Jul 152013 278 Responses

What if Trayvon Martin was My Son?

What if Trayvon Martin was my son? What would I think of the trial? What would be my response to the verdict? How would I see things different if he wasn’t an unknown kid in Florida, but was the little boy who I rocked to sleep and the young man who I let go to the store for a snack only to never have him return?

What if George Zimmerman was my son? What would I think of the trial? The verdict? The media frenzy? How would my view be changed if it was my family rather than someone I didn’t know?

If Trayvon was my son:

  • I would be mad.
  • I would be inconsolable.
  • I would think my son was murdered.
  • Even if I thought he got in a fight, he didn’t deserve having a gun pulled on him.
  • Even if he reacted the wrong way, he was a kid getting candy, but he was treated like a criminal in his own neighborhood.

If Trayvon was my son, I would be convinced he was dead because he was black. How many white kids with hoodies get shot in their own neighborhood.

If Trayvon was my son, I would assume the criminal justice system was set against him.

If Trayvon was my son, this would be another example of what is wrong with America.

If George Zimmerman was my son:

  • I would be relieved, but angry.
  • I would be heartbroken.
  • I would say he was run over by a mob.
  • I would blame the media.
  • I would assume he was attacked and defended himself.

If George Zimmerman was my son, I would be convinced he was tried because he is Hispanic.

If George Zimmerman was my son, I would assume politicians trying to win a future election used him for their own good.

If George Zimmerman was my son, this would be another example of what is wrong with America.

But neither are my sons.

I’m half a country away, watching via television and reading a few news reports. I know a lot of the facts, but not all of them.

I have opinions, but I’m not sure they are right.

Literally one fact which I do not know could completely change my thoughts.

Yet I know what I would think if either person was my son. And neither father is completely wrong.

It’s a funny thing about truth: we are so biased by our experiences it is nearly impossible for us to know the whole truth.

Yet we are unaware of these biases so we are deceived into thinking we know it all.

So when someone disagrees with us we claim they are either ignorant or evil.

But often they are neither. Often when people disagree with us, they simply see a different part of the story which we don’t fully see.

It is our ignorance and our arrogance which labels those who disagree with us as ignorant or evil.

If we consider both sides might be partly right and partly wrong, what are the ramifications for this case:

  • If you think this has nothing to do with race and anyone who brings up race is “race-baiting,” you probably have forgotten the experiences of racism which others have faced and you can’t relate to.
  • If you think this is only about race and anyone who denies that is racist, you probably have forgotten the experiences of others and how many things have changed.

Our inability to see the other side, to understand their position, to see how others can disagree with us in a logical way, is one of the great problems in America today.

I have an opinion, but I can understand how someone can have the exact opposite opinion of me and can come to that conclusion in a very logical, reasoned, and sensible way. This is true in a variety of issues of life.

When I understand this, I can not only disagree with others but I can actually learn from those with whom I disagree. I can even, on occasion, change my mind because they are right.

Yet for as long as I think those who disagree with me are ignorant or evil, everything they say and do will confirm my opinion. I will demonize them and become more sure of my own version of truth. This is dangerous.

I don’t fully know what it is like for either Trayvon Martin’s or George Zimmerman’s father, but I do know if I was either one of them my opinion about this case would be radically different than the opinion I have now. And if my opinion was different, I wouldn’t be totally wrong.

Which means: I’m not totally right.

This knowledge should bring humility, openness, ample room for others to disagree with me, and a desire to know the opinions of others to see where I might be wrong.

If this was our mindset in every issue of life, we would be much better for it.

278 Responses to What if Trayvon Martin was My Son?
  1. Allexcia Rankin Reply

    This is one of the “best opinions” I’ve heard yet on this sad situation. I think both parties probably did something wrong in this matter. Both father’s are probably right to feel like they do like you pointed out. Just sad it ended in death and got drug through the media the way it did.

  2. Donna Reply

    Very well said, Kevin!!!!

  3. Majetta Green Reply

    Words of wisdom on such a tragic event! Good job, Kevin!

  4. Misty Reply

    Wow, you just put into words what I was feeling. There is no black and white of the issue. There is no telling how much of the truth, or version of the truth from various sets of eyes, we have . Perception is colored by experience and emotion.

  5. Becky Moore Harris Reply

    What wisdom.

  6. Becky Reply

    Very well said. I too have a 17 year old son who on any day in February would have on a hoodie. Probably with it on his head. With his phone in one hand and candy in the other. I can’t fathom him being hurt much less killed. Senseless. But this statement is the best I’ve heard it put.

  7. Ruth Reply

    The media portrays Trayvon as a boy, but he was legally a man. And yet, I have an 18 year old son who is just getting his feet wet in adulthood – still more boy than man. I am thankful for the writer’s perspective on this. Mistakes made on all sides resulted in a tragedy that you can’t take back, can’t make all better with a court decision – no matter how it was decided. In our human flawed condition – the jury system is one way the founding fathers determined justice could be best decided. I feel for those 6 female jurors. They bear responsibility for the decision, knowing the potential riots that could follow. It is easy to point fingers, but it is better for we, the voyeurs in this trial, to act in such a way that leads to unity, understanding and cooperation and to ask the right questions. How do we raise our kids so that they are not eager for a fight? How do we make our neighborhoods safe through relationships rather than guns? How do we dialogue rather than point fingers?

    • Carolyn Miller Reply

      Love this so much. Be proactive, not reactive. Teach. Learn. Talk.

    • Toni Reply

      He was only 17, he was not legally a man. I like how you can refer to Trayvon as a man, yet find flexibility for the imperfections of your own son. Regardless, one father’s son is not coming back and I think that makes all the difference in how I (as a mother of an African American son in this country) view your response. I don’t appreciate it at all.

      • Karen Reply

        With all due respect I think you misunderstood the point of this. The writer is just looking at it from both fathers. peace and love

      • Wilma Reply

        Is your son perfect? Does your son do drugs? Does your son run with the wrong crowd? Does your son rob houses and has he been caught with the loot on him? Is your son headed down the wrong road with no on to steer him right and only adults who cover up his crimes? The school he was going to was helping him by hiding his crimes and making him look better in the system, this does nothing to help the child. Yes 17 is still a child until they commit a crime and then they can be charged as an adult. The school he was attending is the first ones that were wrong in this whole debacle. Most parents can’t see both the good and bad in their own kids. How much did his parents know about him? We will probably never know. We wouldn’t know as much as we do if one reporter hadn’t uncovered the truth about what he was really doing and that he wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t still just a little kid buying candy. No he didn’t deserve to die but I’m just saying he wasn’t the perfect little boy the media portrayed him to be and Zimmerman wasn’t the racist bad guy the media portrays him to be. This was a tragedy and no matter what color we are, we should know our children and talk to our children and we should be involved in their lives. This story should be used as an example but not in a negative way. God help us all to be better examples and to show love to all we encounter but especially to our families. Show how to love and not hate. Hate never solved anything and when used by evil people it can cause only more pain and only re-new the cycle of hate.

        • ken H Reply

          Wilma.at 17 my generation as were the generation that served this country in the late 60s and early 70s men.I entered the USN at 15 turned 16 in boot camp,we were treated like men because we were men in the eyes of the DI.The teens of today lack the family life that I grew up with were parents attended the evening supper and both were the ones we had to live by there rules.I said yes and no mam and sir to all adults lived by rules when broken there were punishments.not time outs but go cut a switch. Never hated either mom or pop enjoyed a good life and respected the rules we lived at home.My time in the USN was no different I lived by the blue jacket manual and the rules of the road.God help this country if what is now young produce the same generation with out a home life and parental discipline.

          • Kevin B.

            Right on Ken, the whole responsibility for how this played out and ending in death was on Trayvon who should have known better than jump into a fight over being followed on a public street by a “cracker” or any human being! Zimmerman was watching what he thought was suspicious behavior in a neighborhood where robbers had been robbing the people. Trayvon was at that age when testosterone and bad decisions too often occur. I worked in a Prison and saw many young men who made these types of bad decisions and ended up in there with messed up lives because they are not taught or do not find healthy outlets for all that testosterone. Gangsta life style mimicry is killing our youth in urban settings all over the country. Now because of all this wrong minded defense of Trayvon I am sure more will make terrible decisions because they are being convince he was unjustly killed nonsense if I were being beaten that way as a corrections officer the tower guard would shoot to kill without hesitation! George Zimmerman did not pull his gun and shoot until he was down and having been beaten enough he felt he was in danger of serious harm or death, that is totally justified and should never have gone to trial as all law enforcement on the scene had no evidence to the contrary!!
            Teach your kids to respect others and not to desire to fight first!

          • Paul S.

            Well said. I was raised in the 60’s but did not participate in most of the nonsense back then because my parents raised me to know right from wrong and also taught me that life was about choices and if you make a wrong one be person enough to try to make it right.

            At seventeen I was in the USAF. There I kept those values and learned different ones, like discipline, respect for other people no matter what color race or ethnicity, love and appreciation for my country whether right or wrong. I turned 21 in a little place called Vietnam and saw hate from both sides. Killing someone does not make you a hero you never really get over it. and I was just as sad when young Vietnamese boys and girls were killed as I was Americans.

            I appreciate what you had to say, but you are too young to remember many things. I can’t put myself in the position of either parents and it is not my right to do so. But I can put it in it in God’s hands and know hat He will always do what is right. The thing that bothered be the most was the media and their prospective of both parties. And having been in the law for 17 years, and I love the law, and getting out of it was very difficult. Watching the Judge, the attorneys, and listening to all the pundits was very, very sad to me. And to see hate from both sides was saddening. There are those who make almost a vocation to keep bigotry alive and well and yet have the arrogance and audacity to call themselves “Reverend”.

            We have taken God out of so many things that we are now reaping the results. It reminds me of the last verse of Judges “In those days there was no God in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes”.

            Let’s lay our opinions and preconceptions aside, and learn to love and respect one another.

        • Marc Reply

          Trayvon’s death had nothing to do with whether he was perfect or what crowd he ran with. What a terrible thing to say in light of this tragedy. Regardless, Wilma, most parents I know, mine included, do not base their love for their children on how much of a model adolescent they are; I sure hope you don’t counsel parents on family love. Your comment is heartless. As you stated, “God help us all…to show love to all we encounter but especially our families,” and don’t judge a dead 17 year old kid you never met except through the media’s portrayal and what you wanted to hear.

          • Paul S.

            I fail to see how your response should be viewed any different than Wilma’s, Marc. You seem to suffer from hearing what you want to hear. Calling Wilma heartless probably comes from you simply disagreeing with her. Reread the author’s article hear to gain more insight.

          • Paul S.

            **here…not “hear”.
            ** “Suffer from hearing what you want to hear in the media” is what I meant by that somewhat confusing line. Sorry for not proofing.

          • kevin b.

            Marc, frankly did you read her comment in full? She was not being heartless rather she was making some very solidly good points. I often wonder is the modern person losing comprehension skills? Is the processed foods we eat dulling our reading skills? Either you failed in the read or you are mixing some inner dialogue into her comment, or I missed her comment were there two made by Wilma?

          • Marc

            Paul S. and kevin b…I read the article. I agree with alot of the article. What I do not agree with is Wilma’s unnecessary comments about the character of Trayvon Martin who she does not know. She’s judging him based on exactly what she claims failed us in our knowledge of this 17 year old kid. Per the article, her comments have no basis. She was simply blurting out judgments she has made in the course of this trial, and if I may have an opinion of those comments, I think it’s heartless to throw him under the bus for how she perceives him even if it was “gangsta lifestyle mimcry”(kevin b.), whatever that is. She has the right to say what she wants, though. Kevin b., maybe you should re-read her comment, and also, re-read the article. Might I remind you the article is talking about being open to hearing the other side. THIS (the opening to your comment), “Right on Ken, the whole responsibility for how this played out and ending in death was on Trayvon who should have known better than jump into a fight over being followed on a public street by a “cracker” or any human being!…” might be evidence that you are a modern person eating too many processed foods. No one saw what happened leading up to Trayvon being shot dead. Kevin b., you know that, right?

          • Teri

            Marc, I think you had a great reply to Wilma. Sorry others did not think you “got” it. Obviously you did. George was the adult, he should have conducted himself as such. I saw nothing other than a wanna-be cop thinking he had the right to put this “punk” in his place. Had he just stayed in his truck like he was told to do, there would be no death, no story.

        • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

          Wilma,

          Finally, someone who states the truth about Trayvon. If Trayvon were my son, I would have done everything I possibly could to make sure he stayed away from the life of crime and drugs he was already into and getting sucked in deeper by the day. I would not have covered for him, shied away from reality or made excuses for him. If I heard that a Neighborhood Watch volunteer had spotted him looking into the windows of houses at night in the rain, after he had already been caught with stolen jewelery from a local burglary, then attacked that same Neighborbood Watchman, I would be hurt and angry that I had failed to reach my son. And if I did not know that he was doing any/all of those things, I would know I had to reevaluate how I am carrying out my role as a father.

          This touchy-feely attempt at moral equivalence serves no one except perhaps the author. The best thing we can teach our children is to love God, by accepting the love He showed us in giving us His Son. Paired with this is the love of Truth.

          If I were Trayvon’s father, I would put an end to the rapidly growing racial divide, and I would publicly chastize the race hustlers who are trying to use this case to stir unrest, all for their own glorification.

          I would make an effort to demonstrate the integrity and character I had obviously failed to teach my son.

          As it is, perhaps the fact that we are not seeing this behavior from Trayvon’s father tells us what we need to know as to why his son was leading the life he was…

          • Kevin A. Thompson

            David, as a pastor I see a variety of situations. To blame the parents in a specific situation is highly unfair. I’ve seen great parents have kids who made horrible decisions. One bad decision can lead to a life they never expected. I’m not saying that is the case with Trayvon, but am saying your response is highly insensitive and does not match the reality I see on a daily basis. It would be great if only bad parenting led to bad kids and vice versa, but the truth is much more complicated than that.

          • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe)

            Kevin, as a pastor, you should realize by now that the truth is sometimes, in fact often, insensitive. I understand that there are circumstances beyond the control of parents that affect the outcome of their children. What I am pointing out is the empirical evidence of the current situation. We are one spark away from an all-out race war. All it will take is one incident where a Trayvon protestor assaults a White person who shoots and kills in self-defense. If I were Trayvon’s father, watching this volatile situation build around the death of my son, it would occur to me that I do not want the death of my son to be Ground Zero for nationwide violence. There have already been several attacks, racially motivated, in the name of Trayvon Martin, both before and since the verdict. Riots. I personally have received death threats for standing up for Zimmerman’s innocence.

