Some in the media are looking for a monumental lesson to be learned by the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the Martin/Zimmerman trial. Suggesting systemic failures in the justice system on race. But for the introduction of politics, from the President on down, the trial would not have happened. The original investigation had it right. It was a case of self-defense. But could-a, would-a, should-a doesn’t get us to the lesson, the takeaway from the entire incident.
The real lesson is much simpler than exacerbating racial tension, perpetuating the race industry. It’s about exercising a little self-control, being civil to one another.
Profiling is not an excuse for breaking the law. Profiling is a natural behavior. For a person, like Zimmerman, to be looking out for bad guys that had been breaking into homes in his neighborhood, coming upon Martin “looked” to him to be someone to watch. Nothing illegal about watching someone. Martin did a little profiling of his own as well. He thought, and said, that Zimmerman was a creepy-ass cracker. A natural reaction perhaps from someone who lives in the hood in Miami Gardens.
The lesson to be learned is that if some asks you “what are you doing here?”, you might respond in a civil, non-violent way. For example, “just going home” or “not that it’s any of your business, but I’m going home,” or just ignore him and continue walking home. Responding in an un-civil manner, like with your fists, could end up costing your life.
That’s the message community leaders and politicians should be getting, and making, from this unfortunate incident.