Dear George Zimmerman

This is Trayvon Martin.  He had just turned 17 when you killed him.  He was just a kid who went out to the 7-11 to get some candy.

What I can’t get over is that you knew he was a kid.  You described him as being in his “late teens” and later you said this:

I don’t know where this kid is.

What that suggests to me is that you searched for him. And you found him.

I think you probably laid your hands on him. I say this because I know from personal and anecdotal experience that white people lay their hands on people of color all the time. They stroke our hair. They grab our arms to compare color. And they think it is okay to lay their hands on us when they wouldn’t dare to think about doing the same to a white person.

Because I can’t get over the lack of DNA evidence on Martin’s hands or clothing. Because I know that if I were straddling you and really wanted to pummel you and slam your head into the sidewalk, it would be really messy. You wouldn’t have just those two little cuts on the back of your head and a bloody nose. And there would be blood.

Everywhere.

And there wasn’t.

You say you feared for your life. But I think you were probably just a coward who used a gun to feel brave. I think you already had the gun drawn. And I think of what martial arts and firearm instructors (good ones, anyway) teach: Walk away.

Because once you bring that gun into any situation, it means you meant to shoot.

You meant to shoot a kid.  Because you know he was a kid.

You meant to shoot, because it made you angry that those kids were always getting away with something.  And you didn’t want this kid to.

And now you are afraid for your life again.

So now you know what it feels like.  To have people hate and despise you.  To fear for your safety and the safety of your loved ones.  To think that somebody might hate you enough to do you harm.

I feel afraid, too.  There are lots of George Zimmermans out there.

I know what this feels like.

The difference is that I never murdered a kid.

2 thoughts on “Dear George Zimmerman

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