By The Candor Editorial Board
It was on February 26th that a whirlwind of events commenced and continue to unravel to this very day. Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida high school student, is found shot and killed in Sanford, Florida.
According to the Sanford police report, George Zimmerman, 28, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, was found armed and standing over Martin’s body, who was pronounced dead at the scene. He has no weapons on him; only a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.
Zimmerman told police he killed Martin in self defense, and thus was not arrested.
The story remained quiet for a couple of weeks until social media exploded with anger, as social profiling was assumed the cause of death and “the hoodie” became a ridiculous symbol of African Americans, violence, and drugs (associating the three nouns together feels criminal in itself).
The death of a young boy fueled an ongoing movement against racism and law enforcement, and ironically, the death of that young boy became a political agenda and a mere Twitter hashtag.
We’ve seem to have forgotten that a mother and father have lost their son. We seem to have forgotten that this tragedy is the result of gun violence. And we seem to have forgotten that this incident happens more often than not; we just rarely hear about it.
This tragedy is something that we need to use and learn from. Racism is never okay, but where is the same outrage for the other teenagers and children who are shot in the world each and every day? In Chicago alone, children are killed every day by gun violence. Where is the same outrage for this? We stand by and let this happen in our back yard every day, but the moment one story explodes through social networking, we seem surprised.
If a major concern people have is over the issue of violence, how is it okay for the new Black Panthers to offer a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman? If the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida is dangerous, why is it still open to approval?
All in all, Martin’s death is a tragedy, but so is every death that happens. The Candor does not wish to undermine the death of Martin, nor the deaths of all those who were killed by gun violence. The Candor simply encourages you to recognize that gun violence and racism exists even if it isn’t exposed.