George & Trayvon: Asking the Wrong Questions

One month ago a promising young life was snuffed out in a single moment, a shining smile on a bright young face wiped away by a crazed, gun toting, self appointed busy-body who chased down an innocent boy and killed him for no reason except that he was wearing a hoodie and walking in a “gated community,” right?

Now everyone is asking lots of questions; why isn’t the murderer under arrest, in jail waiting for trial?  Why is a “white Hispanic” being allowed to get away with murder?  Why is a racist allowed to cruise around toting a gun and chasing down and terrorizing innocent skittle-eating boys?  We have been shown the bright school picture of a ten year old boy as the image of the victim.  And we have been lectured to about the deep racism that runs through the “white (Hispanic?)” culture that must be dealt with. Feel bad white man, feel very guilty this was your faulty and you need to pay.

Why Lots Of People Think The Media Is Wrong About The Trayvon Martin Case

Let’s just air it out now.Increasingly the outrage over the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida is turning into a debate about what really happened.  A lot of people think there is something (or many things) wrong with the conventional story of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was shot in Florida by a man named George Zimmerman, and the national drama that has followed it.Some people don’t believe the original telling of the story in which Martin was innocently strolling home from a 7-11 back to his father’s house, when a paranoid racist neighborhood watchman profiled him, called the cops on him, and chased him before shooting and killing him, only to be let go by bumbling or racist cops.

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The problem is that the school picture is seven years old.  A few newer pictures have emerged that tell the story of a very different sort of young man and one can see that that boy had made some transformational choices in those ensuing years.  My questions come from those choices and whether they, not a citizen concerned about protecting his neighbors from robbers, weren’t the true cause of death.

The bright smiley face in the first picture is a boy you would be happy to have your daughter invite to her birthday party, he is one of the boys on your son’s soccer team, the friend who plays hours of tennis with your kids down at the park.  He’s happy and funny and he loves ice cream.  He’s a joy to be around.  The young man in the newer photos is a wanna be gangsta, he’s sporting gold covered teeth the “look” of a prosperous drug dealer, he’s wearing sagging pants and his boxers are hanging out, a look imitating prison inmates who are sending an “I’m willing” message to the other inmates.  His Twitter account reflect his attitude that school is not to be taken seriously, girls are to be used and disrespected and idleness, profanity and self absorption are the rule; chillin’,  listenin’ to CD’s and seeking sex are his main pursuits, sounding like a bad-ass is his persona.

I think the pertinent question is what happened?  Who influenced this boy with the whole world before him, opportunity waiting and within his reach, if he just applied himself, to become a gangster wannabe throwing down gang signs and trying to  make his world think he was bad?  Who made him so angry?  Who brought the darkness into his life?

It turns out that the night the “innocent young man” died may not have been quite what we first heard.  There is evidence that the crazed, gun-toting, man who was “chasing” him may have actually turned to go back to his truck, having called the police and trusting them to handle the problem, but when he got to the truck the hoodie wearing, skittle eating, stranger had circled around, he punched the man in the face (breaking his nose) and then he grabbed the man and started banging his head on the concrete.  The man cried to a neighbor to help him and then in self defense he shot the boy.  Time will tell what the truth is, what really happened that night, but the racism peddlers don’t want the real story to come out.  They want to sell their wares of hate and division.  They must convince their followers that this was a case of profiling and prejudice, disrespect and hatred even though there is no evidence of any of that.  In their ideology, working hard to provide a comfortable life and lovely home for one’s family and then being unwilling to stand idly by as someone breaks in to steal what you have worked hard for is wrong.

What happened to the happy little boy, why was he so angry, where did the anger that killed him come from and what are we going to do to save the bright little boys and girls before they choose to follow the peddlers of hate and division? I grieve for his parents, I can’t imagine their pain, but their son’s death is not the fault of another race, of economic disparity or an unjust society.  Their son died from a sick culture, an absence of God  and a vast emptiness of meaning and purpose.  We all need to join together and change what’s wrong with our culture so no more children are lost and die in the future.

We need to start asking the right questions and we need to find the answers to help a whole generation of young people find a successful future and a life full of promise and hope.


  1. Plain Old American says

    “Their son died from a sick culture, an absence of God and a vast emptiness…”

    This is the truth that must be confronted if we are ever going to have peace. The peddlers of hatred, racism and deceit are many and loud. Their message flows not only from the usual suspects, Jackson and Sharpton, but also from the mentally ill that are so paranoid of God that they knowingly lie trying desperately (albeit unsuccessfully) to convince themselves that He does not exist. I am speaking of the likes of Bill Maher and others that suffer similarly.

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