Zimmerman Verdict a Victory for Justice System

Yousuf Fahimuddin,
Politics Editor

The media nearly derailed a man’s right to a fair trial this past week, but the six jurors in the case prevailed.

Since the very beginning, the details surrounding the shooting have been misreported. The media decided it wanted there to be a reckoning in this country on the race issue and they conveniently had young Trayvon Martin.

It was the perfect crime; Martin was represented by a grossly outdated photograph, depicting him as a small child. He was just a kid who only wanted some Skittles and iced tea. And then, out of nowhere, a tall paranoid and white George Zimmerman comes from behind and shoots Trayvon in cold blood. Only in America could such gross racism lead to this type of tragedy.

But that wasn’t the case. Witness testimony shows that there was a brief scuffle between the two figures. That confrontation can also be heard on recordings of multiple residents’ calls to 911. Photographs taken directly after show Zimmerman bleeding substantially from the nose, and from the back of the head.

And that’s really all it takes for what Zimmerman did to be legal. Florida statute 776.012, popularly known as the “Stand your Ground” law, says a person may use deadly force if: “He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

Everyone wanted it to be a race issue. NBC was caught and apologized for editing Zimmerman’s audio tape to make it seem like he impulsively identified Trayvon as black, when in reality the 911 dispatcher asked him specifically for his race.

CNN identified Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” in their reporting of the incident. Things like this seem minor, but journalists pick and choose their words. The reporter who put together that piece deliberately chose to inject race into the issue.

I don’t know if the “Stand Your Ground” law is racially biased against black people. At the end of the day, that law is the real issue here and that is what should make people angry. Not the individual killing.

However, the media already made its decision. They wanted a fight, and they got it.

For every storefront robbed, for every person who goes to jail, they can blame their problems on the media. For every person who will inevitably get beaten in a dark alley far away from the TV cameras, out of the emotions that rise from this case on the basis of the color of their skin, they ought to send their hospital bill to the news agencies who manufactured the riots.

Race is a huge problem in America. No one can deny that. I’ve lived it, as have all the other colored men and women in this country. People used to tell me: “Racism is dead.” It isn’t.

But the Zimmerman trial was not the place for these kinds of concerns. I hear all too often stories of the police having killed another young black male. The narrative is always that they were killed in cold blood. Why didn’t the media help their grieving families then, with the power of biased reporting?

The media should be ashamed. Ryan Julison, the publicist hired by the Martin family to preach their case to national and world media should be ashamed.

It’s always sad when a young person dies, and I don’t blame their family for hiring a publicist after losing their son, but you can’t circumvent the justice system with mob rule. It doesn’t work like that, and it shouldn’t.

Less than a century ago, angry mobs of whites demanded the execution of black males before they were given a fair trial. They often got their wish. Do we really want to return to that?

The people rioting have legitimate concerns and that’s why they’re on the streets in the first place, but they’d be better off protesting the law rather than the man. Zimmerman will be forgotten. The law is always going to be there.