On February 26th a 17 year old African American young person was shot and killed in Florida by a Neighborhood Crime Watch community worker in what appeared to be an unprovoked encounter. The assailant, Mr. Zimmerman said it was an act of self-defense in accord with the Florida state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. This law gives people the right to kill others who they perceive are threatening them. The circumstances around this incident, the lack of police reporting, the tapes of the 911 call just before the shooting, the time lapse before this received national attention all indicate to me that racial profiling and a serious breach of justice has occurred. The investigation continues and the man who killed the honor student high school junior has not been arrested. Truly the world needs to study the ramifications of this law and how it can result in the death of innocent people. There is no peace until there is justice.
How do we respond to such a horrific crime? We look at our laws and see where they are permissive in ways that give people dangerous rights. We study our communities and see where there are racial tensions among people and begin dialogues and conversations. We need to examine our hearts and see where we are in our journey of racial inclusivity. What attitudes do we need to change and how can we personally speak out against injustice?