What’s God got to do with Trayvon’s death?

George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, told Fox News personality Sean Hannity that the events that occurred on February 26, 2012 were “God’s will.” What a cynical manipulation of our Creator.

Zimmerman has proven himself to be a multiple liar.  He called himself destitute, while collecting tens of thousands of dollars from a website that was formed to fund his defense. He declined medical attention the night he killed Trayvon, and then showed up the next day with bumps on his head, but no evidence of who put them there.  This is the equivalent of a drunk driver fleeing the scene of an accident and turning himself in sober the next day.

Zimmerman’s will
Trayvon’s death is not God’s will, but Zimmerman’s, and the will of those legislative vigilantes who have passed “Stand Your Ground” laws in many states.  Note that “Stand Your Ground” laws are different from the “castle laws” that allows residents to use force against those who unlawfully enter their property.

These laws have their own downside – witness the case of a man who shot Halloween trick-or-treaters.  But these laws allow folks to shoot people (as opposed to formerly held laws where one was required to retreat) if they are in a place where a defendant is allowed to be.

Using such laws, had Trayvon had a weapon, he might have justifiably used it on Zimmerman, since he had the same right to be on the streets as Zimmerman.  But does anyone have any doubt that if the shoe were on the other foot, Trayvon would have been allowed to leave jail without being charged?

Zimmerman says this case has divided our nation. Perhaps he is right.  How else could an admitted killer garner more than $150,000 via the Internet unless some rabid souls choose to support the wanton massacre of young African-American men?

At the same time, this admitted killer has had hubris enough to provoke the New Black Panther Party, a small organization that is more bark than bite, to make him the target of incendiary rhetoric. The New Black Panther Party may have offered a death threat. Zimmerman actually committed one. Were it not for the national attention this case has garnered, he might have never been charged.

Pain into passion
I met Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, at the most recent Rainbow/PUSH annual conference. Sybrina is soft-spoken but determined, a woman who would not have sought the limelight but for her commitment that her son, and other young Black men targeted by racists, should have justice.  She has started a website, www.justicetm.org, that will promote justice for Trayvon and others whose lives are placed in jeopardy by “Stand Your Ground” laws.  She is turning her pain into passion and power.

The rest of us who love young hoodie-wearing Black men must tell them the racist rules of the game.  One friend told me that she instructs her sons never to look a White policeman or a threatening-looking White man in the eye.   Another has banned evening excursions, choosing to drive her sons to get snacks rather than to have them walk.  Still another has instructed her son to turn on the microphone embedded in his phone so that, in case of confrontation, she has a record of what happened.

George Zimmerman knows another God than most of us do.  But then this gross manipulation of our Savior’s Word is not the first manipulation Zimmerman has attempted.  Shame on him, and shame on those ministers who do not immediately denounce this blasphemy.

Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer.



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