The Zimmerman trial is a prime example of the American justice system. Sometimes the perpetrator is found guilty. Sometimes the perpetrator walks free. Sometimes the wrong person is found guilty and sentenced unjustly for years. In any case, the system is not perfect. However, trial by jury is better than inquisitions or kangaroo courts.
The non-guilty verdict of George Zimmerman was the result of presentation, rebuttal and discussion. It was a legal procedure. Yet, many in the public saw it as a matter of right and wrong, good versus evil. That is an emotional response which naturally occurs in matters of the heart and soul.
Trayvon Martin’s life is over. He cannot be rescued. He cannot go back and make a different decision in the situation. Whether it was intentional or not, Zimmerman’s actions will forever be tainted by the attack. He cannot go back and change the outcome of that fateful night.
Mourning over the death of this young man is a natural response. The shrill cry of a mother who has lost her son is the wailing of pain and loss. The identification of others with this young man should be a call to redemptive service and not separation or violent retribution. This is not the time to blame others. This is not the time to shout inflammatory remarks of entitlement and racism.
Rejoicing over the verdict with delight and pleasure is also expected. Yet, such a celebration is an unholy response to the loss of a young life. Whatever else, a human life was taken and this should be a time to embrace the mother who lost her son and not fall prey to emotional impiety. This is the time for compassion. This is the time for inclusiveness.
It’s time to move on. It’s time to become aware of the situations around us that lead into circumstances such as this. It’s time to reflect deeply on the positive advancements that can be achieved to lessen the occurrences of tragic events such as this. If we cannot learn this lesson, we refuse to embrace our opposition, refuse to learn from each other and refuse to offer kindness to those whose lives need it the most.
We cannot continue to live in a society that wants an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth.
Gandhi said it best: “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’