Your View: Young man in hoodie does matter

Jul. 17, 2013 @ 06:27 PM

I didn’t cry about the Zimmerman decision until I recalled a young man wearing a hoodie last March after the death of Trayvon Martin.  The young man looked at me with eyes that said, “I don’t matter. And you think that just like all the other white people.”
I wanted to hold him close and tell him that he does matter, that he is a child of God as we all are. Please don’t judge me because I’m white, even though I knew he had lived with that prejudice his entire life. I wanted to tell him it would be OK, Trayvon will not have died in vain.
I was disappointed in the jury’s decision, but didn’t cry until I thought of that one young man. I have no words to console him. The best advice I could give him is the same advice I gave my daughters: Do not go out alone, have at least one other person with you at all times, even if it’s just to walk down the street to a friend’s house. Let’s face it, none of us are safe anymore.
DEBY SIMMERSON
High Point

Gun permit isn’t license to kill
I disagree with the jury’s verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Of course, conservatives will disagree with me.
No matter what Florida law says, we must not forget that a man with a gun shot and killed an unarmed teenager. Every American citizen, including those that look like Trayvon Martin, should have the right to walk down any American street.
A permit to carry a concealed weapon should not be considered a license to kill.
CHUCK MANN
Greensboro

The following comments and exchanges were posted on hpe.com under an Opinion/Your View Poll question about the George Zimmerman verdict. The login names used by those posters are cited:
• JJ: If the facts don’t fit, you must acquit. A jury found him innocent just like they did OJ. So live with it.
• TaxpayerOne: Too many people believe that “justice” is only just if it produces the outcome they desire. Hypocrites. I would have hoped they learned something from the Duke lacrosse case. Apparently not.
• Mistersteverino: While it’s possible to be intellectually honest while continuing to question Zimmerman’s level of responsibility in the actions that resulted in Martin’s death, it’s crystal clear that race had nothing to do with it.
• Name Withheld: There never should have been a trial to begin with.
• Derrick to Name Withheld: That means I can shoot you and the law will be on my side because what I say will be fact. Is this how you want people in the streets behave?
• Name Withheld to Derrick: In this particular case, the police made the initial determination that self-defense was warranted. Furthermore, according to the laws of Florida (and other states), when self-defense is claimed, the burden of proof shifts to the State (police) to prove otherwise in order to prosecute. This is by design. The preponderance of the evidence in this case clearly showed that the State had no case and that Zimmerman was clearly faced with a situation of potential death, coupled with a disparity of force brought about by their physical differences and the use of the ground (a recognized force multiplier). The fact of the matter is that had I been in Zimmerman’s position, I too would have shot; and justifiably so. This was not a case of a man hunting down a child because of his skin color. This was a case of a wannabe gangsta quickly having his career come to a fitting end.

 

YOUR VIEW POLLS

A Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. What’s your view of the aftermath? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email your thoughts to letterbox@hpe.com. Here are two responses:
• Aftermath of Zimmerman verdict is ridiculous! Shows who true racists are. Look at violence that is happening such as vandalism to stores, private property of everyday citizens, etc.
• There have been in recent months killings of white Americans by African-Americans and we have NOT seen anything about that on the news! Talk about discrimination!