Zimmerman and Rushing To Judgment
It is irritating when Zimmerman supporters say “wait for all the facts to come out, people are rushing to judgment.” I understand why they say this–a murder charge is a serious thing, almost as serious as being accused of racism. Being known as a murderer could significantly impact your life, your freedom, etc.
What grates are 2 things:
1) When this case first hit public consciousness, it seemed that the Sanford police were the ones who rushed to judgement when they let Zimmerman walk out of jail based on his story alone. The cries for justice (protests) were for the shooting (possible homicide) to actually be fully investigated, ahem, for all of the facts to actually be established and Zimmerman dealt with accordingly.
2) His defenders are asking us (the general public) to extend a courtesy to Zimmerman that he himself did not extend to Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman didn’t feel the need to wait for “all of the facts.” A black male wearing a hoodie in the rain (race, gender, clothing)–that was enough to warrant a call to 911. He didn’t witness Trayvon actually do anything wrong–not hiding in the bushes, not casing a house, not breaking into anything, not destroying private property, not interacting with anyone in an aggressive manner.
Why assume Trayvon was trespassing rather than visiting someone? It’s almost as if his very presence inside the community was the problem, as if no black people lived there. (But we know black people do live there and I can’t believe they all walk around in their Sunday best to keep Zimmerman from following them.)
If you think it was okay for Zimmerman to make a snap judgment about Trayvon Martin with the very few facts he had (again: race, gender, and clothing), you really have no room to complain when others make a snap judgment about Zimmerman based on the facts that we have (he followed, chased, got into an altercation with and shot an unarmed teenager).