Disgusted, infuriated and saddened…

I make a conscious choice to not watch tv news….it’s too negative and that makes me sad.  I know there are a lot of bad things in the world but I also believe there are a lot of good things too.  That said there has been no escaping the news surrounding the George Zimmerman trial…and that is absolutely a sad story.  Based on all of the information although many people were outraged I don’t think many people were surprised by the verdict.  Experts and media were predicting for days that the prosecution did not prove without a reasonable doubt George Zimmerman’s guilt.  Although I stuck by my conviction to not watch the news I spent a lot of time listening to news coverage and talk radio commentary on the case.  I listened to summaries of the case, to callers opinions of what occurred, to callers opinions of the racial profiling and to conjectures about the verdict.  The more I listened the more irritated and sad I found myself….and here’s why:

The story of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin should have been about a man who took it upon himself under the guise of “neighborhood watch” to disobey direction from authorities to go home (and stop following Trayvon Martin.)  The story should have been about why George Zimmerman felt it was appropriate to interact at all with Trayvon Martin that February night.  The story should have been about how tragic it is that Trayvon Martin’s life was ended way too young that night and about how George Zimmerman’s life was forever altered by his horrendous choices.  Instead the past year has been filled with arguments focused on race.  Is it naïve of me to think that race shouldn’t have been the focus?  probably.  But you know what?  I’m tired of “race” being the go to argument, excuse and reason.  For all “races.”  It saddens me, it angers me and quite honestly it shames me.  It shouldn’t matter one little bit what race either player in this tragic story is/was….but apparently it does.  Because if the races of the players of this story were reversed the coverage would be completely different.  The outrage wouldn’t have the same inflammatory tone…but why not?  Yes I know by writing this I am inciting all kinds of comments referencing the fact that I am white and the hundreds of years of oppression of blacks or African americans (to be honest I’m not sure what is politically correct anymore and I say that with the greatest respect.)  I get it…I respect the cultural effects of history.  But in 2013 I find it incredibly sad that we are still divided by race…reverse racism, regular racism, immigrant racism.  I know true racism still exists for many and personally I find it repulsive.  However we as a society just keep perpetuating it.  We are all different in color…and in size…and in beliefs…and in education level…and in economic standing…and in personality…and the list goes on.  Come on people!  Get real!  As long as we focus on race and use race as an excuse or a motivation or justification, we only succeed in strengthening RACISM which is an abhorrent state of belief and prejudice!  Why not focus on responsible and compassionate living???  Why not focus on perpetuating kindness and accountability?  Not newsworthy enough?!?  Because it shouldn’t have mattered what color/race Trayvon Martin was…it should only have mattered that he was a 17 year old boy who was walking through a neighborhood at night, not causing any damage or harm to anyone…it should only have mattered that George Zimmerman was a 29 year old man who was patrolling his neighborhood,  reported that he saw someone and was told by authorities to stand down/not follow/go home and chose to ignore that directive and instead use a deadly weapon.  The fact that the entire story is shadowed by race disgusts me… infuriates me….and saddens me.  I can’t even imagine what Trayvon’s parents have felt and thought through all of this.  I send them comforting and healing thoughts and prayers and hope that they find peace in their memories and love.  I send out thoughts of peace and love and acceptance to the world to in my admittedly naïve belief that if we hold people accountable,  focus on the positive, if we celebrate acts of kindness, if we expect more…that this world will be a better place for everyone ❤

 

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