April 18, 2012
When Will the True Story Be Revealed?
People never want to know about tragedy when it happens, especially when it relates to black youth in America. The infamous Trayvon Martin story down in Florida drew massive attention, inspiring the type of controversy around the nation that helped make “racial profiling” and “stop-and-frisk” household phrases. Florida’s “stand your ground” law has been used as a defense in many cases where unarmed people were shot and killed by frightened shooters who feared for their personal safety. However, studies are now showing that this law is being used disproportionately against minority youths who are predominantly black and Hispanic in ethnicity. In this particular case, Martin was a seventeen-year-old black male walking home from a convenience store situated near a gated community in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer of mixed white-and-Hispanic heritage, shot and killed young Martin. This unfortunate act was committed by Zimmerman as a direct result of racial profiling; he stated to police that Trayvon looked suspicious because of his oversized hooded sweatshirt worn over his dark-skinned complexion. It is a sad testament to the daily life of some Americans who are stereotyped because of what they look like, as opposed to the content of their character. Many lessons can be learned from the Trayvon Martin case. One is that clearly, young black men simply cannot wear what they want to wear. Otherwise, they are in danger of scaring white people and being murdered in cold blood. Another lesson is that the media, like it or not, is going to report on whatever they want, regardless of what the actual truth may be. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, police officers are free to profile whenever and whomever they please, regardless of agency procedure. These lessons may not be the most politically-correct, but the reality of...