George Zimmerman turned himself in to the police. This occurred after 46 days of strangeness with a prosecutor’s office which could not decide if any charges should be filed and 46 days of protests and marches and 46 bizarre days of limbo with George Zimmerman hiding himself away from the world because he supposedly feared bodily harm. The world just gets stranger and stranger.
People argue that George Zimmerman is not a racist, that suspecting, following, and reporting Trayvon Martin was not a racist incident, but their arguments don’t hold up. While it is true that NBC edited the 911 tapes in such a way that George Zimmerman’s racism possibly seemed more blatant than it was, it appears so far that every time George Zimmerman reported anyone “suspicious” in his neighborhood they ended up being African-American. This certainly suggests that Mr. Zimmerman focused his fears on black men and he identified black men as having criminal intentions almost all of the time. This is sort of the definition of racism. The argument that George Zimmerman was a black man himself also does not hold up. It doesn’t matter how the American culture defines him, what matters is how he defines himself.
George Zimmerman has supporters who argue that he is a good person and this is to his credit. He may have begun as a concerned citizen with a desire for justice and security, and then perhaps he got a bit obsessed with his “superhero” role and got a permit and started carrying a concealed weapon. This may be perfectly legal in Florida but it still suggests a rising level of paranoia in Mr. Zimmerman and perhaps a heightened belief that he really was becoming an enforcer.
But a 17 year old who just left his Dad’s home on a February evening to go to the convenience store to get some Skittles and a soda and perhaps some fresh air and privacy so he could talk with his girlfriend on his cell phone is dead. Young people go to convenience stores all the time in America and they do not end up losing their lives. Trayvon was not doing anything wrong. It could be argued that Mr. Zimmerman was doing something wrong. He was basically stalking someone. He had no official capacity; he was not wearing any badge or uniform. We know what he was doing that night but I doubt if Trayvon knew what Mr. Zimmerman was doing.
Now Mr. Zimmerman has finally been arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. This could be a bad thing disguised as a good thing. It may not be possible to prove 2nd degree murder – we still have to get through this “stand your ground” nonsense – and the case may be lost or dismissed. Was this charge deliberately chosen to give the appearance of justice without having to worry about any actual conviction? I believe people will wonder about this if Zimmerman is acquitted. Why didn’t the prosecutor chose to go with a charge of manslaughter which would probably have been easier to prove? We will have to wait and see what happens. We will have to wait and see if Trayvon’s parents end up feeling some justice has been done. We will have to wait and see if the people of America feel that some justice has been done. Regardless of what happens, there is no way this case can have any happy ending.