Unless you have no contact with the outside world via the Internet (and you must, because you’re reading this), then you’ve heard of Trayvon Martin. Martin was a 17-year old Black American boy walking to his father’s house in a gated community in Florida. George Zimmerman, the self-appointed Neighborhood Watchman, shot him. The first I heard of this story, I read an article about the 911 transcript. Martin was literally begging for his life, but Zimmerman shot him. As of this writing, Zimmerman has not been arrested.
Zimmerman has not been arrested because of Florida’s so-called “stand your ground” law. Under this law, “a person is allowed to use deadly force if he is in a place he has a right to be and feels reasonably threatened with serious harm.”
I found the information about the law at CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s 360. When I clicked “read more“, I found was another case in which a shooter used this “stand your ground” law to justify killing another person. In Valrico, FL (coincidentally, where my sister lives), David James was playing basketball with his daughter. An unrelated boy was skateboarding on the courts. Trevor Dooley told the boy he shouldn’t be skateboarding. James defended the boy. Dooley ended up shooting and killing James.
Now, you’d think that, like Zimmerman, Dooley would be a free man, right? He stood his ground, just like Zimmerman.
No, Dooley was arrested.
I was puzzled.
I did a search.
This is David James:
This is Trevor Dooley:
And I thought I couldn’t get anymore pissed off about this.
I know there will come a day, not too long from now, when I will have to tell Jackson that, as a Black American male teenager, people, including the police, may be more likely to shoot first and ask questions later. Whenever I read White parents of Black children spouting “I teach my kids to be colorblind” or “Race is just a social construct” or “My kids and I don’t talk about race,” this is what I’m going to point them to.