I'm going to admit here that it is seriously gratifying to learn that WAMK reads this blog, at least once in a while. He cranked out a rebuttal to the piece I wrote Monday about the George Zimmerman verdict. I won't go over there to respond to it because it would be a discourtesy to disagree with him on his own blog (and twitter feed) so instead I'll just admit here that he's right on many counts.
My source now is this Yahoo explainer, which includes the transcript of Zimmerman's 911 call. It's true the police did not insist that Zimmerman stop following the kid; they merely said "you don't have to do that". Obviously Zimmerman could have avoided his alleged beating had he listened, and therefore the subsequent incarceration and trial.
It's the attitude expressed below by WAMK, though I've heard it from many others as well, that still troubles me:
Martin had several choices that night. Martin could have continued on his way home. Martin could have called police, and reported a "creepy ass cracker" following him. He could have hid in the shadows until Zimmerman went away. He could have yelled from the shadows "Stop following me, I've called the police". He could have banged on a door or two, yelling for help that he was scared. He could have told the girl he was on the phone with to call the cops for him while he hid. But he didn't. He made a choice to confront Zimmerman, a choice that ultimately cost him his life.In other words Martin would be alive today if he had simply NOT CHOSEN TO STAND HIS GROUND. There's a double standard at work here. It's true that Trayvon Martin had a violent incident in his past - but so did Zimmerman. Martin had some racially charged statements in his internet history - so did Zimmerman. So why is Zimmerman a hero and Martin a troublemaker? Remember, there was no evidence that Martin was in the neighborhood to commit a crime. He didn't have tools. He wasn't even armed.
Since we only have Zimmerman's side of the story now, the testimony of a man who had a murder rap to beat, the trial really doesn't prove anything. And until someone can explain why people who were convinced of Zimmerman's innocence from day one got that idea, people like me will suspect that race is the motivating factor.
In WAMK's favor, I recollect that he was not convinced from day one. You know who was though? The Florida justice system, who didn't even consider the case worthy of a hearing until the bad publicity forced their hand.
Update ** Glad you WAMK guys found food for thought in all this!**