Locals in Sanford say that the New Black Panther party has things stirred up even more than it was before in the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman, the man who shot the young black man about a month ago, has gone into hiding in hopes that he will ensure his safety. Spike Lee is only one of several high-profile black people who have tweeted or web-posted Zimmerman's physical home address and telephone number to the world. Reportedly, Zimmerman would prefer the safety of jail where vigilantes have less chance of being able to gain access to his person to administer what they consider "justice" for the killing of the 17-year-old.
Zimmerman is a "self-styled" neighborhood watch leader. He often "patrols" his private neighborhood watching for miscreants and mischief makers who "don't belong" in the area. He carries a gun and obviously knows how and isn't afraid to use it. The question now is whether or not he was in the right in the shooting death of an unarmed teen or whether it might have been a "racially motivated" killing.
Zimmerman asserts his actions were a matter of "self-defense" and states that he had stopped following Martin and started to retrace his steps when Martin "jumped" him. He did have several bloody wounds indicative of an altercation when police arrived. One of the biggest problems with the case is trying to justify the use of armed force against a teen holding tea in one hand and a bag of Skittles in the other. There does not seem to be any justification in a "self-defense" statement with a gun vs. candy and a soft drink.
The mood of the people in the Sanford area has been heightened by the attention of the nation to the death. The arrival of high-profile black people such asand are difficult to ignore when they ramp up the feelings of the bereaved as well as those in the Sanford area. People have been "bussed in" to rallys in the area much like they were in the 1950s and '60s when a big civil rights rally was held. Of course, civil rights activists say they will not be satisfied until Zimmerman is arrested and held without bail. This might be the safest place for him since the situation seems to be escalating rather than cooling down. Locals continue to hold rallys and gatherings in the area. Schools have been disrupted by students walking out of class in support of the deceased teen. At one school, the departing students rallied on the football field to form the dead boy's initials which were easily visible from news helicopters as they canvassed the area.
A grand jury will convene April 10 to determine whether or not to charge Zimmerman with murder. What ever happens, feelings are running high and rhetoric like the '60s words "pigs" and "black power" are being heard.
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that there should be justice in the case. Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old black teen with his whole future in front of him. George Zimmerman is a Hispanic. One of the biggest pieces of evidence against Zimmerman's actions is the tape of the conversation he had that fateful night with the police department where the PD told him to stop following the boy and return home.
The new Black Panthers have offered a $10,000 bounty for the apprehension of Zimmerman. The group says it will comb the area including an area near Maitland (where he had worked) until they locate him. The Panthers have helped to raise the nervousness of racial tension in the Orlando area and the only thing that will tone it down is the arrest and incarceration of George Zimmerman.
Let cooler heads prevail beforethe desire for retribution turns into revenge.