George Zimmerman was found not guilty in court, and the verdict has left a lot of Americans feeling angry. Social media was abuzz in the days following the verdict, protests and vigils took place all over America, and more importantly, Trayvon Martin’s family was denied justice for the murder of their son.
Make no mistake – George Zimmerman got away with murder. Whether justified as he claimed or not, Zimmerman took it upon himself to end the life of another human being. To say that Zimmerman took the law into his own hands shows a gross misunderstanding of the incident. Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator to remain in his vehicle and not approach Martin. He defied that and approached an unarmed teenager who was not breaking any law, instigated a confrontation, and killed Trayvon Martin. The police were on their way to investigate the possibility of wrongdoing, but George Zimmerman took that opportunity away from them. He didn’t help the law, he made a mockery of it.
For those claiming that race didn’t play a role in this because George Zimmerman is Hispanic, that is, quite simply, an ignorant argument to make. Again, the 911 call proved that Zimmerman was angry about an African American teenager walking down his block, and according to Zimmerman’s own words, people like Martin “always get away.”
But there’s a reason this became a national story that goes beyond a murder. The reason we talked about it was because of the Stand Your Ground laws that allowed Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin. Stand Your Ground laws that are being pushed by organizations like ALEC all over the country, and supported by right wing politicians.
Trayvon Martin’s family has several legal avenues ahead of them that they can pursue, but there is only one mechanism in place to stop another Stand Your Ground murder, and that is YOU, the voter. You can educate yourself about who ALEC supports, which politicians are in bed with them, and what they plan to do to your state if elected. You can show up at the polls and vote out extremist politicians who believe that murder is okay. The solution to this problem is YOU. If you choose not to act, then don’t become indignant when the next murder happens.