            Contrast this situation with the father of Rachel Scott in the aftermath of Columbine. The injustice of that situation completely blows the Trayvon Martin case off of the radar. Instead of allowing all the different groups to use his daughter’s murder to advance divisive agendas, he spoke of forgiveness, and how to move forward. He stood up and spoke for the God his daughter loved so deeply, and prayed that God would use her death to call others like his daughter’s killers to himself. And he spoke of the need for parents to be more deeply involved in the lives of their children. He spoke with compassion, but he spoke the truth.

            You are free to ridicule my delivery, but do not lose the message. I stand by my comment: the fact that Trayvon’s father is allowing this unrest to simmer without making any public effort to come forward and turn down the heat as we approach a weekend that is slated to be filled with more riots and violence speaks volumes. It is a part of a culture that has grown accustomed and emboldened by those who make excuses for them instead of holding us all to the same standards of personal integrity and responsibility, and until he shows otherwise, Trayvon’s father is endorsing this culture by his complicity.

            You stepped up and stated your perspective of how you would FEEL if you were Trayvon’s father. I am taking that to another level, and talking about what I would DO. Am I being unfair? Was this whole fiasco fair to Zimmerman, who stepped up to perform a service to his community? Was it fair to the jogger in Mississippi who was pulled into a vehicle by 3 Black men and beaten, then dumped on the road, all for Trayvon? Are the store owners and businesses in all of the US cities who are recovering from the first wave of riots being treated fairly? What about the woman here in Houston who was taking her 7 year-old granddaughter to the hospital to be treated for a medical emergency, who was first blocked on Hwy 288, then attacked in her vehicle by Trayvon Martin rioters/protestors – was that fair?

            As Trayvon’s father, I would come to grips with this one reality: his child chose not to call police; not to stay home; but to go back and attack the creepy-ass cracka who was following him. It had to occur to him that Zimmerman may be armed, but he went after him anyway. That was his choice. The people who are suffering in the aftermath of the just verdict are not choosing to be attacked and have their businesses, homes and person molested or destroyed. Trayvon’s father could have a juge voice in bringing about healing. He is not using it. As I said, that speaks volumes.

          • Felicia

            David, you are a racist. Stop hiding behind religion, put your hooded white sheet on in public. You love to hate African Americans more than you could ever love God. Your narrative makes that clear, so stop faking and be the overt racist that you are. Your comments have little to do with what you would do as the father of a murdered child, you simply used this platform to talk about how much you hate Black people and to create fear about crimes that are allegedly committed by them. Pathetic! Why is it so difficult for you to just be who you are – a racist, plain and simple. Don’t try and use the word of God as some type of moral high ground for your hate. God knows your heart any way, so you can stop pretending.

          • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe)

            Felicia,

            You calling me a racist only illustrates your own ignorance both as to the meaning of the word as well as the basic points I was illustrating. I will not return the favor of your personal attack. God bless.

        • Chriss Reply

          I believe Zimmerman’s father, the former judge, was accused of getting his son out of trouble without having him pay the consequences.

        • Felicia Reply

          Wilma, your response is appallingly predictable and disheartening. A perfect display of white privilege and ignorance. When you finish raking a dead “child” over the coals, please pause to take a close look at your own family and friends. Do they all live up the the pristine expectations you have for Trayvon Martin? The children in your family have never broke curfew, told a lie, skipped a class, etc. Therefore, they must be perfect citizens and thus deserve to live long happy lives. If you truly want God’s help to show love and not hate, I suggest you sincerely enter into prayer and ask God to show you how to do that and how to model that love to others. As it stands now, your comments reveal a pious, self righteous, perspective that imply Trayvon Martin was a bad “man” that needed to die. Your comments appear intended to disparage the murdered child and justify the taking of a life. I wonder how you’d feel if it were a member of YOUR family?

      • Jonathan Reply

        I think you missed Ruth’s point. Though she was incorrect in saying Trayvon was legally a man, as he was only 17. Her point, I believe, is that he was neither wholly boy or wholly man. As she knows from her 18 year old son, they don’t become an adult over night, they still stumble and make mistakes.

      • katie Reply

        Its sad no matter how you look at it. My 16 year old wears hoodies all the time and is white. White/ Black/Asian etc. Makes no difference. There were 2 people there. One has to live with himself for the rest of his life and that won’t be easy for him. The other doesn’t have a chance to grow into a man. If at 15 a boy can commit a crime and be called a man and do a mans time or even at 17 a boy can be called man if he did a certain crime. Then Mr. Martin can be called a man as well.

        • kevin B. Reply

          Katie that was solid Wisdom from what I would venture to say is a good mom! I bet you teach your Son personal responsibility for his actions. God Bless You and Yours.

      • Miss Reply

        Please read my post with an open mind, I don’t think you understood what the writer was trying to say. Reread it, one thing -he didn’t say Trayvon was a legal man, but a young man, which I use to refer to my 17 year old son a lot. Although, I am not sure what the idea of him being a legal man has anything to do with your statement of imperfections. We are ALL imperfect with MANY flaws. He wasn’t criticizing either person or praising either. The point of this article is that we ALL love our own children and never want them to pass before we do, but we need to look at awful incident with open eyes to attempt to understand each sides view.

      • Free Mind Reply

        I so agree with you Toni…I find it amazing how many Whites will often refer to Blacks as being adults at 17 while saying their 17 year old are kids….

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          I’m not sure that is a race issue. I’m sure every person sees their child as a child for a much longer time than they see someone else’s child as a child. I’m sure the Wisconsin lineman we are recruiting which I see as a man is still seen as a little boy by his parents.

      • Wanderingi Reply

        Toni, I felt that disconnect, too. “Trayvon…, legally a man. And…[my son] more boy than man.” And I didn’t like it, either. Then, I read right on over it.
        After reading your reply, I am aware of our different reactions as being one more example of my “white privilege.” My two sons are not in the same danger as your’s or other sons of color. – and my reaction to Ruth’s mistake was feeling regret for “those” parents, and not personally.
        Thank you for posting so I can continue to become more and more aware of that difference – and what to do about it. We have so much to learn… I

        • LBerg Reply

          Wanderingi, you and Toni both misunderstood what Ruth was trying to say. She meant that even though Trayvon could be tried in the court of law as a man , like her son, he probably still acted like a boy. Furthermore, as a minority, I beg you to get over your white guilt. While it may come from a good place, your pity only hurts my kind. I may not have grown up with your economical or social advantages, but I’m just as capable as you.

    • Michael Jirka Reply

      Very well said, Ruth. I was also not the model child and my parents would feel the same way if I were killed in some of my antics but others might have said that I was “asking for a confrontation” and got what I deserved. Luckily, I wasn’t caught blowing up mailboxes with a cherry bomb as a teenager and a disgruntled farmer never shot at me out of frustration. Now I’m the geezer and I try to forgive my neighbors kids for showing “youthful exuberance” (or defiance) when they aren’t model children.

    • Sharon Hagemann Reply

      Teach all your children respect. When as a young child they talk back to adults—-correct them. You don’t have to beat them, correct them. It is a hard job with very little payback, but if more parents would just try to return to the old standards maybe just maybe we could see a difference. Everyone needs to just stop pulling the race card as a first defense. Don’t make excuses because of it. Some men seem to think it makes them a man to father a child. What makes you a man is to raise that child. Teach your children respect, please.

    • Mimi Reply

      He just turned 17 earlier in the month of his death–he was not even close to legally being a man. I get your point that even if he was an adult, he would have been a young adult. I don’t know if the laws are at fault or if the prosecutor just did a lousy job presenting their case. I do know that when a 17 year old is targeted and harassed because he is a black male wearing a hoodie in a white neighborhood and is treated in a fashion where a reasonable person treated the same would think their safety was in jeopardy (being stalked by a person in a car who then parks the car and gets out to physically confront them) I would expect that the kid is likely to act out in an attempt to protect himself. We don’t know who threw the first punch or who was on who. But then the same stalker who intimidated the kid pulls a gun and shoots the kid, and then walks without even so much as a manslaughter or reckless homicide conviction their is a profound injustice. my white son wears hoodies all the time and always has. Trayvon, his brother and father were visiting his fathers girlfriend at the gated community. The brother, 13, asked for a pack of skilttles. Trayvon went to get them. While there he bought a can of tea. he dug for the change to pay for it and looked for some other snacks while he was there. Then he walked back to the house with his hood up because it was raining lightly. He wasn’t peering into windows. He wasn’t peering into car windows. He wasn’t yelling and being disruptive. He wasn’t displaying a weapon. He was peacefully walking back to a place that he had every reason to be walking to. He then saw a car following him slowly. He was speaking to a friend on a cell phone. He told her about it. He was scared. Then the driver parked the car and approached him. They exchanged words and a few minutes later Trayvon was dead. Getting skittles for your brother isn’t a death sentence, but when vigilantes are involved it is. That’s a crime. When our laws and our courts do not protect a barely 17 year old from being shot do death when they are only walking home peacefully then we have failed as a society.

      • LBerg Reply

        Mimi, it sounds like you where there and witnessed the entire thing? I have to ask. Did you even read this article?

    • filthy rag servant (@filtyragservant) Reply

      To address your ‘how do we’ questions, which are good questions but the answer is not what the world wants to hear. In order to even begin to correct the ‘how do we’ situations, we’d have to go back to the past…..make our children aware of GOD. This makes for having a conscience and moral standards; this makes for more love in our hearts than hate or envy or strife; this makes for an awareness of other people, more so than ourselves; this makes for more honesty among one another…..to me that is a start. But this won’t happen because we have taken GOD out of everything!

    • Jack Reply

      I’m sorry but where in our country is a 17 year legally a man?

    • Latanya Marshall Reply

      Trayvon was a boy, he was two past 16yrs old.

  8. Dale Reply

    This is a very good account and I salute you Kevin.I only know what I have read in the media concerning the case.That knowledge is not enough to give an opinion.But I have 3 sons and I understand the feelings that would surface if faced with this situation.

  9. jeanne Reply

    you forgot one thing……someone knew the truth……but he didn’t take the stand to tell it….why not?…only conclusion I can draw is that it was in his best interest not to tell all of us what happened.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Or he didn’t need to. He spoke to the police several times and that was already on record. I assume his lawyers knew the state didn’t prove its case so there was no reason for him to testify.

      • Brian Davis Reply

        A good attorney NEVER puts his client on if the state has a poor case. Why would you put your client on if you knew the state’s case was weak? The Constitution also protects that right.

        • Toni Reply

          But it doesn’t mean that what Zimm did was justified or even right. He was found not guilty, but that does not mean that he is innocent. I suspect that if any of our son’s were really Trayvon, remember he was the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by a man who was told to stay in his car and is not ever coming back, we might be at a loss to display all the logic and understanding. It’s a nice sentiment, but I whole heartedly think you (Kevin) missed the mark by trying to conflate the two individuals as equal in their misdeeds.

          • Kevin A. Thompson

            Toni, I wasn’t trying to equal the two in their misdeeds. I was trying to show how different my opinion would be if I was the father of one of the people. Read the article again, it has little to do with the case and much to do with how we live our lives.

          • Miss

            Toni,

            Please read my post with an open mind, I don’t think you understood what the writer was trying to say based on your earlier post & this one. Reread it, one thing -he didn’t say Trayvon was a legal man, but a young man, which I use to refer to my 17 year old son a lot. Although, I am not sure what the idea of him being a legal man has anything to do with your statement of imperfections. We are ALL imperfect with MANY flaws. He wasn’t criticizing either person or praising either. The point of this article is that we ALL love our own children and never want them to pass before we do, but we need to look at awful incident with open eyes to attempt to understand each sides view.

          • Kyle Taylor

            Toni you should reread this post because you obviously missed the point. There is no right or wrong opinion. Its just that an opinion. It really doesn’t matter whether or not you appreciate this post but its your opinion so its as valid as my opinion that zimm deserves to be free and that our judicial system actually got one right, but that’s my opinion.

          • Free Mind

            Trayvon’s killer is not innocent.He will always be a coward that stalked and killed a child. In America,it’s very difficult for Whites to admit that Blacks can be victims because they don’t want to go back to when Blacks first became victims in this country.

            No one can make me believe that these same Whites would be singing a different tune if Trayvon was Tucker the white boy that got killed by Trayvon’s killer.

          • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe)

            So tired of this ignorant narrative. GZ was not told to stay in his car. He was not even ordered not to follow. The 911 dispatch cannot order you not to do something that is otherwise legal. Besides that, what he said was, “Are you following him?” GZ: “Yeah.” Operator: “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.” GZ: “Okay…”

            There is no evidence that Zimmerman ran at any time on the 911 audio. He was outside his vehicle, and after the 911 operator asked him, “Did you see where he went?” Zimmerman tried to look to see where Martin had gone.

            Furthermore, if you listen to the tape, it is obvious that GZ had no idea where Martin was – whether he had run off and escaped or if he was still lurking in the area. When dispatch asks for Zimmerman’s address, he gives it, then says he does not want to give that out because he does not know where this kid is.

            TM had a good 2 minutes to go less than 100 yards to his home. Evidence suggests he went there, then came back. Even if that is not true, the fact remains that GZ had lost TM, and he was walking back to his truck when he hung up the phone. Within seconds, Trayvon jumps Zimmerman. That was the FIRST, and ONLY illegal act that took place between them.

            You may not agree with Zimmerman’s actions, but that does not justify getting jumped. As people on both sides of the issue have stated, both had a right to be there. If Trayvon was scared, that is understandable, but it does not excuse his actions. He had not a single wound on him until Zimmerman was forced to shoot him. He sucker-punched Zimmerman, knocking him to the ground, then launched a prolonged attack that included a beating lasting over 45 seconds, and there is no evidence that Zimmerman was able to defend himself. Again, no wounds on Martin until the gunshot. The attack culminated in Martin repeatedly pounding Zimmerman’s head into the concrete. There is no evidence that TM would have stopped until Zimmerman was no longer moving.

            Finally, remember that such injury is not necessary to prove self-defense. If someone is coming at you and it is apparent to you, within reason, that they intend to do you severe bodily harm, that justifies lethal force. You do not have to wait and see if they are really serious.

            To ramble on about what Zimmerman should have done differently without looking at both sides is to fail to see the true situation for what it was.

        • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

          A good attorney also does not put his client on the stand when the prosecution has not only failed to fulfill its burden of proof, but has also already aired his client’s video testimony, which voiced Zimmerman’s story quite well. That was the prosecution’s blunder. I am not attorney, but they should have held out the video testimony, and used it as a possible rebuttal against Zimmerman. If their intention was to show inconsistencies in his testimony, they have a far better chance to trip him up during a live cross-examination, then using the video testimony as evidence to show Zimmerman as inconsistent.

          By playing Zimmerman’s testimony during the prosecution’s turn to make their case, they provided the jury with Zimmerman’s testimony without the dangers of being exposed to cross-examination.

          Zimmerman not testifying is most certainly no indication of guilt, or even of a bad case. It was the wisest decision. To have put him on the stand at that point would have been legal malpractice.

