A response to critics of the Trayvon Martin case

Written by: Richard M. Thompson

In Bradley Brincka’s article “A call for all of the facts” on April 12, he states that there is no evidence that the shooting of Trayvon Martin was racially motivated and also denies that America and the black community in particular are not the victims of widespread racism.

Mr. Brincka either does not remember the history of the inhumane treatment of black people in the first 350 plus years of their existence in America by the majority of the white population, or does not recognize racial profiling when it is presented so boldly to him.

Let me provide Mr. Brincka with some of the facts he appears to have missed in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon Martin is dead. That is a fact. Martin is dead because George Zimmerman, who at the time of the shooting was not a security guard hired by the complex to provide security to its residents, killed him.

Zimmerman was not a legitimate Neighborhood Watch individual, and if he was, under Florida law he cannot carry a weapon in the performance of his duties. All he could do is observe and report to the police any activity he deemed suspicious and then get out of the way and let the police take over.

The moment Zimmerman disobeyed the order by the police dispatcher to stand down and not pursue Martin was the moment Zimmerman lost his argument of self-defense, because he then became the aggressor. Mr. Martin had every right under the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law to defend himself from a stranger who approached him for no other reason than he was a black youth walking on the sidewalk.

Under the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law, a person cannot use this defense if he is the aggressor, and in the course of events, shoots or uses deadly force against someone whom he assaults. According to Zimmerman, seeing a black youth walking alone on the sidewalk just looking around was his only reason he thought Martin “looked suspicious.” Zimmerman decided a black youth did not belong in the complex, even though the black population of the complex is 20 percent black.

If Trayvon Martin had been instead a white youth, does anyone believe that Zimmerman would have pursued him, confronted him and then after a scuffle, killed him? Not a chance. That is a fact that no one in America will dispute, except Mr. Brincka.

Mr. Brincka goes on to quote statistics on the percentage of black people killing other black people, as if that has some bearing on this particular case. What he failed to mention was how many white people murder other white people every year or are incarcerated for selling drugs or are arrested for having meth labs in their homes, or any other crimes that white people commit each year in this nation. You know, for balance’s sake.

He also makes a reference to the bounty placed on Zimmerman by all four members of that non-threatening black hate group, the New Black Panther Party; a group that even black people who live in their neighborhood think is a bunch of fools. I suggest Mr. Brincka conduct some research on the origination of the Black Panther Party of Mississippi in the 1950s, for balance’s sake.

Mr. Brincka needs to study the institutional racism that America was built upon, institutional racism that exists even today, though a black man sits in the White House. The fact that America is over 230 years old and the first non-white male president was elected by the people in 2008 is the most telling tale of institutional racism and sexism in this nation.

Mr. Brincka must not know about the 3/5 Compromise, the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, poll taxes or Jim Crow laws, Brown v. Board of Education, or how President Eisenhower had to call out the 101st Airborne to insure that black children attended school in Little Rock, Ark., in the 1950s.

Mr. Brincka, there aren’t any “race hustlers,” as you call them in this case. There are Americans of all colors, all ages and all genders who recognize an injustice when they see it. These Americans empathize with the family of Martin, who lost a son because a man decided that a black teen who was minding his own business, walking to his father’s girlfriend’s home after going to the store for his brother, shouldn’t be.

A black teen was walking in a gated community he was supposed to be in, with a bag of skittles and an iced tea, was murdered by a man who racially profiled him as a threat because of the color of his skin, not because he was committing a crime.

And those, Mr. Brincka, are the facts.