We watched and waited for the legal system to work in the case of George Zimmerman using deadly force on Trayvon Martin. There is no dispute that George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin because Trayvon fit his stereotypical profile of a young, black male. Zimmerman used a stereotype to “take charge” even after being told by police not to pursue Trayvon.
The right to self-defense first belonged to Trayvon against the aggressive actions of Zimmerman. Why did Zimmerman feel bold enough to approach a person he didn’t know? What made Zimmerman feel duty-bound to act in a situation that could result in an altercation? Did he size up Trayvon as a young man he could “take” in a fight?
It seemed obvious to me that shooting an unarmed juvenile in the heart at close range goes well beyond self-defense. With the whole world watching and knowing what Zimmerman did, the obvious is not the reality we woke up to on Sunday morning.
Even in the “Wild West” of the 19th century, shooting an unarmed man was murder. If you’ve ever watched Matt Dillon, Wyatt Earp and movies about the Western frontier, using a gun to kill an unarmed man even in a bar brawl was murder.
Race is a factor in the legal system that’s become our reality in the 21st century. Is that not obvious?