If you follow the #TrayvonMartin hashtag on Twitter, you’ll learn that there is a lot of emotion, and very few people either know–or care–about the actual facts of the case. The dead teenager has become a symbol of cynics attempting to cash in on all the ginned up outrage, from tee shirt vendors to politicians, to the media, to professional racists.
What few–if any–are willing to address, is that the death of one man and the destruction of another man’s life may be as much the fault of a violent culture as much as it was the actions of the individuals involved.
No, I’m not talking about the gun culture or concealed carry in specific, as they are taught at the foundational level about restraint and situational awareness and avoiding potentially dangerous situations as much as possible.
I’m referring to a hip-hop culture that has spent the past 30 years glorifying gang-life, drug-use and dealing, drive-bys, machismo, an inflated and undeserved demand for “respect” for simply existing, and violence as the solution to problems.
Look at Trayvon Martin’s timeline, and you’ll see a disrespectful, ignorant, violence-prone teen taught by his culture to value flash over substance, image over core values, immediate gratification, corrupted even further by a vile disrespect of women.
Just one week after Trayvon Martin was killed, and long before I heard of his name, I was approached by neighborhood watch volunteers and concerned neighbors. I was sitting in my car, unshaven and wearing a hooded sweatshirt. I had done nothing illegal, immoral or unethical. My daughter was selling Girl Scout cookies door to door, but because of the long drive-ways, she wasn’t often in view. Neighbors simply saw a man whom they didn’t recognize pulling off the the size of the road, sitting for a number of minutes, and then moving a little further up the street. Suspicious? You betcha.
One homeowner came out, walked up to me point blank, and asked what I was doing. When I told him, he smiled and gave me a “been there, done that,” and went back inside. A half-hour or so later, a SUV pulled up and asked if I needed help finding someone or something. That driver, too, carried out a rational conversation with me, and we both went about our days.
Apparently talking wasn’t on Trayvon Martin’s mind. We know he had words with George Zimmerman, and we don’t know what either man said, but Zimmerman’s account, the physical evidence, and an eyewitnesses account that states Zimmerman was on the ground with the younger, stronger Martin pounding his head into the pavement indicates that like so many in this culture of violence, Trayvon Martin responded to the perceived slight of a neighborhood watch volunteer following him with his fists, and allegedly progressed from assault to assault with a deadly weapon, which caused George Zimmerman to fear for his life, draw his weapon, and fire one shot.
Trayvon Martin’s death wasn’t murder. It was suicide by culture, one of thousands of black men killed every year in violent encounters egged on by a culture awash in ignorance and violence.
If blacks want justice, they need to start by looking in a mirror at the culture they’ve created and take responsibility for their actions. They killed Trayvon Martin by teaching him to answer problems with his fists. George Zimmerman was if accounts can be believed, merely collateral damage.