Rather than offering my two cents on the George Zimmerman trial and verdict (which I didn't follow closely) here are some worthwhile words from my friend Chris -- a brother in Christ and a young man wise beyond his years. He posted this on social media earlier today.
"'They always get away.' These were the words George Zimmerman uttered as he followed and later shot Trayvon Martin -- words that reflected his belief that Trayvon was one of "them," the kind of person about to get away with something. How ironic these words sound now in light of the jury verdict acquitting Zimmerman."
Do I agree with the verdict of Zimmerman: Yes. In the context of Florida's legal system, Zimmerman was not proven guilty, not even close--there was simply too much ambiguity on any of the considered positive evidence for Trayvon, and there was positive evidence against Trayvon to justify Zimmerman's claim to self-defense.
But this quote portrays what bothers me the most, my friends--i.e., certain dispositions Zimmerman revealed (which were, might I mention, completely false and unjustified) that led to the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin.
Speaking from my experiences, I have been on the bad end of several instances of racial profiling. While occurring, I often think to myself "These people have no idea who I am." I love the same Christ which these white people probably find themselves worshipping in their churches on Sunday. I also find myself with an unswerving passion for philosophy of religion and philosophical theology--because of this, I mostly study dead or dying white men. I also am far from the biggest fan of rap music, preferring to listen to indie and classical instead.
Yet, no matter how much I might distance myself from stereotypical caricatures of black men in America, I've still faced the same, tired racial profiling.The frustration in enduring this is difficult to communicate, yet it, undoubtedly, shapes how I, along with others of similar experiences, view cases like Trayvon's. It is this aspect of experience which colors our conscience, and it is this which we ask for sympathy and understanding toward.
You can find more of Chris' writing at the blog Christ, My Redeemer