Thursday, June 20, 2013 5:07 AM
Published on: Thursday, March 29, 2012
By Daryl Buchanan
Since hearing of Trayvon Martin’s murder the story has disturbed me. A range of emotions and thoughts washed over me. I was angry, frustrated, confused, and frightened. As more details became public it continued to weigh heavily on my mind. How could a 17- year- old kid be gunned down while walking home? It seemed unreal that something as senseless as this could happen.
I’m angry because I learned George Zimmerman a man on “neighborhood watch” seems to have confronted the young man because he looked suspicious. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie and carried a cell phone, a bag of Skittles, and an iced tea. It’s wrong to accuse someone of racial profiling or being a racist. But being an African-American it’s hard not to think the worst in situations like this.
I think Trayvon was profiled because of his skin color. We all know racial profiling unfortunately remains a problem in society. Zimmerman may not be a racist, but his actions on that night could and should have been handled better. What reason did Zimmerman have to confront Trayvon? When did “neighborhood watchers” begin carrying weapons and confronting people they deem suspicious? Why did an adult feel the need to shoot an unarmed teenager?
911 recordings released to the public seem to point to Zimmerman being the instigator of the confrontation. However, his story to police states that Trayvon was the aggressor. Trayvon is not alive to give his side of the story. Witnesses report seeing Zimmerman on top of the child during their scuffle. Who exactly is screaming for help on that 911 recording? Why would a man with a gun need help subduing an apparently unarmed teenager?
All those questions come to mind and it angers me that answers to questions like that have been scarce. I wonder if any of those questions will be answered truthfully.
I’m frustrated because a young life seemingly with so much potential has been taken. In particular another black male has been taken because he apparently looked “suspicious”. Sadder even is the fact that there are more cases just like this one across the country that aren’t as widely publicized. When will senseless killings and injustice cease?
It seems an impossible task to make sense of this. The case is incredibly murky. Incidents such as these should no longer be occurring in such a progressive society. Yet here we are and the nation is outraged over the death of a young man that was 100 percent avoidable.
I ask myself why and how but answers escape me. Zimmerman says he acted in self defense but 911 recordings and facts of the case don’t seem to add up. It only reinforces my thinking that Zimmerman acted to rashly and irresponsibly.
I am frightened because I see myself in Trayvon. Yes he was 17 and I am 27 but often I have done exactly what Trayvon was doing the night he was killed. I have never been in trouble with law enforcement but I can’t help think that this could have easily been me.
It’s a scary thought to see such a horrible crime and see yourself as a potential victim of a similar crime. It’s an uneasy feeling to go about your day to day business and have that thought weigh on your mind. The idea that you could be the victim of some fatal misunderstanding is unsettling.
I remember as a teenager I was profiled by a convenience store owner once. He watched me as I walked the aisles. Memories like that didn’t shake my faith in society and I’m sure good people are out there. But incidents like the murder of Trayvon and the slow and poor justice systems plants seeds of doubt and frustration.
The murder of Trayvon serves as a reminder that there are still racial issues in this society. The thought that I could be singled out because of my skin color or even because the way I’m dressed lingers in my head. Perhaps it is unlikely, but there is always that “what if?”
I’m reminded of a song by Bruce Springsteen called American Skin (41 shots). He wrote it in reaction to the murder of Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times by New York City Police Officers. In the song Springsteen writes:
“It ain't no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in
Your American skin”
Those lyrics came to mind when I about Trayvon. I can’t help but think that Trayvon was perhaps killed as a result of his skin. Truly how comfortable are some people in their own skin? I wish I had answers for all of the questions that fill my mind. More importantly I wish I had an answer of how this sort of thing can be stopped from ever happening. Answers and reasoning escape me.
Posted By: wwk On: 5/19/2013
Study the "Bell Curve", and you will understand how this man wrote this article,
and feels the way he does
Posted By: Al On: 4/26/2013
Title: Dream on
Lets let the facts play out and see what a fine boy Travon was.....