Trayvon Martin was not a young man carrying a gun with a history of violence. He was a young black man with two loving parents out buying snacks.

I’m not sure what the point of Mr. Hayutin’s opinion piece, “What’s Wrong with this Picture?” was except to re-enforce the mistaken idea that somehow Travon Martin’s killing was justified because there are serious problems in poor black communities.

I completely disagree with this train of thought. Trayvon Martin was

not

a child raised by a single mother without the presence of a husband and father.  Trayvon Martin was

not

a young black man living in a poverty-ridden city belonging to a gang.

Trayvon Martin was not a young man carrying a gun with a history of violence.  He was a young black man with two loving parents out buying snacks.

Why then was Trayvon killed? I believe he was killed by George Zimmerman because Mr. Zimmerman was acting on the stereotype of young black men as violent and threatening. Instead of seeing a teenager who was out to buy snacks, he saw a criminal, a danger to the community. Even when directed by the 911 operator not to get out of his car and not to follow Trayvon, Mr. Zimmerman felt compelled to confront Trayvon. Mr. Zimmerman initiated the confrontation and bears the responsibility for the death of Trayvon Martin.

There is something wrong with laws that allow a person to carry a gun, harass a person and then “Stand and Fight” because he perceives someone to be a threat, even if they are not. The racism is in the judgment that a young black man is guilty by being black.

As a teacher I’ve spent 32 years trying to help students see our biases and stereotypes so that we will not injure others based on false assumptions and

fear

  1. This is why I found this [opinion piece] to be so harmful. Trayvon Martin was the victim and, regardless of whatever problems exist in black communities, he lost his life because of a false perception he was a threat. Mr. Zimmerman’s behavior provoked the confrontation.

Barbara Cella

Del Mar

   
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