Not Guilty…not so much…

This Saturday marked the end of the State vs Zimmerman trial here in Orlando, Florida. The case began small, from the city of Sanford then to the entire Central Florida area, then to the Nation. As a resident of Central Florida, the case of a 17 year old black “boy” murdered by a 30-something (I can’t be bothered to learn his actual age) mixed race Hispanic man only made Floridians, as a community, to feel like we are again at the butt of all the jokes.

Thank goodness Jodi Arias was from Arizona.

If the Casey Anthony fiasco was any representation of what was approaching with the Zimmerman case, Central Florida was in for another wild ride and we were not disappointed. With the whole nation, most especially the black community, eyeing that Sanford courtroom, our corner of the world became a petri dish representing the social climate of the United States of America in 2013. Attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West, who represented George Zimmerman, spent most of the trial post week appearing on both national and local news and talk outlets to reiterate the lack of racial focus in the trial.

Wait, I’m sorry. This wasn’t a race issue?

Despite the fact that Zimmerman is half white, half hispanic, many in the community misidentify him as strictly white. In one case, I heard him referred to as a “Jew” due to his last name. Talk about racial profiling. The fact is that although racism is not as obvious as it had been with separate schools and water fountains, it still remains today and that bulge we swept under the carpet keeps tripping us along as we press through life. Racial stereotypes can’t disappear if we continue to perpetuate it. Rioting in response to a not guilty verdict…maybe not the most rational of responses.

In terms of law, the trial was not, in my opinion, a miscarriage of justice. The time and money wasted by the State in trying to find items that proved Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin was all for naught.  They should have spent more time developing their case and maybe then they wouldn’t have had to worry about all their witnesses flipping for the defense. Granted, it’s possible that Martin defended himself, its possible he fought Zimmerman to try to get away, its possible Zimmerman wasn’t really as hurt as he said. But we have nothing that actually contradicts the evidence that the defense had proving that Zimmerman was hurt, and there was an altercation.

Possible but not proven.

There were only two people there that night and one of them is dead. Now all we have is moldy clothing and sour-faced Zimmerman relatives.

I have sympathy for the Martin family, sympathy for the Zimmerman family. But most especially, I have sympathy for the jury whose duty it was to decide Zimmerman’s fate and ultimately, the Martin family’s fate. Do we depend on our emotions to decide one’s life or do we do what is right and use facts and evidence to make a choice? As Zimmerman heads into hiding, it’s these folks that will be the only ones left to answer for their choices.

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