What You Need To Know About the Trayvon Martin Case

On February 26, just about one month ago, Trayvon Martin, a black seventeen-year old, was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman’s family says that he is Hispanic, but some sources say he is white. It is for this reason that many people believe Zimmerman has yet to be prosecuted.

If Trayvon Martin had been a white teenager and George Zimmerman a black man, would this prosecution have been expedited? This is the most asked question as the Martin Family awaits word that justice has been served and Zimmerman has been put in jail for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Race has clouded the facts in this case. The racism that still, unfortunately, exists in our country justifies to some Zimmerman’s actions. Zimmerman’s supporters and family have said that the shooting came out of self-defense. But newly uncovered evidence says otherwise. Let us be colorblind, even for a moment, as we look through the evidence:

-Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, called a non-emergency police line from his car to report a suspicious person, Trayvon Martin. “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He is on drugs or something.” While still on the phone with police, Zimmerman got out of his car and began to follow Martin.

-Martin was not in the gated community without reason, however. He was there visiting his father.

-Martin noticed he was being followed and called his girlfriend: “Oh, he’s right behind me, he’s right behind me again,” said Martin to his girlfriend. Martin’s girlfriend later heard the teenager ask, “Why are you following me?” and another man reply, “What are you doing around here?” Moments later, Martin’s girlfriend heard a gunshot.

-Travyon Martin did not have a single weapon on him, just skittles and Arizona iced tea, items he had bought from a nearby 7-11.

-This was not Zimmerman’s first call to police regarding a suspicious person. From January 2011 to February 26, 2012, Zimmerman had made 46 calls to police. Recordings of six of these calls were released on Monday and four of them concerned suspicious persons, all of whom were black.

As much as I would like to disregard race and hope that one day race will not affect the outcome of such a case, this last fact cannot be ignored. From the facts uncovered thus far, George Zimmerman appears to have been greatly at fault. He assumed that, because of skin color and associated racial stereotypes, Trayvon Martin was “up to no good.”

The fatal mix of power and racial hatred manifested itself in Zimmerman’s actions on February 26. I am reminded of Audre Lorde’s poem, “Power,” a 1978 social commentary on a case involving the killing of a young, black boy by a white police officer. Clearly, this has long been a huge, disheartening issue in our country and the world. It is my hope that some day a case such as this will have the title “neighborhood watch volunteer kills teenager” not “white/hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer kills black teenager.”

Ashley is a freshman at George Washington University and she’s majoring in “Overanalyzing Situations” and International Affairs. Follow her on twitter @ashleybrooks25

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  1. kay says:

    as much as I love cc's fun, happy articles, you do a very nice job with the serious current events one too. good job on a bad issue. that poor kid.

  2. Kimmie says:

    Thank you for bringing awareness to this case. My heart hurts everytime I see this kid's face, but it's important to keep this story alive until justice has been served. R.I.P Trayvon, we will stand up for you.

  3. CoR says:

    FYI – the girlfriend didn't hear a gun shot – the phone died right before.. get your story straight first next time

    1. Nicole says:

      CoR, that really was not the gist of the story. Are you Zimmerman's girlfriend? Or better yet the girlfriend who did not hear the shot go off? You could have said that a hundred ways better. Nit picking bothers me to no end.

  4. Brittany says:

    Have you SEEN George Zimmerman? I know color is not always an indicator but he has many physical traits that are typical of people from certain Hispanic countries. The only reason "other sources" try to say he is white is to make this a racially charged story. Zimmerman was a sick man and should be locked up in the darkest part of our prison system (if not given the death penalty) but stop trying to make this into a story about black guy vs white guy. Now if you tried to argue that he has yet to be charged because the kid was black, I might believe there's some credibility to your stance but George would have looked Hispanic to the police which, if we're sticking with white vs minority, would have meant the police would have hauled him off immediately. And probably checked his citizenship while they were at it.

    1. Kimmie says:

      Racism is not just black and white. Just because Zimmerman is not white does not mean he is not racist against black people. The cops are protecting him for some reason that for now is unknown.

    2. Brittany says:

      I completely agree with you. What I disagree with is that people are trying to make this into a black vs. white thing. It's the most controversial, racially charged issue they can come up with to sell papers/get web hits so they do it.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    It's very rare that a white person can write so well about a racist event, so I would like to thank you for this article. There are journalists much older than you and much more well established who are trying to cover up the aspect of race in this issue. You do a great job of exposing all the facts, I wish more journalists could be like you.

  9. Don says:

    Interesting, in an attempt to placate and ingratiate oneself, the facts fly out the window once again. Zimmerman received a broken nose and the back of his head was bleeding from the repetitive strikes on the concrete. I guess in his racist celebration dance, Zimmerman punched himself in the face and then performed repetitive nes tea plunges on the pavement. What is the matter with a stupid guy with no business carrying a hand gun shoots a youth. Not interesting enough for the news? Funny, I don't recall near the attention given to flash mobs running through the gates of the Wisconsin State Fair last year attacking whites. Judge the character of the man, not the color. This applies to both sides.

  10. Celine says:

    But newly uncovered evidence says otherwise. Let us be colorblind, even for a moment, as we look through the evidence:

  11. Igf-1 says:

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