Hello, all of my blog readers and visitors…
(UPDATE (7/31/2013): The parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have created a petition to have the severely flawed Stand Your Ground laws reviewed. You can sign that petition HERE! Thank you!)
I am getting away from my usual art postings to focus on something that needs to have continued attention. The Trayvon Martin case. I am not going to go into a too much detail about it in this post because, honestly, I am actually working on a more detailed post I hope to publish soon. That post will delve more personally into Trayvon’s life and the lives of two other victims of senseless violence (Jordan Davis and Jamiel Shaw) because more than victims, they were PEOPLE. Maybe some will think I shouldn’t show my feeling on this, here, since this is an art blog and I am “supposed” to keep my feelings on non-art stuff to myself, but if you have seen my occasional non-art posts then you know that I consider myself human before being an artist. I, like many, am upset about the verdict and that George Zimmerman is free (well, technically, he is not free; he still has to answer to God & he will constantly be watching his back). The result of the trial was unjust. But I guess it is convenient to rule unjustly when the other side (Trayvon) is too deceased to speak for himself about that night. Wow. Zimmerman disregarded a dispatcher’s advisement NOT to follow and he also has a history with racial profiling. Don’t believe me? Read about his racial profiling history AND his how he over-stepped Neighborhood Watch policy HERE. And for the record, “racial profiling” is just a fancy word to cover up the REAL term: ASSUMING. Zimmerman took his cop fantasies (he failed at becoming an actual cop), his assuming and his aggression (yeah, just Google search his criminal past) out on Trayvon who had every right to defend himself. Flight or fight. Trayvon apparently chose to fight. I am glad he showed how valuable his life was to him. He fought back.
A 17 year old kid tried to make it back home with nothing but snacks, Skittles and tea. No one should find glee in the death of a kid, no matter what side of this you are on (there are some very heartless people). Trayvon wanted to become an aviation mechanic or a pilot, he held odd jobs instead of wasting time, he had tattoos of the women in his family who he loved (including his Mom who he affectionately called “Cupcakes”), he took road trips with his dad, he made people laugh, he saved his dad from a fire…yeah, Trayvon had a good side, too. He was a whole person who tragically didn’t make it back home. The courts are imperfect; they’re run by people. God’s court has the final say.
** The NAACP has released a petition for people to sign. It is for a Civil Rights Case Against George Zimmerman. As NAACP president, Ben Jealous, stipulated about this petition: “The most fundamental of civil rights—the right to life—was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.”
Please sign this petition on behalf of Trayvon Martin and those (there are more) like him. Thank you.
** Stand Your Ground Law, which the NAACP petition is also targeting and which exists in Florida and in 21 other states (some with similar versions), is also a problem.
Stand Your Ground allows anyone, who legally has a right to be in area, to hurt or even kill another on the flimsy basis that they “feel threatened”. The person feeling “threatened” does not have to run away and can use deadly force if they feel a need to defend themselves. This means many random and needless deaths. This is from a pewstates.org article-even though “Zimmerman did not ultimately use the “stand your ground” defense in his case, Sanford police did not arrest him until almost two months after the shooting because of the Florida stand your ground rules that require police to have specific evidence to refute a self defense claim in order to arrest someone claiming self defense. That provision of the law “does a disservice to Floridians because it’s so vague,” said Florida Sen. Dwight Bullard, a Democrat, in an interview Sunday with CBS Miami.” But then there is still this: “Zimmerman did not request immunity from prosecution under the ‘stand your ground’ law and his lawyers didn’t invoke it in court, but the jury did receive instructions from the judge that borrowed language from the statute, specifying that if “he was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force.” That is from a THIS POST about the Jordan Davis Case (which I speak more about in the next paragraph).
Let’s be real, Stand Your Ground (SYG) worsens tragedies that are race-based (mainly targeting Blacks; this is not me pulling the “race card”, this is reality…racism is still very much alive), but SYG Laws also do negatively affect people of any race and SYG is like some horrible lawful excuse that devalues life. It puts a flimsy value on life and makes one think that if they simply wave their hand at a stranger while holding a leash, someone can claim they thought the leash was a metal pipe and shoot a mentally challenged victim in the chest. This actually happened to Daniel Adkins. Read about that and other cases involving SYG HERE. The shooter in that case was indicted on one count of second degree murder. The SYG Law gives people the right to follow you when you are not even bothering them, simply because they can claim you seemed to be dangerous. This law allows people to try to use it as an excuse, despite shooting at a car (TEN times) and killing a teen simply over loud music, like the Jordan Davis case. Michael Dunn (the shooter) claimed there was a gun in their car. Police say there was no gun in the car. Again, you can read about that situation in the post I also shared above HERE. Like the Trayvon Martin tragedy, this also happened in Florida where I recently relocated to. It also happened less than 9 months after Trayvon’s February 2012 death. The SYG Law gives criminals freedom from being prosecuted. This law gives people the right to make excuses (often while the other side is too dead to defend their side) and to get away with murder. This law is not only unfair to victims (who are often deceased), it is unfair (often racially) in terms of how criminals are charged. Read about an example HERE.
Here is a petition (centered on Florida’s SYG Law) that seems to have gone beyond its signature goal, but you can check it out still. CLICK HERE. You can also search more related Trayvon Martin and SYG Law petitions or even create your own petition on one of the trusted petition sites. Even the White House has a site featuring petitions centered on Trayvon Martin and on SYG Laws. You can also start your own petitions: CLICK HERE. Thank you.
The side bar of my blog, on the right, has a section that features links supporting Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and similar cases. I will be adding to it whatever helpful link I find. I want to post a more in depth look at Trayvon, Jordan and another victim, Jamiel Shaw, soon. Jamiel Shaw was 17 (same age as Trayvon & Jordan) in 2008 when he was shot twice and killed by an gangbanger was also an illegal alien. He shot him due to a RED backpack (the color of a rival gang) & the shooting may have had to do with race, as well. The killer, Pedro Espinoza, was sentenced to death. You can read about it HERE.
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