Even though he got a not guilty verdict due to a quirky “Sand Your Ground” law in Florida, is the neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin tantamount to lynching?
By: Ringo Bones
The tragic, senseless and preventable shooting death of a young African-African teenage boy mistaken for a prowler by an overzealous neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman that happened back in February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida has surprisingly reached a not guilty verdict on the neighborhood watchman on all counts of murder and manslaughter due to a quirky and arcane “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida that allows any gun owner to shoot a perceived intruder committing a trespassing offense even if the intruder poses no immediate threat to the gun owner. Given that the U.S. Civil Rights Movement that gave equality to African-Americans is now over 50 years old, does the shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenage boy by an overzealous neighborhood watchman who was clearly stalking and spoiling for a confrontation with that said young man tantamount to a 21st Century lynching?
The Jena 6 incident during the Bush administration and the namby-pamby way it was handled by that administration only makes me wonder if African-Americans have truly achieved equality in the United States over half a century after the Civil Rights Movement. Such tragic incidents only makes the aging 78-RPM shellac of Billie Holyday’s Strange Fruit that I had been started to play since 2006 seems strangely up-to-date topical in our largely colorless and limp-sounding digital music download age. The only silver lining of the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting is that the demonstrations and rallies called by leading African-American leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton in major cities across the United States against the unjust not guilty verdict granted to former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman had been peaceful so far. Not unlike the not guilty verdict granted to those LAPD personnel in 1992 that were clearly caught on tape inflicting police brutality on Rodney King a year before that resulted in widespread rioting over 20 years ago.