      • J. Moran Reply

        As a pastor myself, why are you Kevin A. Thompson, commenting on either side. You out of all people should be impartial and prayerful for those who are on this page commenting out of their flesh and not the spirit. I am saddened that you have made the choice to even make a point about anything. The only thing I have been doing is praying for folks…and now I will pray for you as well.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          J. Moran,
          Thanks for reading. A few questions:
          Which comment did you not like? When did you feel I lost my impartiality? Why is it out of line to make a point about anything? And what about my comments caused you to stop praying and to make a point directed at me?
          I’m intrigued.

    • coachjones3 Reply

      Now this is the best and least acknowledged fact I have read to date.
      Three know the truth; one is dead, one didn’t testify and GOD who is the only righteous Judge.

      • Dyer Reply

        Amen! If Zimmerman is lying and guilty of a crime I fully believe what comes around goes around. Everything in this world happens for a reason. Just open your eyes and pay attention and you will see for yourself! God is the final judge!

      • Katherine Conway Del Conte Reply

        Amen! My soul cries over this loss of life.

    • Bob Reply

      @ Jeanne, and due the 5th, he did not have to say anything. the best witness on the offense turned out to be the best witness for the defense. The writer had valid points made for both sides, which is more than the media and the courts are doing for GZ. I have taught my kids to be tolerant and openminded to all people and to have respect. I believed trayvon felt put off by that “creepy ass cracker” that he went back and confounded George and was the aggressor in the fight. Evidence proves George was on the ground and was having his face and head smashed in. If he didn’t have a weapon, what we would be talking about if trayvon had killed him. I also wonder who taught trayvon to call white people, “cracka” who cordoned or supported his marijuana habit. he was in that community due to his third suspension. we can go on and on tearing both sides apart. I accept the jurys verdict and I’m not looting because I disagree with it.

    • Susan A Davis (@sad4454) Reply

      They had him on tape numerous times repeating the same thing. He was advised by counsel not to take the stand your life is in their hands you follow there direction.That does not make him guilty.

  10. Janice Reply

    Before you blog get the facts straight. He wasn’t in his own neighborhood, he lived in Miami. He was visiting Orlando with his father and was staying at Dad’s girlfriends. The reason he could come with Dad in the first place was that he was suspended from school for fighting. This was a tragic incident there is no doubt about that. Mistakes were made by all. But your statement that he was “treated like a criminal in his own neighborhood” is wrong. This all happened just ten miles from my home so I have “lived the trial” for the last year.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Janice, two thoughts: 1) as a kid when I was staying at someone’s house, they always told me to act like I was at home so I’m sure that is what Trayvon was doing; 2) the wording over it being his neighborhood does not change the basic meaning of the blog. Forget the sentence you don’t like and give it a second chance. There is a larger message at play.

      • G Reply

        Like!!!

      • Rick Reply

        Really Kevin? Because people told you as a kid to make yourself at home you are “SURE” that is what Trayvon was doing? There is no nexus to your extrapolation.

        However, taking your logic though that Trayvon was acting like he did at home, one would have to consider his propensity for fighting at home, for using racial slurs at home and on social media, for being in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia at school and home, for using marijuana at home (which was in his system and might explain the odd behavior Zimmerman described on the 911 call), for having text messages indicating his actions as an illegal gun broker, etc.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          Nice use of extrapolation.

          For my thoughts on “racial slurs,” please see my post from today: http://www.kevinathompson.com/just-because-you-can-doesnt-mean-i-should/

        • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

          Excellent point, Rick. Why Kevin brings up “racial slurs” is beyond me. There is a video on YouTube taken off of Trayvon’s phone where he and his friends beat on a homeless man. That was Trayvon at home. He was a big time drug user, and he had been caught with stolen women’s jewelry in his locker, along with burglary tools. Suspended ten days for graffitti? Not buying that. But how any of this has to do with his race is pure nonsense.

          • Kevin A. Thompson

            David, I’ve misunderstood something. Was this referencing me?

      • David Reply

        Hi Kevin,

        When I was a kid staying at someone else’s house, I was always taught to be on my BEST behavior and treat their home better than my own. That my behavior reflected on my family and if I chose poorly I would embarrass them.

        I’m not saying that to be contradictory to what you’re saying; it’s how I was raised and I’d be surprised if you didn’t have a similar lesson from your parents informing your behavior.

        Dave

        • ron Reply

          so true this same thing was passed on to me as i grew up and as a father of 4 children have passed these same words on to my children . but there was just a little more added in when i went to somes home i knew that i would be treated the same as there chuldren even if it meant getting my butt tore up . heres the kicker to that though i also knew that if that happened i didnt want to go home in fear that i when i got there no questions asked i would get the same butt whippen from my father for embarresment. bottom teach respect and demand respect

    • eboni (@hisgirlmtm69) Reply

      So what exactly are you saying because he wasn’t”at home” he deserved to be gunned down like an animal in the street. .. gz had a bullet in the chamber waiting he baited a 17 year old kid he knew the laws and what he had to do to prove self defense common sensejust aain’t common… if that was your baby I wonder would you feel the same way

      • Karen Reply

        That is the point..if it was his child how would he feel. and if Zimmerman were your child how would you feel.

      • Gregg Reply

        And if the races were reversed, I wonder if YOU would feel the same way. My guess is no.

      • Dyer Reply

        Gunned down, what incident are you referring to?

      • Greg Reply

        Eboni – Zimmerman “baited” Martin? Are you THAT ignorant??? “Baited” how? With some Skittles???

    • Ann Reply

      Janice, unless Trayvon were alive you will never have “all the facts” in this case. You have one man’s version of the truth who happened to be the one with the gun. You will always only have half of the facts.

      • G Reply

        Like!!!

    • Tessa Reply

      Why wouldn’t you consider it his neighborhood? It was his father’s residence, right? When parents divorce, children usually spend time at both residences. I would argue that children of divorced parents have two homes, and I’m certain good parents would want them to feel that way. The larger point is that Trayvon Martin was not in the area illegally. He was staying with his father, and the author of this blog was speaking from his father’s perspective.

      • sandra Reply

        Like

    • Free Mind Reply

      It was his neighborhood because while he was visiting his father,that is where he stayed.

      I’m sick of “perfect” people like you that constantly bring up the fact that Trayvon got in trouble in school yet you are quiet on the criminal record of Trayvon’s killer.He assaulted a police officer and his wife and a niece has stated he abused her for years,so get off your “horse of judgment”…..

      You’re not Black so you don’t know a thing about the nuances of what Blacks experience and see as it pertain to dealing with mass generalizations. you are just another outsider to our race that try to ‘dismiss our experiences’ in a country that have always thought of my people as 3/5ths human. Blacks have never been welcomed here….

      • LBerg Reply

        Your mind is anything but free. I’m hispanic. I grew up in the eighties. I know racism all too well. However times have changed. It now seems like open season for white people. Racism of any kind is wrong. As far as your comment about being only 3/5 of a human to white people, I disagree. 91% of black people killed were killed by other black people. As far as GZ, you’re facts again are wrong. The charges were dropped by his wife as she admitted she took things out of hand. He did assault a police officer. Know why? That police officer was beating a black homeless man. Those charges were also dropped. Take the advise of this author and open your mind. For own sake. The victim mentality works for no one.

  11. Carlotta Reeves Reply

    If all the protesters would use their voices and their actions to make a difference with the young people in this country ….we would see progress. Screaming, hollering and rioting does nothing. Step up and be a role model for young people……stop listening to prejudiced news media that only stir up trouble. Be the example of all that is good and kind in this country….there are so many wonderful kids in this country, we need to hear about them. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

    • Karen Reply

      Amen! Maybe if the media didn’t constantly portray young men in hoodies as dangerous, zimmerman would not have overreacted and this would not have happened.

    • Debbie Faber Reply

      The majority of people are protesting peacefully, trying to make their voices heard, trying to make a difference. Only a very few are “rioting.” The question is, will anyone listen?

    • Ediee Reply

      It is a really strange thing — We are almost 100% of the time treated the way we treat others and the attitude we project is the attitude that is reflected back to us. I smile at you, you smile at me.
      It was once said “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Old concept but surely still valid.

      • Maw L Reply

        I agree. It’s sad that most parents pass their racism on to their children and this continues the cycle. So if Trayvon or George were racist, their parents are to blame.

  12. rejmesser Reply

    I do not say this as a slight, but Mr. Thompson you are ignorant of what transpired. You do not understand the historical or current culture that created the situation in Florida. You assume that mutual understanding is lacking, but it is not… at lease not for blacks. “You” only need know the rules of society. But as a blacks we have to learn the rules of society, the “over-culture” and the rules for how society views us. I don’t fault you for this as the majority of our culture is oblivious to the multitiered nature of our culture.

    The issue is not race, it is classism, or racial-classim to be exact. Racism is simply classism, color coded in order that the simpleminded can play. So why do I say this?

    It has been said that the best way to enslave an man is to convince him it is for his own good. That is the key to racial-classism, to create a self policing structure of participants who are mostly happy with the status quo. But the true stroke of genius is to create a bottom tier that is inescapable.
    But unlike India where one has to know lineage to spot an “Untouchable,” we simply go by skin color with black on the bottom.

    The history of U.S.A. has been one of a select group reserving privilege and wealth for themselves. Originally this was high born British and Scottish men. (Most of our constitutional law was written to codify the rights of these “white” men.) Their servants, labors and slaves were allowed descending levels of rights and guarantees.This worked when the country was small and a clever man could manage all that he owned. But as our economic system grew and land resources were expanded, (through theft), that class structure came to be challenged.

    At varying times the Irish, French, Germans, Polish, Italians and Puerto Ricans consolidated enough influence, and became a great enough nuisance to find themselves declared “honorary whites.” (As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.) They were given more privilege and rank for their promise to support the class structure. Protecting those above, while oppressing those beneath, produced enough sense of self-importance to stabilize the system. Add an economic incentive or stressor and it’s easy to claim scarcity dictates that such a system must exist.

    New immigrants to this country learned quickly how this game was played and took great pains to separated themselves mentally, socially, and geographically from the black community or race. This brings us back to Florida. The Cuban community still finds itself in the purgatory of not having achieved honorary status. This leads to the situation that ended with one teen dead and one man having proved his unworthiness.

    W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.”
    Mr. Thompson, I doubt that Mr. Zimmerman has any understanding of my reality. If he did, he could not have done what he did…

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      This is my point. There is no way to fully understand the other person’s perspective but we shouldn’t outright dismiss it as ignorant or evil. We all have different experiences. I could never fully understand yours, but you could never fully understand mine as well. We must listen to one another. Thank you for reading and responding.

      • LWJ Reply

        I think you hit the nail on the head, Mr Thompson! Thank you for those words!

      • F Angeletti Reply

        Everyone needs to look forward instead of back. By speaking kinder of one another would be a good beginning. In the area where I live teenagers are killing each other and others. Last week a seventeen year old and a nineteen year old killed a seventy one year old man that they did not even know.
        It may be that Americans of all races need to begin at home. Do you know where your child is and who their friends are? We need to teach our children how to function in society and see that they receive an education. That does not happen unless parents are an active part of their lives. Demonstrations, complaining, judging, or more laws will not improve anything, but parents working toward a family unity and building special family memories can. Possibly that old adage, “A family that prays together stays together” would be a good starting place. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39).
        Consider the number of African American leaders we have and have had in recent years. There are many other issues that could be raised but the point is that we live in a multi ethnic culture and God created each one of us.

      • Miss Reply

        EXACTLY! You have said it all very well and thoughtfully! Too many people seem to be unwilling to look at the other side. Too many just want to stay in our ruts and stay narrow minded – I just don’t know what we can do as a society to get ALL people to be tolerant. This article, about the father’s views, and not who is right or wrong. It was great!

    • Susan Fisher McClure Reply

      Your comment about the high born Englisih and Scots is absolutely wrong. I would suggest you do a little reading about the Scottish and English history. Many of the Scots who contributed to this country came from poverty and had often lost their lands and, occupations (Highland Clearances); likewise the Quakers and other groups; escaping famine and persecution in England,, looking for a better life with opportunities and the ability to practice their religious faith. They oftentimes paid back their fare after they arrived by accepting servitude or by other means..They brought skills and disciplined behavior needed in this new country and helped it grow, Slavery was banned by England in about 1817; And according to the very late David Livingstone, early 1800s, One group that continued were Arab slave traders . From some recent news in Orange County, CA this past week and other stories of how women in the Phillipine Islands are are exploited in Saudi Arabia are often treated far worse than some of the slaves in the 1700s-mid 1800. It is amazing ow people seem to disregard what is happening now all over this world and instead get on erroneous agendas. Yes some became wealthy and some were extravagant in their wealth; but men such as Andrew Carnegie remembering his very humble beginnings also gave back to many charitable causes such as establishing libraries around the USA.and helped make America what it is today. But far too many were those that had farms, carpentry, weaving skills, iron forgery skills etc. .One really good book that is a good reading and well researched is “How the Scots Invented the Modern World” by Arthur Herman, published in 2001.

      • Christine Reply

        As history has often shown, the oppressed became the oppressor. Blacks will never be the oppressors of anyone (besides ourselves) because in this nation, there is no one to oppress.

        • Ediee Reply

          Why must ANYONE be oppressed?

    • Paul Reply

      If both of the guys were black, this never would have made the news. If a black guy killed zimmerman, this would have never made the news. Unfortunately killing happens every day. Society and cultures on the other hand wait for the right moment to bring it to the forefront and feed on it like sharks. Its wrong.

      Secondly, profiling will stop when the bulk of crime is not committed by one particular profile. Profiling exists for a reason. Mostly because the police force and detectives understand what type of crime fits a profile. This is not racist at all, its factual and it helps to solve crimes. As a black man, I cannot stand it when another black man refuses to take responsibility for his own actions. That also means actions of his family. Dr. King did not fight for civil rights and die merely for future generations to not accept responsibility for themselves and work harder to live off the government than to live off their own labor. There are plenty of blacks working hard and gaining respect, but unfortunately there are also plenty of us screaming at the news for entitlement.

      STOP LOOKING AT HISTORY AND TRYING TO COMPARE IT TO TODAY! It does not make sense. 6 MILLION people were slaves in Egypt. My colleague at work is white and his first ancestor to the US was a slave for Robert E. Lee’s grandfather. The Asians built the railroads in this country as slaves. Be thankful of your country and start living with it and not against it.

