Reflecting on Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis

Written by a Student Contributor   // March 25, 2014   // 0 Comments

trayvon martin and Jordan dunn

*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or the CCBC Connection.

Brittany Starr
CCBC Catonsville

In recent news there have been two major lawsuits that emerged out of Florida involving a young black boy being killed by an older man of a different race that some consider to be the result of racial profiling. I’m referring to Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Both killed at seventeen. Both were gone too soon.

Trayvon Martin was an average high school kid. Just like other children he went to school and played sports. He enjoyed hip hop and spending time with his family. Overall Martin was a normal 17 year old kid. Then he was killed for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mr. Martin’s admitted killer George Zimmerman, called 911 to report “a suspicious person.” Why did Zimmerman think that Martin was suspicious? Was it because he was young or by himself in an upscale neighborhood? Or was it because he was black wearing a hoodie as he claims?

Zimmerman claimed that he killed Martin in self-defense.  According to CNN.com, at the time Zimmerman called into 911 and the dispatcher clearly said, “Do not approach.” But he went against that order and approached Martin. If an older stranger was coming toward me and I’m minding my business on the phone with a friend and walking to my destination I would feel the need to defend myself against this strange man.

And I believe that is what Martin did. DEFEND himself. I do not believe that Zimmerman would find this skinny young kid as a real threat. Zimmerman is physically bigger than Martin and I believe he was stronger than Martin. That is not to say that Martin could have broken Zimmerman’s nose or caused a mark on the back of his head.

Zimmerman says he thought that Martin had a gun on him because he looked like a thug. What made him think Martin had a gun or was even a thug? Martin was UNARMED. The last video was taken at a 7-eleven where he was buying an ice tea and candy.

In this case I do think that Zimmerman used racial profiling. I think he looked at Martin, provoked him, felt threatened, and then killed him. I think Zimmerman saw what Martin was wearing and judged him on the basis of that. But black boys are not the only people who wear loose fitting jeans and a hoodie.

Just because a person is dressed a certain way does not mean that they are a thug or not. Just like wearing a tailored suit and shiny shoes all the time means a person has money. There is an old saying don’t judge a book by its cover.

Zimmerman was eventually tried and was acquitted.  This ruling was not surprising in the black community as history is often too common as to let people get off on what are crimes against blacks. For example, the Emmitt Till case or Sean Bell who was unarmed and killed by law enforcement the night before he was due to get married.

Like Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, a 17 year old, unarmed, young black man that was killed by an older stranger of a different race in the state of Florida.

Davis was killed in a public place for what is to be believed having his music up too high. Davis was hanging out with friends in the car and stopped at a convenience store when Michael Dunn complained about the music and opened fire into the car where Davis and friends were hanging out.

Just like Zimmerman, Dunn said he thought Davis had a gun sticking out his truck. So he fired off his gun and killed Davis, injuring three others.

Unlike Martin, Davis received some justice when Michael Dunn was found guilty of shooting the three other passengers in the car, but not guilty of killing Davis. At least his killer will be off the streets.

As a young person myself, I do fear what most in my community fear. Racism is not dead. It still exists even though we have a black president and the days of Jim Crow are over. Yes, as a people there is more “togetherness” and acceptance among different races.

I DO NOT think or believe that if I go to Florida or my future children go to Florida or anywhere else, that they will be harmed by a person of a different race. But I also know that as a black person my children and I will still be judged more by the way we look and less on our true character.

Luckily, I have not been racially profiled but as a young person in the black community I feel for the men and women who have been and the families of those who were killed because they were profiled.

*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or the CCBC Connection.


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