Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Cowardice of Communities


One point that has been overlooked in the George Zimmerman case has been the fact that the incident took place in a gated community, where Trayvon Martin was not a resident. I've lived in gated communities before, which I'm sure many of you have, and in all those communities there are "No Trespassing" signs. Obviously, Mr. Martin was trespassing, and any member of the community has the right to ask him why his is there, especially the Neighborhood Watch.

But the part that gets me the most is that when George Zimmerman called for help (as alleged by a witness), no one came to his aid. "Don't worry, I'll call the police," doesn't cut it. Tell your wife to call the police and break up the altercation, or at very least, scream at the guy until he hears you. The police can take forever to respond, as I'm sure Mr. Zimmerman knows, and by that time he would be unconscious, and quite possibly dead.

That's the problem with losing consciousness during a fight--you are at the mercy of the other person. The truth is, most times people don't know when to stop fighting, and can put a person in the hospital, and at times, kill them. Zimmerman may have felt it was his last resort and shot the guy--not from far away like the press initially wanted us to believe, but up close. Did he do it to kill Mr. Martin? No, it was to make the pain go away, and a broken nose can feel like death.

In the end, I do not blame Mr. Zimmerman for taking the actions that he did, especially when the rest of Trayvon Martin's profile comes to light (beating up a bus driver, frequent drug use including traces of marijuana found in his system, a love of fighting which allegedly got him suspended from school, racist remarks, embracing the thug life style, possession of burglary tools, etc). Seriously, how many times have any of you gotten in a fight with a bus driver or a member of the neighborhood watch? Those aren't the actions of a productive member of society, and they will likely land you in jail.

It's a shame that people would rather cower in their houses and bury their heads in the sand when a fight breaks out in their neighborhood. This also reminds me of an incident at the Philadelphia McDonald's involving two black youths beating up a transvestite. When no one did anything (except film the altercation), an old lady stepped forward and tried to help the victim. Yes, an old lady was the only one with the balls to do what was right. Are our morals dying with our elder generations?

If someone would have stood up against the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman confrontation or at least voiced their displeasure, the beating would likely have stopped and no one would have been shot. But hindsight is 20/20, and ultimately both parties lost. Although I was not there, I can't imagine that a fight would have happened if Trayvon politely said that he was on his way to his father's house and to have a nice evening.

Is that really too much to ask? And if people want to act like thugs, why don't we stand up to their bullying?

Reclaim your communities, people, or it will be the end of your communities!