      We live in a country with FREE education. Our own culture and society has made it easier for our young black brothers and sisters to get scholarships to colleges. This, in and of itself, is not equality. As a black man, I can more easily get an education and a job based on policy’s of the government. Until this stops, all other races will look down on us. We don’t deserve more than anyone else. Go out into places like Appalachia and see the poverty that whites endure. You don’t see the NAAPWP (Poor White People). If we had not been brought here by the slave trade (sold by our own people) we would not be here now. As an AMERICAN (not african-american) I have enjoyed our free education and the ability to make it on my own two feet. This is not the case in Africa. I grew up in a tiny house with 5 brothers and 2 sisters. My parents made sure we never felt sorry for ourselves and NEVER bought into the “I can’t make it in this country because I’m black” attitude. God works in mysterious ways and He brought my family out of Africa. They dealt with hardship only for me to gain a solid life here. Be thankful for what we have as black people, and stop whining. Go to Africa and live there. See how you like it. Blacks in the US will NEVER be treated as equals if we don’t stop crying about every little thing and screaming racism every day. STOP giving a reason for racism. WORK HARD and live in the culture of everyone, not just of your own race.

      • Bill F Reply

        You’re my hero, I wish more black Americans felt this way

      • kpainter Reply

        Very, Very well stated Paul! I stand in total agreement.

      • Christopher Gonzalez Reply

        That’s the best comment I’ve read in a long, long time Paul. I wish more black people in this country could understand things as rationally as you can. Very well said and straight to the point. Truth is a hard thing to swallow for a lot of people in this country now days,…regardless of whether you’re black or white.

      • Dana Reply

        Love love your last paragraph Paul….

      • Donna Reply

        WOW! I so respect your comments. Sometimes I wonder if this generation has ever studied world history or sat through a Jr. High Social Studies class… indentured servants, Native Americans robbed, killed & enslaved, Asian Railroad workers, Jews enslaved & Antisemitism, African Tribes capturing, enslaving, killing & selling Africans…We’ve all been missused throughout time…WHY is it that we don’t learn from the mistakes if the past?

      • Rainy Reply

        Wow very we’ll said!

      • Don Pontiff Reply

        Free Mind…Where are you at??? You dont care to comment on this thread that was so truthful and well written?
        Paul….It would be great if you were the voice of Black Americans instead of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. My favorite Columnist is Walter Williams. I memorize some of his columns like it is The Bible. I say this because Walter Williams tells THE TRUTH! Just like you just did. Im quoting here…..”The primary burden for racial openness and honesty lies with blacks. But whites bear a major burden as well. As Sen. Bill Bradley, D-NJ, said in a 1991 letter to President Bush, We will never come to grips with the problems of our cities…until a white person can talk about the epidemic of minority illegitimacy, drug addiction and homicide without being called a racist.” End quote.

      • Brandon S. Reply

        Wow. This is… infuriating. There’s no way to actually prove that you’re black, but if you are, you are seriously misguided. First off, you’re right about one thing: if Zimmerman had been killed by a black man or was black, this would not have gotten the exposure it did. But not because “society” and “cultures” wouldn’t have “fed on it like sharks” (classy way to undermine political action, by the way), but because he would’ve been investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law without any kind of advocacy – regardless of any plea of self-defense.

        But that’s neither here nor there. I’m here to discuss the alarmingly regressive and brainwashed ideas you put forth throughout the rest of your rant. Your “take responsibility” and “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” mantra completely ignores the effects of centuries of legal oppression, economic disenfranchisement, dehumanization, and psychological othering of black people in the mind of society that created this entire situation in the first place: a legal system which creates laws that target black people overwhelmingly for prosecution and subconsciously (or in some cases, very consciously) teaches law enforcement to suspect black people to the point of devaluing their lives, people who think its their right to accost a black child with zero authority or proof, and even more who think its the child’s fault for even being in the situation.

        You know what Dr. King died for? For people to fight injustice of all kinds. Instead, you advocate willfully ignoring history (it doesn’t make sense to you because you refuse to accept its teachings), glorify slavery (God didn’t bring your family out of Africa – PEOPLE did), and live in a fantasy America where everything is great all the time forever.

        YOU are living against this country because you refuse to take a good, long look at it and yourself, consider your own misconceptions about your fellow man, and work to change this country for the better. Because it is great, and we have made big strides, but by doing the opposite of what you’re doing – by being progressive.

        Social programs don’t hurt black people – they even the playing field in a tilted system. Those black people working hard? Most of them are able to do so because of activists of all races fighting for them. Free education exists because activists fought for it, just like activists are fighting now to expose the racism still at work in our system. Poor white people should (and do) have a “NAAPWP”; we need watchdog organizations to fight for justice and equality.

        Respect isn’t earned or given: it’s inherent as human beings. it can be lost, sure, but when you demand people “earn” it, you are dehumanizing them and losing it yourself. It’s not about feeling sorry for yourself (victimhood is an ugly concept created by victimizers to discredit the oppressed – being a victim isn’t a negative concept, it’s just a state of being), and all people should be entitled to demand justice.

        And racism isn’t the fault of the people being hated – it’s the fault of the hater. And, unfortunately, the people who enable the haters.

        You talk of living in a culture of everyone, but that’s only possible when racism is confronted and dealt with. If it’s not, then we will continue to have George Zimmermans and Trayvon Martins because we will live in a society where one kind of human is worth less than another.

        And I don’t think I don’t see where you’re coming from. I do – I don’t agree with it, I don’t know what experiences lead you to think this way – but I understand the source. The “American Dream” of individuality, opportunity, hard work, and self-sufficiency is a powerful idea. It’s also flawed in a way that allows us to think that the individual experience is the end-all be-all of human experience and ignore the power of history and culture. Racism lives in history and culture, and it’s not going away until we yank it out, examine it, and stamp it out by changing the way we think.

      • Taren A Reply

        Paul, you make me proud to be an American.

      • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

        Pure perfection… EXCELLENT, Paul! Thank you for posting this.

      • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

        Paul, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please look me up. I am sharing your comment, and I hope it goes viral! You have an amazing story that should be an inspiration to ALL AMERICANS. Keep speaking loudly and proudly, my friend, and God bless you!

    • Adam Reply

      Using history as an excuse is ignorant. I am white and work for a minority owned company. The owner did not use the past as an excuse not to work hard and succeed and guess what… he succeeded. SMH.

  13. Tracey R. Reply

    Well said!!!!

  14. Gary Reply

    There is no winner in this. They all lost something and so did we. Learn from and teach others is what WE all must do. My heart goes out to the Martins and the Zimmermans.

  15. melisa Reply

    You can try to sugar coat it and pretend you understand both sides.Thats just a way of tryn 2 justify wht Zimmerman did. Zimmerman shld have left that boy alone point blank. My GOD…a kid was murdered and he was just minding his own business.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Melissa, it seems as though you have assumed my opinions of the case. Notice I didn’t share them in the article.

    • G Reply

      @Melisa, you may correct in stating “Zimmerman shld have left that boy alone point blank”. I actually fully agree with you. You should, however, go back and read the article again. I think the folks on both sides of the issue can agree with Mr. Thompson’s point here which can provide for much needed perspective for all.

    • juston Reply

      you think beating someone is minding your own business then you have things so wrong that kid as you so much liked to call him acted like a gangsta and if want to try to fight and live that life then you are as innocent as you portray are you ?

      • Miss Reply

        I think that both parties involved in this awful incident were at fault in one way or another. Did Zimmerman make the first mistake, DEFINITELY! But, we can’t just say that Trayvon was an innocent bystander in this awful incident. As a young adult, I respected adults and wouldn’t have allowed myself to become in a physical altercation. Now, there are only 3 people that know what happened, so we need to stop trying to figure that out & just REREAD what Kevin wrote. He never said anything negative, but is trying to get us to understand both sides as a parent!

    • Don Pontiff Reply

      Melisa, How do you know this???…..Were you there? What you say is a speculated assumption.

  16. dolly Reply

    Well Said

  17. Dara Reply

    Great commentary Kevin. I’m disturbed by all the reactionism. The forensic evidence proved Zimmerman’s account, but the majority of people ignore this. d

    • mary Reply

      By the time the forensic evidence was revealed people’s minds were made up. It had already been portrayed as a racist act. These people won’t admit they jumped to conclusions before knowing all the facts. We can thank our media for that. The sad thing is Zimmerman could have prevented the whole incident !!!!!! The only reason he was found not guilty was because of the stand your ground law and he had the lacerations to prove it was self defense and the eye witnesses of traction on top beating him.

      • David Reply

        Hi Mary,

        I think it’s worse than that. I believe that people made up their minds in what I have to assume is good faith after being _mis_informed by the mass media who used this story for their own gain.

        – David

      • Donna Reply

        Some ppl don’t even know there were eye witnesses….My exhusband strattled me & was choking me…I thought he was going to kill me(& prob would have if not stopped by another person)..if I had , had a weapon on me & could have gotten ahold of it I would have defended myself. Yes, I would have hated that it happened, but I would have hated it if he killed me more.

  18. lorraineG. Reply

    i think this a terrible thing for both families it’ so sad zimmerin just should have left this boy alone
    but i think this stand your ground is not good, i hope this law changes so this wont happen again
    yes he was found not guilty but morrlely he is guilty could he not use his gun in a differnt way
    instead of killing trevon such as knocking him out with the butt of his gun if he felt in danger who knows only the two persons involved my prayers to both families.

    • Dana Reply

      They didn’t use the stand your ground law, it was slickly self defense..that is the way I understood it .

  19. gheorghe Reply

    “In America, your ancestors don’t matter so much. You’re just you.”
    ― Lensey Namioka, Mismatch

  20. Clifford Toney Reply

    Here are my impressions. People have a right and responsibility to be vigilant in their neighborhoods and to be suspicious of persons moving through their neighborhoods with no apparent reason to be there. Eventhough people have a right to dress and/or conduct themselves as they wish, if they dress and/or conduct themselves in a way which may be associated with suspicious persons then they should not consider it an affront if they are seen as suspicious. And… if you bash my head against the concrete I have a right to do whatever it takes to make it stop!

  21. Nancy Hensley Reply

    One of the most logical and accurate articles I’ve read on this subject. Will we ever learn this? God, I hope so…

  22. Will Watkins Reply

    Thank you for your insightful commentary. You put the feelings I have on the whole situation in the perfect words.

  23. wwjessedo Reply

    Martin wasn’t in “his own neighborhood”, he wasn’t “a kid”, the justice system wasn’t “against him” (it was more racist that Zimmerman went on trial than anything – the police chief was fired there for not arresting Zimmerman) therefore the justice system was against Zimmerman and the truth prevailed.

    There was no assumption that Zimmerman was attacked, it was proven in court that Martin was the aggressor. It was proven so much so that the defense didn’t even have to use “The Stand Your Ground” law.

    The author admits to not knowing the facts; this means that he didn’t take the time to research. The author’s “bias” is to not take a side when the only true side to take is the truth.

    The whole part that people miss when trying to decide whether they agree with the verdict or not is that they don’t know what the law is and they never took the 5 minutes to google both charges: 2nd degree murder and manslaughter. Both say that the killer must have intent to kill. To prove second degree murder, a prosecutor must show that the defendant acted according to a “depraved mind” without regard for human life.

    The burden of proof on the prosecution to prove intent and that Zimmerman had no regard for human life is absurdly hard to do. It was an open and shut case and the FBI concluded that race was never an issue.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      If the case was that open and shut, why did half the jury spend most of the deliberation time thinking Zimmerman was guilty? Why did a 4th juror say that he was guilty but there just wasn’t enough evidence there to convict? And are we sure we want to trust the FBI on the issue of race?

      • Debbie Faber Reply

        Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate your moderated perspective here.

      • Rick Reply

        So much for your supposed novel effort to leave your opinion out of the article to simply display it in the comments.

        You are exactly what you warned against.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          I never said a person couldn’t have an opinion. I said we should understand we don’t know the whole story.

          One thing I’m certain of–I could be dramatically wrong.

          • Mary

            Are you a Libra? Your answers and comments are always evened out like the scales. You might be right or you might be wrong. I’m one and caught on right away or didn’t. lol

        • Erin Reply

          Rick, I agree wholeheartedly. How disingenuous of Mr. Thompson to pretend he’s taking no stand. Anything less than support for the young man who was angrily called an “F-ing punk” as he simply did nothing but walk down a street, was stalked and chased by a man with a loaded weapon, with NO KNOWLEDGE of why this intense, aggressive man was following him in the dark… (think about that scenario if Tray was a woman)… anything less than support for this victim is repulsive. And not punishing Zimmerman for inciting this incident sends a terrifying message to all parents of black teenage boys. Devastating. And Mr. Thompson pretending to be treating each participant equally is as deceitful and pretending the justice system is fair and colorblind.

          • LBerg

            Erin, don’t you see you’re painting this the way you want to see it? It’s speculation to say GZ was chasing TM. It’s speculation to say that GZ was aggressive and intense. Yes, he used the term punks. TM used the term Cracker. You’re using emotion to convict a man that you know nothing about. The jury spoke. Not guilty. It doesn’t mean he’s innocent. My point, is what good does it do you to think irrationally? Just do what the article calls for. What if GZ was your son? How would you feel then?

    • Teri Reply

      Really….it should never have gotten that far. Mr. Zimmerman was instructed not to get out of his car, he did. There would be no story here had he followed the instruction of the dispatcher.

  24. Richard Farley Reply

    I admire your effort to be rational and civil about it, but I disagree with this statement:

    “Our inability to see the other side, to understand their position, to see how others can disagree with us in a logical way, is one of the great problems in America today.”

    If only that were the case, we might have an opportunity to discuss things. In my experience, most do not disagree in a logical way. They (or we) get emotional, very abusive and insulting. And then, as often as not, so does the other guy.

    Many also, for whatever reason, go to an extreme position that any logical person would know is not supported by the facts. For example, “this was ALL about race and racism,” or “race and racism had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with it.”

    I’ve heard both of those said more times than I can count, but the most rational evaluation of the evidence is that race and racism played a role, but there were other factors that figured into the equation as well.

    As I said, good effort, but passion often overrules reason and probably always will.

  25. Richard Farley Reply

    I realize my previous comment may not have made my meaning clear. What I should have said is that it isn’t an inability to see the other guy’s logic. It is that logic is often not offered in the first place.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      That’s true Richard. It is also our passion which often blinds us from seeing logic or presenting logic.

  26. Karen Reply

    Having been on jury duty many times, let me just say that the jury has to make the best decision with what they are given and instructed by the judge. Its not an easy task. Nobody knows the whole story except George Zimmerman and God.

  27. STJ Reply

    Honestly, Mr. Thompson your response is typical of a person has lived in the vanilla suburbs and has never nor has experienced this kind of situation on a frequent basis. I am a black woman and have been a victim of racial profiling myself. In addition, so have any members of my family. By the way everything is about race. It is the first thing people see. People have their own preconceived notions when they see the race of a person. For example you referred to George Zimmerman as Hispanic. I am sure if he was asked he would say he was white. I am sorry but I fail to see how Zimmerman was a victim. He saw a “person” who looked “suspicious” so he decided to follow them. He felt “threatened” by a person who reacted to something he brought on himself. How is that a victim? Mr. Thompson I would also like to see you bring “attention” to the murders that have happened in Chicago in the past year or so. Also, don’t forget to bring the plight of Jordan Davis’ family.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I don’t doubt my own ignorance regarding the lives of others–that was the point of the blog. I didn’t say Zimmerman was a victim. I said if I was his father I would see him as a victim. As for Chicago, I have done my best via Twitter, Facebook, and even this past Sunday during my sermon to bring attention to it.

