Vol. 8    No. 14
JULY 11, 2013

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                   The Verdict
Healthy Soul Cooking
Chef Rod Ladson Cooks for Health and
Good Taste
During a week in which I was fighting a nasty summer cold that seems to linger and linger and linger, I had
one eye on the George Zimmerman trial down in Florida. As the trial progressed, I surely thought that George
Zimmerman would be found guilty.

Here was a kid, Trayvon Martin, coming back from the store to a house he was staying at with his father in a
gated community in central Florida. Zimmerman noticed Martin walking and it appeared to Zimmerman that
“this guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking
around, looking about" and "looking at all the houses."

Now Martin may have indeed been looking at all of the houses, but that isn’t a criminal activity. Martin might
have been amazed at the difference between these houses and the houses in his Miami-area community.
When I was that age, I remember walking in the rain and enjoying the sensation. There could have been all
kinds of things going through Martin’s head as he walked back to the residence where he was staying.

But Zimmerman attributed negative motivations to Martin and he did so because Martin was Black, pure and
simple. Martin wasn’t doing anything criminal, but Zimmerman called the police from his vehicle and the police
told Zimmerman to stay in his vehicle and the police would send a squad over to check out the situation.
Zimmerman did not stay in his vehicle and closed the distance between Martin and him on a rainy, dark night
in Florida. Now Martin was from the city and when someone approaches you in the dark, you don’t assume
that it is a social call. Here is this big guy approaching you and you automatically become defensive. How did
Zimmerman get so close to Martin and why when he was told to back off? At what point does Martin have
the right to defend himself against someone who was following him in the dark?

As a Black man, is he supposed to be totally submissive while this stranger accosts him? What are his rights
to self-defense? After all, Martin hadn’t entered Zimmerman’s property or the property of anyone else who
lived in the complex. He was totally within his rights. And then Zimmerman got up close to him, a fight
ensued, Martin got the upper hand and Zimmerman pulled out his weapon and shot Martin dead.

The danger in this whole situation was totally in the mind of Zimmerman until he accosted Martin. I can’t help
but feel there was some racial tripping going on here. A group of young Black men going home from playing
basketball might cause some Euro-Americans to cross the street rather than pass them on the sidewalk
because the Euro-Americans are afraid of the image of young Black men and not by anything that the young
men are doing in the present.

So I knew this all week and I am thinking that Zimmerman will be convicted of something. But then they
allowed Martin’s use of marijuana to be entered into evidence and I am wondering what that is about. Doesn’t
marijuana make people mellow? I have never seen its use linked to acts of violence. So what did that have to
do with anything except create an image in the jurors’ minds of a drug-taking Black man who was therefore
prone to violence? What does that really have to do with the violent situation that occurred?

And when the jury asked for clarification of what the components of a manslaughter charge were, I was
thinking, ‘Okay, they are deliberating between second degree murder and manslaughter, but a conviction on
some charge is imminent. And I was thinking that it would take them a better part of the weekend, if not
longer, to come back with a verdict.

And so, I was quite surprised to see an e-mail come from the NAACP late Saturday night saying that
Zimmerman had been acquitted. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I was in total shock because it was clear to
me that George Zimmerman was the armed aggressor in this incident and had disobeyed the directives of
the police. Say it ain’t so.

The NAACP immediately called for the federal government to take up this case as a civil rights case and are
now circulating a petition through their website,
www.naacp.org.

Whatever happened to Trayvon Martin’s right to walk unmolested through a complex where he had a right to
be? People always talk about victim’s rights. What about Trayvon’s?