The killing of Trayvon Martin was a terrible thing without a doubt. Several things could have happened to prevent the killing. Martin himself could have prevented his own death in at least two scenarios. The first he could have had a conversation with George Zimmerman, the man who eventually took his life. Martin could have explained to Zimmerman that he lived in a nearby home. Martin could have also proceeded home when he had the opportunity; instead he chose confrontation and that confrontation led directly to his death.
Nobody will ever know why Martin chose confrontation, whether it was out of fear as some say, or a by-product of being a young black man in the times we live. Zimmerman also could have chosen to do as he was trained, to observe, to report, not engage. In the end, it was Martin who gave Zimmerman no choice by attacking him, leaving him in fear of his own life.
America stands on opposite sides of a wall now. On one side of that wall, are angry people who contend that Martin died needlessly because of the color of his skin. On the other side of that same wall, those who think Zimmerman did the only thing he could in order to save his own life. Without doubt, the wall does exist, and we as a nation are left divided. Trayvon Martin’s life and death deserve a better legacy than this.
This tragedy was not about race as some would have you believe. It is not about the use of words such as “The N-Word” or “Cracker” or any other word used by one group, to denigrate another. Yes, without doubt these words are divisive, yes they are hurtful, but in the end they are only words. The real problem word that we as people must rid ourselves and others, is quite simply, “Race”.
There is only one “Race”, the human race. The Bible does not mention race. Race was a word used in the 1600 th century, to create divisions among people, to establish that one color of people was superior to another. Like so many other things established so many years ago, it was wrong. Slavery was wrong, segregation was wrong, the Holocaust was wrong, and people stood together to eliminate them all. Now in the times we live in, we as a race, the human race must stand together again to eliminate the word “Race” to describe people of different colors.
Only after we all recognize that the word “RACE ” is the wall of division, will we be able to move forward into a future where all people are treated equally with respect and dignity. Leaders from all groups of people must all bear the same message, that we are all humans and that we have to be able to live in harmony, to stop this madness and contempt for people of different color, people we do not even know.
Men like the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and President Obama have the opportunity to stand in history beside men like, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Ronald Reagan if they so choose to do so. Reverend Jackson and Reverend Sharpton could lay aside their own prejudices and proclaim what the Bible does, that we are all people of the same race, and that we must treat others as we want to be treated.
President Obama could become the leader we all had such high hopes for in 2008. He could borrow a quote from President Reagan and tell the country. “Tear down that wall”. With the simple stroke of his pen, he could sign an Executive Order removing the problem of division disguised as “Race” from anything having to do with our government. Governors of each and every state could stand with him in doing the same and most assuredly would.
Yes, without a doubt we as a nation stand divided, but not destroyed. Divides can be overcome, and they can be corrected, and this one must be sooner or later. Every cure for an illness, a problem, a tragedy must have a starting point. President Obama here is your opportunity to change history, here is your opportunity for “Change and Hope”, simply “Tear Down That Wall”, do not let the tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death go to waste.