    • Adrienne Reply

      Would Obama say he was white?

    • Adam Reply

      You probably get profiled because YOU identify yourself as “black” and identify people such as myself “white”. It’s called reverse racism. It happens to me all the time when I am polite enough to hold the door for a “black” person and they look me up and down like I did something to oppress them. Also, I will admit I profile people. Not by color though. When I see young men “black” or “white” with their pants hanging of their ass and vulgar tattoos I have a tendency to view them negatively.

    • Christy Reply

      Actually GZ referred to himself as Hispanic.
      And you shouldn’t speak for all of humanity. When I look at people, the color of their skin is never the first thing that comes to mind.
      And I have lived in and out of these “vanilla” suburbs. One of the not so”vanilla” suburbs (which in itself sounds like a knock on white people to me) I lived in was Sanford, FL. Not a quaint little safe town, not Chicago but there is crime there. And I am from Mississippi…gasp…I wasn’t taught to be racist and actually saw very little of it growing up. So please don’t assume the 1st thing people see when killing at another person is the color of their skin. I know my children don’t and my oldest is 23.

      • Christy Reply

        Good grief… stupid auto correct … looking not killing

    • scott Reply

      A little sheltered to think white kids in hoodies don’t get shot in their own neighborhoods. It just doesn’t make the news. The bigger “racial” media question is why don’t they?

  28. Mo L. Reply

    Racism has been prevalent since the beginning of mankind, and if you think you can quell it, you are mistaken. Once you understand that concept, use it to make better decisions. Trayvon made a bad decision, he underestimated Zimmerman’s willingness to use lethal force. It is not my place to make judgement other than stating, Trayvon would still be alive if he continued on his way and had not confronted Zimmerman. What we witnessed was man’s inherent desire for self preservation. Zimmerman, in my opinion, was overzealous in his role as protector and guardian of his neighborhood, and so was Trayvon in his “thug” persona (oh yes, he was portraying a thug identity). This is a bad combination when mixed, one wants to show his valor, and the other wants to prove he is hard. It would be wise for everyone to understand, no matter how “bad” you think you are, there is someone out there willing and able to disprove it. My message, don’t let a façade or the ridicule of others determine your life expectancy
    .

    • Carl Kinder Reply

      well put, never underestimate the power of the gun nor the willingness of one to use it… alas this isn’t the old west, we don’t stand in the morning light and draw to determine the outcome of real or unreal affronts to our perceived notions of offended feeling in this day and age.
      One thought he was tough the other considered it his position to guard the homesteads of others his duty, both collided in a moment of fateful tragedy.
      As a nation of free people we should strive to overcome the feelings, and subsequent outcries that perpetuate this type of action.and we should all strive to heal this rift that social and mainstream media uses as a divisor of classes in this country. In reality it isn’t race, but class that determines one’s status in America…

      • Debbie Faber Reply

        I understand that may be your feeling. The feeling of other folks seems different. Mo L. says “Trayvon made a bad decision, he underestimated Zimmerman’s willingness to use lethal force. It is not my place to make judgement other than stating, Trayvon would still be alive if he continued on his way and had not confronted Zimmerman.” My perspective is that Zimmerman also made a number of bad decisions which led to his use of lethal force, and Trayvon would still be alive if Zimmerman had stayed in his truck. As the gun-carrying adult, I would put more culpability on Zimmerman for his bad choices.

        Carl Kinder says “One thought he was tough the other considered it his position to guard the homesteads of others his duty, both collided in a moment of fateful tragedy.” To me, both thought they were tough and used this encounter to prove it. Or, conversely, both were living in fear, both genuinely believed they were defending their own lives. Either way, one used a gun and the other is dead.

        Kevin Thompson says “It’s a funny thing about truth: we are so biased by our experiences it is nearly impossible for us to know the whole truth. Yet we are unaware of these biases so we are deceived into thinking we know it all.” Yep, that just about hits the nail right on the head.

        • Lynette Reply

          Everyone keeps saying what Trayvon did, what Zimmerman did.
          Were any of you there? Did you see what happened? How can you say what one or the other did? There are only two people that know that answer. Trayvon and Zimmerman. Trayvon cannot defend himself or speak of what happened. Does Zimmerman speak the truth or lies? Who knows. I do know that a human being is dead. A mother and father have lost a son. A family member is gone. Zimmerman knows exactly what happened and whatever happened he has to live with it. So much crap was said about what happened, nobody has a freaking clue what the truth is.

    • Rainy Reply

      Cool!

  29. Beth Reply

    Its a sad world we live in, young adults are not taught, respect, honor, & disciplined the way they should be. Young parents need to educate their children at an early age. My son in 2010, was attacked by 2 cops, (not in uniform) on the side of a river road, while he was trying to urinate, one cop was black the other hispanic. They beat him up, broke his ribs, and did not give him a chance to even speak. They very well could have killed him. But my son had to be hush hush about the situation, so it would not get on the news. Really? The prosecutor was a black man, and wanted to drop all charges against him, but then he got fired. Such a crooked system in Laplace. They then wanted to charge him with a DWI, which he wasn’t even drinking! WTH, just to get money. Money was all they saw. Evenutally the charges got dropped to a misdeameanor, but it put alot of pain and suffering in my sons life. Had to start back at college with another degree. Did those cops get punished for what they did. Hell no. Sad, sad world we live in.

    • Christopher Gonzalez Reply

      You leave me a bit confused with the story. What was your son charged with? What was the misdemeanor?….

  30. Tales and Travels of the Tin Man Reply

    You leave us with very wise words. Thank you.

  31. ella Reply

    Mr. Thompson, I believe that this is the best response I have seen to this whole ordeal. And I honestly feel the need to apologize for the people who respond to you with anger. I understand racism is still alive, as a young white girl living in an all black community i experienced racism as a child. I was jumped and picked on all the time, from the age of 4-7 until we moved. I witnessed white people looking at me funny when i was in public with my black step father. the looks i would get would make me want to crawl inside myself. The racism i received as an older child, from other black kids, getting called a cracker and other jokes being made on me for being a white girl, or even now… I live in atlanta now as an adult and have to fear for my life because i am white and there are all of these “justice for trayvon” riots and killings going on where white people are being attacked and killed and labeled justice…. what people fail to realize, is that black people arent the only race that is discriminated against. All races are. Some people just fail to look past color and race. All races are guilt of judging or classifying another race, but that doesnt make all people racist. My view is that yes, this was a tragedy. But how the public has responded is the bigger tragedy. violence for violence? hate? It just blows my mind. I agree with everything you have said and just wish more people could have this outlook. God didnt make us different races to discriminate against everyone, and black people arent the lesser race… if they havent noticed, we do have a black president. So that statement is most definitely voided… if they were the lowest race, that would have never happened in a million years. All races are discriminated against by other races…. its just the small mindedness that humans tend to have. Not all but some. What has come from the verdict of this trial has blown my mind and honestly broken my heart.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thanks Ella. The irony of the few bad comments is they prove the point of the blog. Great name by the way. My grandmother and daughter are my two favorite Ellas.

  32. Randy Gonzales Reply

    Mr. Thompson, I teach Civics to tenth graders in Louisiana and would like to use your post as material in class. I would like to be able to divide it into three different parts and have a class discussion. May I have your permission to do so.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Absolutely Randy. Thank you. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

      • Erin Reply

        For a Christian, you’re a really awful liar, Kevin. You pretend you are impartial yet you praise posts that are racist and in support of Zimmerman. What a joke.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          What’s interesting is that an earlier person told me I was a hypocrite because I pretended not to take sides but then in the comments section was defending Trayvon while others have accused me of defending Zimmerman. I’ve officially offended both sides and been accused of supporting the other. Exciting.

  33. Pogue Reply

    I liked this blog…do I like half the comments no I do not. Stop bringing up RACE. A few issues I have with this is George is HISPANIC and TRAYVON was black. And as far as we all know the only one that is said to have used a racial slur was TRAYVON who thought he was being stalked by a white male. now also remember that this is a gated community. If you have ever visited one you would know that the community will know everyone that lives in it and they are going to be a little suspicious of ANYONE walking in it without someone with that person that they do not know. Do I agree with all of ZIMMERMANS actions, NO, do I think that if you are being followed that it is okay for you to ATTACK someone (which with the evidence that we have states) NO, Both parties like the blogger said are at fault in one way or another but WHAT the case actually is about at the end of the day is IF you head is getting beat on can you use deadly force and the jury said yes. that is not the court system, that is not attorneys or judges, that is 6 people that had to vote unanimously to decide one way or the other.

    • Donna Reply

      YES! If I’m being beaten, how do I know if their gonna stop before they kill me? I will defend myself….

      • Rainy Reply

        Thank you, finally someone else sees it. It was a gated community. How did Trayvon get inside the gates?

  34. Bill Kimball Reply

    After all the touchy feely emotions and appeals to understanding, tolerance and political correctness it comes down to the hard realities of the law and the judicial system. That’s one of the reasons why “lady Justice” is always portrayed with a blind-fold on.

  35. Jack Reply

    I completely agree with Mo L

  36. Sarah Reply

    I think Mychal Massie says it best: “The ugly fact so many are unwilling to acknowledge is that Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he had behaved himself like the sacrosanct individual he is now portrayed to have been. His conscious decision to attack George Zimmerman epitomizes the street thug mentality he embraced and that decision cost him his life. Regardless of what the media and other race-mongers would try to have us believe, it is inconsistent with appropriate behavior to physically assault someone because you do not like that they are following you. I applaud the jury for taking the facts of the trial into account and rendering the only verdict possible — George Zimmerman is not guilty of the charges brought against him.”

    The ironic part that many fail to also acknowledge is that had Trayvon Martin lived he would have been charged w/ a crime…merely following someone is NOT a crime, aggravated assault IS!

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I think the argument could be made that Trayvon “stood his ground.”

      • Angelle Bradford Reply

        I could not agree more. Trayvon did not owe Zimmerman, a complete stranger, an unauthorized nonexistent police officer an explanation. He only owed to himself the right to get home safely. I am so confused how people justify Trayvon’s death as if he “had it coming.” Just because Zimmerman was neighborhood watch and we are even unsure if he TOLD TRAYVON that, does not mean Trayvon owed him anything. I am so confused on the logic for defending murder. This is not a complicated explanation. Man sees Black kid, thinks he is a criminal and a danger, approaches and kills him and then claims self defense later. It was literally shoot now, ask questions later. That is a problem.

        • LBerg Reply

          Angelie, with all due respect, you’re ignorant of the only facts we do know of this case. The way you want to see it wasn’t how it really happened. If it was, the jury of your peers would have found him guilty. Unless of course you believe all six women were racist morons.

      • Debbie Faber Reply

        Again, thank you, Mr. Thompson. Your original blog post and your subsequent responses have been so compassionate and open. If we are ever to find our way out of this mess, we are going to need many mediators with these qualities, encouraging us back toward one another, rather than away, encouraging love and understanding, rather than entrenched views and animosity.

      • MissyK Reply

        Kevin, perhaps the argument could be made but I don’t see any real substance to that. He was in no harm, and could’ve just gone home, and well, should have. If someone is following you, that doesn’t give you the RIGHT to turn and assault the person. Now, getting your head bashed into the concrete, there’s a “stand your ground” argument to be made.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          That’s a fair opinion.

        • Donna Reply

          Missy, I knew these 2 guys…they were both driving down the road one day…driver #2 was in a hurry & trying to go around driver#1…he kept speeding up looking for a break in oncoming traffic so he could pass….driver #2 sees driver #1 in his rear view mirror speeding up close on his rear bumper…& thinks the second driver is being aggressive/ road rage….driver#1 stops at the red light, gets out of his truck & says WTH man, what’s your problem? Driver#2 who was in a hurry thought driver#1 was threatening him for no reason…so he got out of truck #2 & said WTH man, what’s your problem? …When they saw each other….they realized they were neighbors! They were both embarrassed, got back their trucks & went on their way! My point is they both had an idea of what they thought was happening already formed in their head…
          If only Zimmerman & Travon both had walked away & could tell their friends a story about what happened one night ….

      • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

        Kevin, my disagreement with you is not anger, nor is it racism. That said, this is the most ignorant response you have posted to any comment on this article. Since when is stalking “Standing Your Ground?”

        Let’s review. Initially, GZ did follow TM. Then, it was SUGGESTED that he not do that by a person who had no authority to order him to stop. Even so, GZ said okay to the suggestion. He was asked if he saw where TM went, and he tried to look to see if he could determine that. However, he did not follow. In fact, he had lost sight of TM and had no idea as to his location for a solid 2 minutes. The apartment was less than 100 yards away. Instead of going there/staying there, TM hid in wait for GZ to end his call with the dispatcher. As GZ is walking back to his truck, he ends the call. Within SECONDS, Trayvon pounces.

        Now, please explain how it is possible to STAND YOUR GROUND when you have launched a sneak attack against someone who had no idea as to your location?

  37. Kathy Fanguy-Churray Reply

    For one if he was my son he would not be doing drugs or going out of the house that late at night. But you are right I would be mad and hurt and missing my son. My son is almost 25 and in the Navy and I worry about him every day.

  38. Wallaby Reply

    Some black people think after the recent TM / GZ case that their lives mean nothing , What about all the other races White / White-Hispanic / White-Asian / Hispanic / Asian / White-Indian / Indian / White-Jewish / Jewish / White-Black (OH NEVER MIND they are just BLACK ) , at least black killings get national coverage all the other races hardly ever get past local news . LOOKS LIKE OUR LIVES ARE WORTH NOTHING ! (Im a worthless White-Hispanic) Love , Peace , And Chicken Grease RACE BAITERS .

  39. janea Reply

    The only people that really know what happened is George and Trayvon…and only one of them is left on this earth. Your comments were very well stated.

  40. Angelle Bradford Reply

    The issue is so obviously racial but perhaps this writer’s experiences have clouded his ability to see racial injustice. However, Zimmerman did not have charges pressed against because he was white or Latino but because what he did was WRONG. He took a life–he did not steal candy or even just shoot Trayvon, he cold-blooded shot him in the heart and the fact that many of you cannot see the severity in that situation, says a lot about how dimensional and layered this issue is. It is unfair to take such a neutral stance in an issue that is practically a modern day platform for change, just as Brown vs. Board of Education.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Your response implies I’m neutral. I did not give my opinions of the case but used it to show how it could change our daily lives.

