"Not guilty" does not mean innocent. George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, but he's by no means innocent. Had prosecutors charged him with manslaughter instead of murder, Zimmerman might be in a cell today instead of walking free under God's sunshine. George Zimmerman was acquitted, but he is guilty. Guilty of racially profiling an innocent 17-year-old kid and provoking a confrontation that ended with him shooting the boy to death.
The simple reality is this: Trayvon Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had followed the instructions of the 911 operator, stayed in his car, and left Trayvon alone. Deeper still, Trayvon Martin would be alive if George Zimmerman hadn't decided that Martin was a dangerous criminal simply because of how he looked. (Zimmerman didn't describe any suspicious behavior when he talked to 911; he said Martin was "just walking about . . . looking at all the houses").
George Zimmerman had no legitimate reason to call the cops on Trayvon Martin. The mere fact that he made the call, coupled with the words he used while talking to the 911 operator (e.g.: "He's got his hand in his waistband. And he's a black male," "These a**holes, they always get away," etc.) demonstrate the foulest form of racist profiling. The overzealous, paranoid, gun-toting community watch volunteer wrongly decided that Trayvon Martin had no business being in the neighborhood (which he did), decided that he was dangerous (which he was not) and decided that he needed to be confronted (which the cops told him not to do). Zimmerman, in a rage which I am convinced was fueled by racism, violated the explicit instructions of the emergency services operator and followed Trayvon Martin. This is what led to the confrontation that resulted in Martin's death.
If Zimmerman's claim that Martin started the fight is true (highly unlikely especially since Zimmerman told 911 that the teenager was moving away from him) he did so as a preemptive act of self-defense against a stranger who was trailing him with no good intent on a dark and rainy night. Again, blame Zimmerman.
George Zimmerman is another agonizing and infuriating reminder that – although we enjoy the fruits of freedom and opportunity secured for us through the sacrifices of our forebears – we still live in a nation that is disgracefully plagued by the fear-fueled evil of racism. An evil which forces black men to live under a unique set of biased preconceptions which, in the twisted minds of men like George Zimmerman, justify calling the cops or pulling out a gun, even when we aren't breaking the law.
Thanks for listening. I'm Cameron Turner and that's my two cents.