By OLIVIA MURPHY – Public Relations Manager
As the media focuses on skin color, the true tragedy of the Trayvon Martin murder has been lost.
Coming from an urban neighborhood in Syracuse, N.Y., my first introduction to neighborhood violence was a frightening experience.
Incidents of this violence have been reported frequently in The Post-Standard, Syracuse’s local newspaper. In the most recent incident, a young man was wounded in a drive-by shooting, just three blocks away from my home on Bishop Avenue.
However, the regular violence behind the illegal activity involved in my community in Syracuse is nothing compared to the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.
To me, the most pressing details about Martin’s case are the following: Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea while Zimmerman followed him closely with a .9mm firearm, even after Zimmerman received directions from 911 dispatchers to remain in his car and to not pursue Martin.
Zimmerman has yet to be charged with the murder of Martin. Currently, his only punishment is having to live with the fact that he took someone’s life.
But he didn’t just take anyone’s life. He took a child’s life.
Although the investigation is continuing in gradual stages, the one issue that seems to swirl around Martin’s death is the media’s emphasis on the ethnicities of the victim and the shooter.
As a high school student that has learned to adapt with diversity among the student body of Clarke Central High School, the emphasis on whether Zimmerman committed the crime out of dislike for African-Americans or any race is not what needs to be emphasized.
It does not matter if Zimmerman was Hispanic or white. It doesn’t matter that Martin was black. The fact of the matter is that Zimmerman committed a crime.
If he was man enough to hold himself accountable for the safety of his neighbors, he should be equally man enough to face the punishment of his actions.
More than being a crime based on racism, this is a crime of an unbalance between the justice for Martin’s family and the amount of effort put into this investigation.
The Sanford Police Department may be trying their best to solve this investigation, but how long will it take before Martin’s case becomes a forgotten memory to us?