    • LBerg Reply

      If you feel you can equate this case to Brown vs. The Board of Education you’re completely ignorant to the details of this case. Please, please, please don’t get so emotional over something you obviously know little about. The history of B vs. BoE is way too precious to be used as a comparison to this case. However tragic it is that a life was lost. Please

  41. Awanda Reply

    I am disturbed by those who feel Trayvon’s parents didn’t do a good job of raising him. How many of us have done just the opposite of what our parents told us to do? There are kids of all races posting negative pictures on FB./Twitter trying to impress their peers. It could just be peer pressure, it doesn’t mean they are thugs or anything else. I live in AZ and just recently our Congress Rep, Jeff Flake’s son’s Twitter page came into the public eye. His screen name “Nigga Killer”. He posted about hating “Mexicans, fags and Niggas. No one blamed his parents for raising him wrong…they only said “he’s just being a boy”. Why the double standard? We, as parents can do the best we can, it doesn’t guarantee our children are going to be perfect. For those parents who say “My child will NEVER do anything like that”, Be careful to never say never. Once children get around their peers, they might do anything. We need to have more empathy, understanding, patience, be less judgmental and more open. I lost my only son and child, so I have more empathy for the Martin/Fulton family. That hole in their hearts will never close, not a day goes by they won’t think of Trayvon. The loss of a child is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. How many of us would like to sit and hear day after day horrible things about their child? At least the Zimmerman’s still have their son to hug and kiss, not so for the Martins/Fulton family.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      It’s very true we should not directly link parenting with the choices of kids in individual cases. In the broad sense we can see a link, but individuals still make decisions.

    • LBerg Reply

      I have to be honest and say that I was guilty of painting the Martin/Fulton family with a broad brush. I was quick to blame his parents. After reading and watching more about this case I realized I was so wrong and I’m ashamed. Mrs. Fulton (TM’s mom) us a college educated woman that holds herself with integrity and class. It’s obvious that Mr. Martin was a very caring and compassionate father. It seems that Trayvon fell victim to outside influences. It doesn’t appear his brother did seeing as he’s in college and has more if a “nerd” persona. I hope that one day I’m not blamed for my childs wrongdoing. If God forbid my children ever fall victim to peer pressure, I hope reasonable like Kevin are there to defend me.

    • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

      For my part, I did not blame Martin’s parents, but I followed up the author’s views on how he would FEEL if he were the father of Trayvon Martin with what I would DO if I were the father of Trayvon Martin. I used the empirical evidence of his inaction in the face of all of this racial unrest and the crimes that have been committed in the name of his son. Do I get that he is hurting? Absolutely. I still maintain that, God forbid, if any of us ever find ourselves in this situation, and there is unjust violence and racial division being done in the name of our deceased children, that each of us would have the integrity and the character to stand up, even in the midst of our pain, and scream from the rooftops – – – STOP!!!

      The facts: Trayvon was into a violent pattern, even having taken video with his phone of he and his friends assaulting a homeless man in Miami. Trayvon was using a variety of drugs. He had been suspended from school for ten days, for graffiti and for having “burglary tools” in his locker, which is why he was not with his mother in Miami. He was known to be involved in at least one area burglary, and suspected to be involved in others. His Twitter handle was No_Limit_Nigga. He had requests for drug hookups on his Facebook page…

      Now, I get that you cannot blame the parents for all of these things. But collectively, any reasonable person would have to agree that there was some level of disconnect for Trayvon to be so deep into this lifestyle without notice of his parents. And if they did notice it, then they endorsed it.

      The author opened up this discussion. Not everyone will appreciate all opinions, but that does not mean they are not valid and worthy of consideration. I stand by my earlier comment: I believe that until Tracy Martin speaks up and decries the racial divide that is happening from within the Black community by the typical race hustlers, then he is complicit in their activities. His behavior now in the aftermath of this verdict is a commentary on him as a man, as well as the type of parent he was to Trayvon. As with so many other elements associated with this case, that is just a painful reality, and another part of this tragedy.

  42. Eric White Reply

    Your only mention of a ‘wrong” action was on the part of Travon. What is the right action when you are being pursued by a stranger? Why are the “fatherly” thoughts for the black boy “if he did something wrong…?” It presumes that he (Travon) did do something wrong or that is a valid possibility even in the midst of the father’s indescribable grief. It is like the defense attorney asking Travon’s mother is it possible that Travon contributed to his death ( i am paraphrasing)
    Why is it the “fatherly” thoughts about George highlighting him as the victim? Again if we are viewing this from a fatherly perspective–why does the father thoughts of Travon allow for (READ: blame) his son for a wrong action but no such fatherly wish/lament/correction for George. He is JUST a victim and all that has happened, happened TO him? Why no thoughts such as “He should not have followed that boy in the SUV” or “He shouldn’t have gotten out of the car” or “Even if he was WRONG to ignore the 911 operates direction not to follow Travon….” — by the way he was wrong for doing that.
    Why does George’s father have the right to see his son as a victim ( “he was attached”) — which is hard to admit when the majority of the events are initiated by George but no words/thoughts emerging from Travon’s “father” about the innocence of Travon’s actions (walking home from 7-11, scared that he was being followed, confusion. I welcome your reply…

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Eric, I think many of your possible fatherly thoughts are good points to add. Thank you.

  43. Christopher Gonzalez Reply

    If there’s one clear fact in this case, it’s the fact that the media blew the racial agenda completely out of the water and will continue to do so at it’s convenience in the future. If anything, they should be held accountable for the mass protest, rioting and violence. Most people these days are just looking for a reason to raise 9 kinds of hell, and they just gave it to them. This all started when the media was allowed to cover these court proceedings and produce rediculous shows like Nancy Grace to generate negative opinions on race and other important issues. These people should be outlawed and prosecuted themselves, but that will never happen. The media in this country can’t be touched. That’s the very reason they’re out of control in the first place. Our government isn’t going to do anything about it either.

  44. jacquie Reply

    It’s probably true that you would feel differently depending on which one was your son, but that is not what justice should be about. There is an objective reality in our country in which if Trayvon Martin had been white, this wouldn’t have happened. I think we have to deal with that, all of us.

    • LBerg Reply

      I agree whole heartedly. If Trayvon had been white, we never would have heard about this case.

  45. Andy Reply

    We will NEVER grow as a nation or a people, until we set aside our racial prejudice and see one another as Americans. Not African Americans, not German American, not Asian Americans or Mexican Americans but Americans! It seems to me that we are going backwards in the progress that seemed to be moving forward for a while. Yes, both families are grieving for different reasons, but those of us that were NOT even in the courtroom are making judgment.

    We live in the greatest country in the World, I know this because I have been to over fourty others, and while not perfect, it’s the BEST without question! What makes it the best is that it was founded on laws and not tyranny. We can’t keep pushing until we get our way and call that justice. We must follow law or get it changed in the proper and American way.

    The best response would have been for the two families to hug one another after the verdict and try to move on. Jesus was crucified with absolutely no reason or proof of guilt but showed nothing but love. I have been on Grand Juries and Jury’s, and it is always a tough and emotional call, but it is the system we have. Let’s move on!

  46. Bob Kincaid Reply

    This case will, unfortunately, drag on forever. Like OJ, Rodney King and others. For me, if you believe in our justice system, it’s over! The jury said not guilty. No more reporting, protesting or second guessing is necessary. Other government agencies “investigating” the possibility of “new charges” to mollify the disgruntled is unfair and wrong. Continual protests (aka rioting) are plain stupid and the destruction of property is illegal and should be heavily punished. The system worked folks! Suck it up and move on.

  47. Chris Kuchar Reply

    I find it amazing that so many people are sure that Zimmerman is innocent or guilty. Why do people have such a hard time saying “I don’t know? ” because NOT ONE of us were there. We can at best give a weak guess yet so many that likely know less than half the facts are so sure of their opinion. If you are using logic you can’t possibly have an opinion on this. Again there is no shame in saying “I don’t know ” because in this case you don’t.

  48. darrell Reply

    I’m guessing with how you described your son… he wouldn’t have attacked anyone either, would he? That’s what a lot of people are leaving out. Trayvon didn’t get shot because he was black or because he was wearing a hoodie or because he was carrying a drink and candy… he got shot because he attacked Zimmerman and was beating Zimmerman. That’s why he got shot.

  49. Gail Reply

    All of these comments, I’m sure, are how people really feel about what has transpired! What really frightens me is the aftermath of hate from those who are not related to the case at all! Instead of support for the families that are involved, total strangers are now rioting and throwing hate in all directions! This will no doubt cause more wrong doing and damage! More hard feelings and violence! Will lead to more arrests and in turn more hard feelings! Is there no end? The effort should be put into trying to change the Florida law that was the final reason for the not guilty verdict! We should stop fighting each other and do things that are worth doing!

  50. Andrew Dunn Reply

    OMG! What a moral dilemma we have put Mr. Kevin in. What if it was his son AND his son? How else can we get a white man to care about a black kid? How can we get Mr. Kevin to just want to actually care about another person? We can’t, so let’s make believe the person we want him to care about is white. That work for you Mr. Kevin?

    Absolutely disgusting. Keep lying to yourself Mr. Kevin. Tell yourself, and others, how you can reach deep inside and muster just that much empathy for all involved. Wow, you are something special, aren’t you. Then you can go re-read your words, puff up with pride, pat yourself on the back, and say to yourself, “I think I just helped others deal with this.” Ummm, no. You only helped your own sick self.

    You see, here’s the truth that you tried to hide while you proofed your wannabe Pulitzer Prize winning blog type thing. You are a racist. Ok, everyone can reshape their mouths so they aren’t forming that “OH” right now. Because OH, it is true. I know it. Mr. Kevin knows it. (He actually knows it more than any of us) And every single person who looks close enough at this garbage that he has written knows it as well.

    How about you just care for other people? Oh, they ain’t all white. So let’s go to your make believe land. I got ya. (And want no part of ya)

    Shame on you!

  51. patsy Reply

    Kevin, thank you for your post. Yes, there is lessons to be learned from this. I have a young son as well and yes it could have been him as well. I’m sure as normal with media there is a lot we have not heard, however, I believe both sides could have made different choices and could have changed the events that night. How would this be now if the young man (Trayvon) got Zimmerman’s gun and shot Zimmerman. Just a thought. The jury took the information they were given and made a decision based on that. One juror made the comment that both sides had an opportunity to stop and did not.
    Gail, I agree all the riots either for or against the verdict is not helping anything.
    I don’t remember protest after OJ trial….

  52. Lapis Lee Reply

    The man with the gun is always more likely to kill the child without a gun, than vice versa.

  53. Bobby Paris Reply

    We are all influenced by our experience and background. Fortunately, Justice is Blind. The facts were considered and a verdict rendered according to the law. Regardless of how we feel, based on our own bias, justice has been served.

  54. Confused Reply

    I have heard all the replies; and no one has mention that George confront Trayvon. A young man has lose his life over this. I’m still confuse; has justice been serve? Kevin is right how I would feel about my sons; but I still would have to ask, why did you get out the truck?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      And that, my friend, is a very good question.

    • LBerg Reply

      You’re confusion comes from not knowing anything about the case but what you’ve been fed by the media. GZ claimed that Trayvon confronted him and attacked. Because the injuries on GZ and the fact that Trayvon didn’t have any, it was pretty easy to prove self defense. The prosecution failed to prove that George intentionally killed Trayvon. I hope this helps. Oh, and it’s not illegal to get out of your car and follow someone you think is suspicious. Right or wrong, it’s not illegal.

  55. sam Reply

    If Trayvon was your son, you’d be getting a million dollars from the HOA, and prolly free stuff:
    http://i.imgur.com/UE6bGzK.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/tL9NOTf.jpg

  56. jaime bose Reply

    The man with the gun following the minor making himself look suspicious in the dark should be held accountable. Kids are kidnapped all the time. Has anyone took the time just maybe Treyvon thought GZ was a threat to his life? Maybe Treyvon thought he was being kidnapped or in this kis murdered. GZ should of identified himself instead of looking like a creep. TM was a scared minor who hid from that jerk because he didnt want to lead GZ back to his home where his little stepbrother was. Ive seen more hate toward TM and his family then the BOSTON BOMBERS!

    • Michael Reply

      Hi Jaime Bose, There has been a trial, it is over, there was a verdict. So I or anyone else doesn’t have to spend a lot of unnecessary time writing and explaining the questions you have, there are endless stories from the trial on the Internet. After gathering these facts you will probably feel the need to remove your post. Or not……

    • Bettymay Reply

      Oh pleeeeze, tray on was a 6ft 3 in. Hoodlum thug !! Do your research, lady!

    • Donna Reply

      Wasn’t he tresspassing in a gated community? How do u get throughsecurity?

  57. Andy Reply

    Wow! I was pleased that there was no hate spewed in these articles, and everyone SEEMED to have a heart for both families. Of course Andrew Dunn stopped the dream that people can actually think rationally about this event, and that maybe there are people who want to come to a reasonable conclusion without shouting hatred toward one another. After all, isn’t that your accusation of George Zimmerman, Andrew? Your response makes you no better than what you have made George Zimmerman. So, let’s just burn down buildings, and beat up white people, and then we will have justice! Andrew Dunn, you are a sick man. You can’t judge the heart of Kevin; oh, wait! Maybe Andrew is God, and knows the heart and intent of each one of us writing here. Andrew’s attitude will NEVER change things and improve our world! Now, Andrew, you got the attention YOU wanted.

    • James Stout Reply

      GOD says: “Be still and know that I am GOD” Can we do that? It is a horrible shame what happened. GOD knows the whole truth. Through prayer we can find our peace.

    • Michael Reply

      It’s obvious this guy has issues so its probably best not to give him any attention.

  58. Michael Reply

    Kevin A Thompson, thank you for the words you wrote. Anyone who has the capacity to understand your words will be provoked to consider both sides and of course bring to our attention the emotions of all the family members.

    Also people, every human being is racist but not everyone is racist to the same degree.

  59. Don Reply

    It’s cowards like u. Who tell others to just let the other side tell their version, though it’s a lie. There can be only the truth. Anything else is a lie and used as propaganda. We are a country of law. Be honest. It’s travons parents fault, it was travons fault. As a citizen u can get upset, but not resort to violence. Once u engage in a physical assault. U are free game. So side with compassion over law. Is this how we intend to rule our country. On emotions rather than law. U have to take a side. Feel bad about it. But pick one. There is no middle ground. Citizens can not be afraid to protect themselves so that they don’t harm someone’s child. Everyone is someone’s child. Some people just have bad kids. And some parents breed hateful kids. So look at the two people. Each have an active record in their communities. If your honest, the truth is very clear. If u choose to look past the truth. U are just ignorant or u don’t care about justice unless it favors the outcome u desire.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Don, thank you for proving the point of my article.

    • Marc Reply

      Seems like you’ve got it all figured out, Don, just like you figured out how to spell and write and form half thoughts.
      Oh, and I concur you proved the point of the article.
      Stay cool.

