What Is Justice for Trayvon?
Over the last few weeks, there have been more than 100 “Justice for Trayvon” rallies. What should justice look like in this case?
On the surface, it seems straightforward from his parent’s perspective. They want George Zimmerman held accountable for killing their son and they hope that Trayvon’s name will live on through some positive change. Unfortunately, racial politics makes these outcomes difficult.
Zimmerman was acquitted in the criminal case because the special prosecutor was motivated by politics and ambition, not justice. The 2nd degree murder charge was unsupported by the facts. The jury delivered the only verdict it could under the law in Florida or any of the 50 states. The next logical step in pursuit of justice would be for Martin’s parents to file (and win) a wrongful death suit. Right now that is not on the table because too many African-American leaders need this case to be all about race.
On Meet the Press, Urban League president Marc Morial almost popped out of his seat when Tavis Smiley asserted that President Obama “basically said to us, without saying to us” there would not be a Federal indictment.
Likewise, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge was indignant, “I don't care what they (the prosecution, defense, jury) say it was; [racial profiling] it’s what it was.” Why are they so desperate for this single case to be about race despite the fact that the hard evidence in the case does not point to Zimmerman being a racist. What the cold hard facts do clearly show is that Zimmerman had a gun and incredibly poor judgment.
Seeking an unsupportable Federal hate crime charge will neither lead to Zimmerman being held accountable nor produce any positive change. In other words, it won’t bring Justice for Trayvon. It will only bring more hurt to his parents and division to the country.
The President opened the door to positive change with his impromptu appearance before the press corps. It doesn’t seem like anyone is interested in walking through. If so, that will be a sad legacy for the death of Trayvon Martin.