozof notes:
Whatever happened in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case, one thing is perfectly clear: it's high time this country quit the racial dog-and-pony show, and judged each criminal case on its individual merits instead of allowing the race-baiting demagogues to leverage each incident for political advantage in the streets and in the media.

Amen, to that. Let us pray for the young soul of Trayvon Martin, and that his death may not be in vain, let us swear that never again will we let a young man's death be tarnished by slimy race hustlers, overbearing media, and political posturing of the least helpful and most divisive character.