      • Joan Reply

        Marc you are really what this blog is NOT about, thinking only you have the truth, you make fun and don’t even realize that what you are making fun of is a great understanding of what this conversation is about. You need the education!

    • JoAnne Reply

      You said it just right, don!

  60. Jean Reply

    If Zimmerman was my son I would wonder why he got out of his vehicle when the cops told him to stay inside. We have seen odd things going on in our neighborhood that were not an immediate threat and we call the police because that is their job, not ours.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Jean, and that would be a very fair question to wonder about.

    • Jeannie Reply

      Zimmerman had every right to get out of his car..he was elected by hi neighbors to be the neighborhood watch patrol..there had been several burglaries and the burglars had gotten away even tho Z had called the police..he in fact DID call the 911 operator when he saw TM , yes, staggering down the sidewalk, walking by the hedges next to the spts…watch the video of him at the strore and you can see for yourself . He had every right to get out of his car and the operator asked Z, “where is he now?” Z was looking to see where TM was going..I am sure he didnt want any of the following to happen butnit definitely wasn’t Z fault! He was getting his head beat into concrete for ago ones sakes, after having his nose broken! Goodness ppl, wake up..it may be you next!!

    • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe) Reply

      At what point did the police tell GZ to stay inside his vehicle?
      Answer: Never.

      1. The dispatch operator is not police authority. Again, they cannot issue any orders, especially if the action is otherwise legal.

      2. When the audio changed because GZ was out of his car, the operator asked GZ if he was following. He admitted he was. The operator said, “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.” That is a suggestion – not an order. I have followed a drunk driving suspect who had caused several near-accidents at high speed, and told the 911 operator I was following at speeds sometimes in excess of 90 mph, and who was threatening me. They ADVISED me not to follow, and I told them I will continue to follow until their unit catches up. There was no penalty, and in the end, the officers were grateful. I agree that not everyone should do this, but it is an option. It is not illegal for a citizen to intervene to prevent crime and protect others from harm. In fact, in some cases, it is illegal not to intervene.
      Having said all this, GZ replied to the suggestion and consented not to follow. Evidence suggests that he did not follow. He said TM ran off. At no time was GZ running. Halfway through the call, it is obvious that GZ has no idea where TM has gone.

      3. At no time was GZ told to stay in his vehicle. The unedited call is available on YouTube. But again, even if the operator had issued any such advisory, GZ was under no legal obligation to follow that advisory. It may not be something you would do. That does not make it wrong, and it certainly does not make it illegal.

      One thing that is obvious about this event – there is no shortage of false narratives. At a minimum, there are many narratives that assume facts that are not proven, such as these: GZ was ordered not to follow/to stay in his vehicle; GZ approached TM; GZ confronted TM…

      Yes, it is true that we cannot know for sure, and we are all operating on where we place credibility. We have GZ’s testimony, witness testimony, the 911 audio, the injuries to GZ, and the forensic evidence. The bottom line is that the bulk of the weight of the witness testimony supports GZ’s testimony. The forensic evidence shows that the pistol was against TM’s sweater, but 4 inches from his chest, which supports the testimony that TM was on top of GZ. There was no injury to TM, except for his hands from beating on GZ and the gunshot wound, while GZ suffered damage to his airway, numerous injuries all over his head, front and back, and a broken nose. Finally, the audio supports that GZ initially followed, but stopped when ASKED not to. He did try to determine where TM went in an effort to provide police with as much info as possible. There is no evidence whatsoever that he approached or attacked TM.

      Also, let us not forget that of the two, only TM used any hateful slur in reference to the other, and only GZ did the responsible thing by calling police. We know TM made calls, but not to the police, unfortunately for him.

      The reality is that most every disparaging comment about GZ revolves around the use of some claim that is completely unsupported by any evidence at all, or a false narrative, such as the example of this comment by Jean.

      It is fair to question the wisdom of GZ getting out of his vehicle. Do not add false elements to bolster your feelings on the action. Many acts of bravery involve decisions that some may find unwise. I realize it is unpopular to do so, but I give GZ the benefit of the doubt on this one. He was trying to act to serve his neighbors and quell the wave of crime that had hit his neighborhood. He was trying to go above and beyond in that service, and he did so responsibly. Again, he called the police. If only TM had done the same…

  61. Corey Simmonds Reply

    Kevin, I have to thank you for this piece. It calls for the kind of calm, rational discourse that we not only sorely lack in this country, but seem to sorely lack the will to have.

    As a political centrist, I tend to find myself on the receiving end of the very demonization you identify (attacks so vicious they often reach levels that of hyperbole go from hurtful to comical), and being a less-than-perfect person, I’m also sometimes on the giving end. Having ample experience with both, I think you’re making an important yet seldom-addressed point about how we have discussions in this country.

    So again, thank you.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      thank you Corey

      • Jean Reply

        The trial was an awful lie on the states side..TM was a thug who had burglary tools and jewelry in his school locker…his phone, loaded with obscene pics,which along with the previous evidence, was withheld from the defense..TM was being raised by his step mother, as his mother had not been in his life..why I don’t know.TM was high on pot the night of the fight and had pot and other drugs pictured on his phone as well as pics of naked so called under aged girls…my point..he was not the angel the family and media would want you to know..TM was murdering Z and not have much further to go to have been accused of murder and it would have been a real case not a made up one..anyone in Z . Place would have done the same..tired also of hearing ppl saying Z shouldn’t have gotten out of his car..says who? It’s not against any law to get out of your car, and to follow anyone!! Get real, ppl, the trial is over and was fair and Z will not have any kind of life and the whole thing is tragic!! Leave Zimmerman alone and stop putting TM on a pedestal..it’s not fair!!!

        • Pam Reply

          This is the typical rant. So what you are saying is that Trayvon Martin deserved to die? Have you ever had a strong willed child? One that causes the same problems or is so upset about his life and wants to fit in or has a learning disability or plain attitude problem. Oh yeah, that’s right….17 year old boys normally never have attitudes or .wear hoodies or act icky, do they? So let’s put ’em away because they deserve it. Have you ever had a wannabe tough guy child? That thinks he deserves that position of authority when he can’t handle the physical aspects and really wants to prove that the last police exam that he flubbed was really a blunder? That loses his temper at his girlfriend or the policeman that saw through his need to control? Okay. Let’s take that, guy and put him up against that icky kid and you will have exactly the mayhems you desire. No, it’s not fair! Nothing is ever, ever fair!

          • David L Pipkin (@daviddlpe)

            You asked if TM deserved to die. We all deserve to die, and death is most certainly assured to each one of us. From the standpoint of man’s relation to man, yes, TM deserved to die. Whatever transpired before the attack, the evidence shows that TM was mercilessly beating GZ, and would not have stopped until GZ stopped moving. Whether that meant he was dead, or merely unconscious is irrelevant. No one has the right to beat you until you are helpless and at their mercy.

            Listen again, so we are clear: Even if it turned out that GZ hated Blacks and singled out TM for that reason, and even if GZ had actually approached TM, GZ would still have the right to protect himself from the great bodily harm being inflicted by TM.

            Or is it your position that GZ deserved to die?

  62. Darlene Reply

    I’m 51 and my mom still refers to me as a kid

  63. Forrest Reply

    Thanks Kevin!

    • Lynette Reply

      Everyone keeps saying what Trayvon did, what Zimmerman did.
      Were any of you there? Did you see what happened? How can you say what one or the other did? There are only two people that know that answer. Trayvon and Zimmerman. Trayvon cannot defend himself or speak of what happened. Does Zimmerman speak the truth or lies? Who knows. I do know that a human being is dead. A mother and father have lost a son. A family member is gone. Zimmerman knows exactly what happened and whatever happened he has to live with it. So much crap was said about what happened, nobody has a freaking clue what the truth is.

  64. veronica square Reply

    I think that people are portraying Trayvon as a boy when clearly he was a young man…I also feel as Zimmerman is being portrayed as something he was not as well. The truth of the matter is neither of them were angels…one had prior trouble at school, while the other had prior run ins with the law that included domestic abuse and assaulting a police officer that was making an arrest. Now with that being said if GZs past played no factor in that trial, neither should Trayvon’s…the point is no crime was being committed while this young man was being pursued. He may have attacked Zimmerman, but clearly it was after he was approached. No one should have to be seen as a threat or looked at as a suspect for simply minding their business. This will always be a touchy subject….all people can do is agree to disagree…

    • Louise Reply

      So you think if someone , who is the neighborhood watch man, is following behind you, you have the right to lay in wait, for four min. And sucker punch Zimmerman and break his nose, and then bust his head on the cement sidewalk. And almost kill him that was no worse than having the neighborhood watchman walk behind you? My goodness, lady. You better hope you or a loved one doesn’t look cross eyed at a Blake person or you will probably be murdered!

    • Jeri Reply

      Tray owns trouble was burglary, drug abuse, prostitution, theft, who knows what, Zimmerman had a warrant against him by his wife as well Z had one against her.it was a domestic thing.the cop thing was dropped, it was nothing. They interviewed dozens of people, and not one had anything negative to say. Who here could say that? Leave him alone, let him live in peace, after all he and his family have gone through!

    • Gloria Reply

      If you are a neighborhood watch person, chosen to watch out for thr neighborhood, which had been burglarized numerous times, by blacks, with no one caught, then you most certainly do have the right to get out of your car car and also to follow as you wait for the police which is what he was doing.

      • pam Reply

        No, not at all. Neighborhood watches are assembled to do just that. Watch. And report. That’s it. The police knew what they were doing and they told him to stay put. Zimmerman was out of his league and when this is over he will NOT be hired as a peace officer in thar region. p.s. what’s with your black thing when blacks also lived in that community?

  65. Pat Reply

    Well, all I know is I would much rather have a wantabe cop in my neighborhood than a wantabe thug!

    • pam Reply

      Pat, how do you live with yourself?

  66. Taogirl Reply

    Mr. Thompson,

    You, as a white male, can no more know how you would feel if Mr. Martin were your son than I, as a white female can. While I respect your endeavor to see all sides of this issue, you simply cannot know. You, as a Christian male, can never know of my experiences as a Jewish female or as the mother of a daughter who received death threats from Christian children in middle school. You cannot know what it was like for me, as a young woman, to be sexually harassed and raped. You, a member of of every privileged group in this nation, cannot possibly know about the experiences of those in oppressed groups, but you can listen and try to understand.

    I don’t know what I would have felt were Zimmerman my son, but I am trying to imagine how I would feel if one of my children acted as he did, and I think I would be deeply ashamed of him or her and feel sick that a child I raised had behaved in such an abhorrent manner. I think that I would not want to look Mr. Martin’s parents in the face, but that I would force myself to do so and to say: “I am so very sorry and ashamed that my son killed your son. I know that nothing I can do will bring him back, but please let me know if there is any way my son and I can make restitution.” I think that I would ream my son up one side and down another and tell him that there was no possible excuse for what he did and that I would always love him, but that I was ashamed and sickened for him, and would not attempt to defend his behavior in any way.

    Just as no girl or woman should EVER be sexually harassed or violated–regardless of where she is, what color she is, what she’s wearing, how she’s walking, dancing, sitting, etc., and what she’s had to drink, smoke, or snort, no one should EVER be followed or profiled or threatened or shot because of where he is, what color he is, what he’s wearing, how he’s walking, dancing, standing, etc., or what he’s had to drink, smoke, or snort. The Steubenville football players should not have raped that young woman; Zimmerman should not have followed–in direct violation of police orders– much less shot Trayvon Martin.

    Please use your privilege as a white, straight, Christian male, Mr. Thompson, to be an ally of oppressed groups in America, to understand them, and to join them in solidarity. You can do this while being polite and open-minded and attempting to see all sides of the issue. But please stop pretending that you know how it feels to be the parent of a young man who died because he was black. Because you don’t.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Taogirl, that was my point, that we can’t fully understand each others experiences. As for me standing up for the oppressed, please read: http://www.kevinathompson.com/what-a-drunk-girl-deserves/

      • pegodaaj Reply

        Kevin, your comment here provides a chance for me to, perhaps, clarify part of my reply to you a few minutes ago. Correct: we can’t fully understand the experiences of another person. But, we CAN and SHOULD respect the experiences and do so honestly. In my opinion, this can only be done through a combination of historical, psychological, sociological, and personal evidence and information. With this, we can come very close to not only understanding the experience of others, but we can also have informed opinions and “facts.”

        This is all very interesting to me. 🙂

      • Jake Toolson Reply

        It seems as though every comment here does not understand the point you were trying to make. Perhaps this is irony in its finest?

    • LBerg Reply

      I have to say that of all the comments I’ve read on this blog, this one upsets me the most. Every person at some time in their life have been victims of some kind of abuse, racism or pain brought on by another person. What good does it do to play victim? I grew up with nothing. I grew up hispanic. I’ve been molested by an uncle. My mom was brutally raped as a fourteen year old. I pity your attitude and thank God that I wasn’t raised to have your mentality. It infuriates me that you believe that my white, Christan grandfather can’t hold an opinion because you don’t feel like he has ever really suffered. Stop feeling sorry for yourself!!!!! You have no clue what is in George Zimmerman’s heart or why he felt the need to follow Trayvon. You can only speculate. People like you make me sooooooo mad!

  67. Wilson Reply

    It fascinates me how people to attack this dead young man who cannot speak for his self…how can you ignore all of events leading up to the altercation as if zimmerman played no roll in what happened. What trayvon did in school or mistakes he made as a young immature teenagee do not justify what happened to him. Zimmerman had run ins with the law that are not continually brought up or even discussed to portray him as a drunk or some type of criminsl. Those who dont see the racial angle or profiling in this case a just dont want to see it. You cant acknowledge something if to you or in your experiences never experienced it. Why doesnt trayvon have just as much rights to defend himself or stand his grown as zimmerman??? You cannot… I repeat you cannot follow someone at night in which the other party does not know you and not expect that other party doesnt get uneasy about it….. Secondly i hear people say trayvon was the aggressor??? How if george pursued him…exited his car and continued to stalk the boy. Trayvon had every right to do what he was doing…. Zimmerman was the adult in the situation who also wss being counsrled by the dispatchers to which he ignored…. Why are his decisions more forgivable by most of the people im reading in this feed. Some of you are so stuck in a world that pretends racial issues dont exist that its impossible for you to fathom that things like this happen to blacks all the time, but since its not on cnn or fox isnt reporting it it must not happen. Zimmerman racially profiled that boy…initiated and pursued this young man…got into a confrontation that he couldnt handle…. And cowardly killed an unarmed scared kid. And people be real with yourselves why the heck would a grown man be screaming for help if he knows he had a gun on him….HIS GUN WAS HIS HELP!!!! Nobody that has a gun on them that the other party knows nothing about is honna be calling for help…..Again his gun was his help!!!

    • LBerg Reply

      Unless…………he didn’t want to use that gun. Hmmmm

  68. Cassandra Reply

    There are no two sides to this story…..Zimmerman should have stayed in his car. Point blank period. If Trayvon did retaliate he had every right to. It’s a crime to walk down a street with a hoodie on? Zimmerman was the adult in the situation and should have acted as so and if Trayvon was getting the best of him he should have taken his whipping like a man and kept it moving. I can’t believe people have the nerve to compare this to their sons. When some wanna be guns your son down in the dark and he is taken away forever then you can empathize. I don’t care if Trayvon or Zimmerman were black, white, pink, orange, yellow or purple. Wrong is wrong.

    • pegodaaj Reply

      And given Zimmerman’s priors, if he had black skin, he would have been in prison. Society has racialized him as white and has let him get away with murder. Yes, he should have stayed in his car. Yes, he should have been more careful. His past shows he is a violent, hostile individual with far too many overt racist tendencies.

  69. Brandon S. Reply

    These are good points, and I can tell they came from the heart. But as we acknowledge our inability to fully understand the feelings others, we also need to acknowledge that there are societal systems at work that caused this tragedy to happen. We’ve made improvements as a country, but racism is alive and well in our society through our institutions and our national psyche. This is something acknowledged by people of all races, ethnicities, and background and until we are real about it, it’s not going anywhere.

  70. Dena Reply

    I so agaree with the above statement. When one is 17, 6 ft tll and weighing 175…this is no child. In and out of trouble, doing drugs and the story goes on, the pic of a 12 yr old “boy” was a lie to us as a society that the media protrayed. Yes, it’s sad on BOTH sides, not just one. Thank you for writing this Wilma. Very good.

  71. Jeri Reply

    The person hurt the most is dead, he did not expect to be dead when he went out but Zimmerman went out looking for trouble and armed to take care of it. He was a vigilante and now he is a child killer. He is a stalker under the guise of a community patroller who wasnt good enough to be a policeman. He wanted to use a gun and was in great shape poised to shoot. a shooter in the waiting, seeking action. he gave that action to a lone child with no witnesses around. zimmerman chose to exercise control and shoot in the dark with no witnesses around against a child he viewed on the cell phone, preoccupied talking to a girl for a long period of time. The child was relaxed til he was approached. zimmerman shot and got a rush and will do it again. he is like Natalie Holloway’s killer. he will be in court again. just like vandermeer r whatever his name was killed another girl. zimmerman will attack another vulnerable male, maybe a homeless man at night. he s a coward whatever color he is.

    The jurors do not fear him. even some people who think the jury was right are afraid of him. How can people agree with the jurors decision and still be afraid to be around him? It’s pretty racist to be afraid of an admitted killer and stand by him because he is the same color you are.

    Its not about racism as if it is the subject, it’s about who is a killer set free and did race make the thing happen or did race set him free. How are we suppose to travel with killers let go by jurors?Just because he turned into the Pillsbury Dough Boy before trial doesn’t mean he is credibly sympathetic. A lot of people are protesting because it is incredible and poor showmanship.

    The trial seemed orchestrated. And the primary people who will have to deal with Zimmerman will be the people who live near him the jurors who let him go, their family, friends and their friends , and the professionals in the case. After all, they are not afraid of him or the Attorney General investigation. If the law was understood and applied correctly, race may not be a factor? If the law was not dealt with properly, Public policy according to the Attorney General’s interpretation at this point in time may put that question of race in pontification. Cursing each other is not necessary. Good luck to the Peacemakers, jail for people who go outside with a gun and kill any of our God’s children, Trayvon Martin included. Zimmerman was not policing , neighborhood watching means watching not approaching and shooting. Men should not talk to children who are not their own…go talk to a parent or call the police, someone trained to talk to a child.

    The article was presumptuous and took a side without clearly stating that it did. It was a dismissive point that reasonable minds differ without talking about a case and evidence available on tv everyday. He appeared to lack knowledge of the case as if he did not watch the trial and was speaking in generalities. I found it to be misleading and not helpful at this time. The article minimized the hurt minorities disproportionately suffer making the author appear insensitive and arrogant while self righteous at the same time. Not a meaningful message for people who want to hear something that makes sense and further discussion.

  72. John Doe Reply

    Jeri is correct. This is babble. Although there are many aspects of this tragedy and its aftermath that we cannot know, as casual observers, there is one fact that we do know. That is, a young man is dead by a gunshot fired from the gun of a volunteer neighborhood watch person.

    Of course, our opinions and judgements are colored by our experiences; that is obvious. Yet to minimize the loss of life is, as Jeri points out, insensitive and arrogant.

    Although our world would be a better place if more of its inhabitants recognized the perils of forming an opinion based on something less that the facts of a situation, it is also true that this article is in itself, a glossing over, and a cowardly retreat from the search for truth.

  73. Tracy Reply

    Thank you for your measured and thoughtful response. It is terribly sad and frightening that so many missed the point.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Tracy, With all the people who read the post, very few commented in a way that missed the point. Clearly some did, but most got it. Thank you for understanding.

  74. abnlonnie Reply

    It’s a darn shame that that young man is gone. What if he were my son? Just like I taught the two sons I have, I would have taught him that you don’t attack an adult who questions you. I would have taught him that he is responsible for his own actions and the results of those actions.

  75. Erin Reply

    OR what’s been written here could be called deadly fence sitting. Take no position out of a misguided desire not to ruffle feathers and continue to do nothing to change what needs to change, fix what needs to be fixed while millions more are profiled and/or victims of kill-at-will laws, which did indeed embolden Mr. Zimmerman that rainy night. Of COURSE the parents of the victim, Trayvon, and the killer, George Zimmerman, are going to be convinced their child was in the right. This doesn’t mean those personal, un-objective opinions cancel each other out and make both participants in the event neither all right nor all wrong. This is a willful ignorance (sorry) and a very airy wish to end conflict without offending anyone. But this stance is actually offensive to everyone. For resolution, it’s important to stick to the hard facts. I won’t argue the case again. At this point, there is no swaying of opinions. But I will say, with absolute conviction, I know the author of this piece is either pro-Zimmerman or pro Stand Your Ground as a concept. There is no way you could see the death of this young man in a wishy-washy way unless you have an agenda. The only alternative to that is that the writer is simply dangerously naive. Those who understand what profiling is doing to young black men in America know a white wash when they see it. I find this concept as repulsive as saying the events of that night were God’s plan. People have to take responsibility for dangerous laws and racist attitudes or we cannot save the lives of others, and Trayvon’s death means nothing.

  76. Michelle Reply

    After reading through the comments I think they just prove exactly what the author said “Our inability to see the other side, to understand their position, to see how others can disagree with us in a logical way, is one of the great problems in America today.” Everyone will not agree on who was at fault in this case and that’s okay as long as you can be civilized and don’t cut down the people who see it differently. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, just respect my opinion and ill respect yours. The one thing I know here is that a “boy” ( technically at 17 he’s not considered an adult however at 17 they can be tried in court as an adult) lost his life and anytime that happens, regardless of the circumstances, it’s a tragedy.

  77. Rev. Dan Partiss Reply

    Bravo, great message here

  78. pegodaaj Reply

    The attempt to present both sides here is truly noteworthy. It is always important to consider possible variations in opinion and events. BUT, we MUST recognize evidence and historical events. As a historian of “race” and culture, it cannot be denied that racialized discourses and thoughts have played huge roles in this entire case and in countless others basically just like it. The book “The New Jim Crow” is probably the best short volume that covers the injustices of the United States’s legal system.

    Moreover, I would NOT be comfortable articulating how I would feel if I were the parent of either of these two men. To do so is to presume too much and could be taken as insensitive – though I’m sure this was not your intention. Also, we KNOW how the parents SAY they feel. I would for sure not question Mr. Martin’s parents – they lost their son. With Mr. Zimmerman, however, it must be recognized that he has a documented past of not being a good citizen, to put it in the simplest and nicest terms possible. His parents, especially his white dad who is a judge, probably have or should have different feelings than they are starting, so to speak. Context is key. This was not Zimmerman’s first encounter with the law, nor the first time he has so overtly been involved in issues that make him much more of a racist than the average person. From what I know, if I were his dad, I would hope I would be disappointed in him to the core.

    Also, Zimmerman is “white” for all practical purposes. This is how he has been racialized, and this is how society, especially “the right” and the courts, have treated him. I wrote a blog article last night about how he has become “white.” It’s here: http://andrewpegoda.com/2013/07/17/whiteness-history-and-comments-about-george-zimmerman/

    Sorry to be so critical. Just a lot to express, and there are already so many comments here.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Andrew, Thanks for the comments. While it was somewhat expected, the comments on the blog have focused on the case and not the intent or content of the blog. I used a hypothetical scenario to call people outside of their normal way of thinking in hopes of giving them a deeper perspective regarding their own lives. It is a blog about truth, but sadly the closing words have been ignored and much attention has been given to the opening few paragraphs which are nothing more than introduction. Ironically, most of the comments have proven the point of the post.

      • pegodaaj Reply

        Fair points. I reread your original article again (before I commented the first time, I read it a few times and thought about it a good 15 min.). I stand by my first comments. The introduction is an important frame for the following points and brings up several points worthy of note. I’ll add, that yes everyone has their own opinions and own truth(s) and even their own notions of morality. This is fine and normal. But we must recognize evidence, too. A motto I use goes: support opinions and “facts” supported by evidence and experience. Too many opinions are support by fear, prejudice, or misinformation. People need informed opinions and perspectives. And, given “the point” of your article, I’m sure you’ll recognize that people who read it will each take “their own” “point” from it and/or have different reactions, thoughts, etc in response. 🙂

  79. oua Reply

    You are right on and I could not have said it better. Your statements reflect what I have felt for a long time, but have not been eloquent enough to state as well as you have. Well said!

  80. Stephani Reply

    Very well said and I agree with the diverse views and all that means. What I don’t understand is how these people that are upset can protest in the streets AND do the horrible things they are doing. Fighting, picking fights, damaging property, assaulting strangers. There is no excuse for this and it seems to me they are upset because they believe this young man was targeted and the system failed them. Why do the think their actions are justified? This kind of action is what solidifies our beliefs that this is what blacks do when they get upset. It’s not acceptable any more that it is right for me to make that kind of assumption. That’s where our belief systems come alive. We see this happening over and over again. Stop acting in destructive ways and we might change the way we look at the races.

  81. Jennifer Reply

    I read through several comments up top and some really dissapoint me in who WE are as Americans, whether it be caucasian americans, african americans, mexican americans, WE are all Americans and reading some of the things above are disheartening. I was raised in a upper middle class white family. We weren’t rich, by any means, but my brother and I never wanted for much. We went to good schools and were taking care of physically and emotiionally by two loving parents. As i got into jr. high and started hanging with different crowds, I started using drugs, stealing, etc and hung out on “the other side of the tracks” for the remainder of my school years and well into my 20’s and i became accustomed to a different lifestyle than i was born into. I have always felt blessed to have experienced both “ways of living” and I feel that it taught me alot. Felicia’s comment really stood out to me.

    Felicia, you call David a racist and say that he “loves to hate African Americans more than he could ever love God…” I think that is a horrible thing to say coming from a Christian woman, which i assume that you strive to be. Maybe I missed something, but I didn’t see him make 1 comment about anyone’s race other than referring the the story of the “white” jogger who was pulled into a vehicle by 3 “black” men…how is that a racist comment if it’s just the facts? Like I said, I read several comments and yours is the first that I saw that seem very angry and hateful toward a person for not sharing your belief and that is exactly what the author of this article is saying. Everyone doesn’t have to think like you or agree with your opinion. I see both sides of this tragedy. Do I think that Trayvon was a saint and never made a bad choice or never misbehaved, or got in trouble? Absolutely Not! Do I think that George Zimmerman shoiuld have continued to pursue Trayvon after being told not to? Absolutely Not! Do I believe that a 17 year male deserved to die, whether he was walking with skittles and a hoodie, or whether he had just ran out of a home, valuables in hand? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I personally feel in my heart that the voice screaming on that 911 call was Trayvon and it makes me tremendously sad to hear it, but again that is my personal belief and I am not going to bash anyone or call them names if they don’t agree. I agree that Trayvon’s parents should use their position in the media because of this tragedy to ask that the riots please stop so that another family does not have to bury someone. I don’t understand why everything is made about race. White people have been robbed and killed by black people and black people have been robbed and killed by white people. It’s shouldn’t be about race! A human being was killed by another human being. Someone lost a son, a friend, a cousin, etc and someone else’s life will also never be the same again but they were both human beings for goodness sake!!!

  82. Tim Tidwell Reply

    I have heard both sides of this case, the president has weighed in and several black Americans that hold public positions. I find it strange there was a similar case around the same time in South Carolina of a 17 year old white male was killed by four black men and never heard this kids name talked about by these same individuals that were so outraged in the Martin case.

    • Donna Reply

      Who was it? I’ll repost.

      • Tim Tidwell Reply

        Marley Lion case

  83. Truth Seeker Reply

    The only thing that matters is that Zimmerman lied. The prosecutor proved he knew the law, but he stated he had never heard of it. His professor testified that they had covered it in class, he was there that day, and he was the best student in the class. If he lied about that, what else did he lie about? The case is about a liar passing off his b.s. as innocence. And clearly, willfully crafting his testimony to a strategy and not real events. Everything else is media hype-up frenzy.

  84. wwjdmsr Reply

    Kevin,

    I applaude the effort to try to “put yourself into someone else’s shoes”, I think too often as a society we neglect to think of others before ourselves. As to the tragic events that occurred and the resulting verdict, all I can say is that it broke my heart that a young man lost his life at such a young age, and another may never have a chance to live his fully again. I see both sides of the arguments that have been posted here and in the media, and had at one time a very set opinion of the matter. I have now realized that I am in no position to form an opinion as to guilt or innocence of either party. I believe its possible they both may have thought that they were right in their actions, unfortunately we will never know Trayvon’s side of the story. I really wanted to tell you how much I got out of this post, I had to re-read it several times because it really spoke to me. I realized that all of this talk about racism got me to thinking about change, and I feel that true change will not come about from people sounding off about who is right or who is wrong, what is right or what is wrong, it comes from within us. As we think about how our actions effect others, how what we say will be received in the hearts of others, it is the selfless acts that will bring about the changes that our nation needs. We will never be able to break the bonds of hatred or intolerance towards others, while we are only focused on ourselves and our needs. It is only when we can love one another before ourselves, as God did by sending his only Son to die on the cross for us, not for himself, that we will be truly be a united people. That is what I took away from your post. So, with a much humbler heart. Thank you!!

  85. Nallah Reply

    I love this , my teacher in my English 3 class passed this out to us as inspiration for the journal entry we had to write which was about why putting yourself in someone elses shoes is important. This really helped me , thanks again.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Nallah, Thanks for letting me know. Tell your teacher thank you. In what state is this happening?

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