Friday, February 22, 2019

Three Edged Sword: Trayvon & George

As we all struggle to understand this tragedy, we should remember that understanding is a three edged sword consisting of your side, their side and the truth.

I’ve read and heard a lot about the Trayvon Martin tragedy and thought long about my personal position on the matter. I understand that emotions are running high on both sides of the equation, but if reason doesn’t rule the day, then we learn nothing from all of this and are doomed to repeat the cycle. There is a 17 year old young man dead. We must ask why and assign some culpability, once we have the answer.

We should use the power of reason to uncover the exact moment, the very beginning of wrongdoing, that set in motion the chain of events leading to death.

Where do we begin?

1.) Trayvon is walking through the neighborhood. There is no wrongdoing here.

2.) George is following him because he perceives Trayvon to be suspicious. There is no wrongdoing here.

3.) George confronts Trayvon. This is the beginning of where things go wrong. As a neighborhood watch, the job is to observe and report, which George was doing when he was following (observing) and talking to dispatch (reporting).

This should have been the end of his duties, with any further action being continued observation. Instead, “observe and report” was abandoned in favor of “approach and confront,” and this is the beginning of an action that was contrary to the duties of his position.

From this action stemmed further actions, most notably the altercation between the two. If we are to believe the testimony, Trayvon attacking George then this action is also wrong, however it is not the catalyst of the event.

For an attack by Trayvon to be the full catalyst of the events leading to his death, he would have had to approach George, while George was still in the car observing and reporting and doing nothing wrong, and attacked him without any provocation.

That is not what happened. Had that been the case, then Trayvon alone would be responsible for his death.

There is a degree of fault on both sides here. If culpability is indeed shared, then where is the punishment?

Trayvon has already paid, with his life. George has rendered no payment for his role in this tragedy. I believe he is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being without intent. The absence of the intent element is the essential difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Also in most states, involuntary manslaughter does not result from a heat of passion but from an improper use of reasonable care or skill while in the commission of a lawful act or while in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony.”

Nobody can say for certain that George intended to kill Trayvon, but a death has happened, and there is a cause. That cause is the “improper use of reasonable care or skill” displayed by George when he went outside the confines of his duties.

In order for George to be free of all culpability in the death of Trayvon, for the “stand your ground” law to apply and render him innocent, he would have had to be in his car performing his duties correctly, when he was accosted by Trayvon. All other facts in this case are moot. Death is cause and effect. We already know the effect, and the jury dropped the ball when determining the cause.

The fact is the prosecution could not provide sufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof required for George to be guilty of second degree murder. Being negligent in your duties does not automatically equate to malice.

For all those saying George is innocent, I think I’ve already addressed the question of culpability as seen through the equation of cause and effect. Innocence would mean that he had no part, whatsoever, in the cause.

For those that go the extra step and affirm that Trayvon “deserved” to die, I caution you on the heavy hand by which you judge. There are very few people, when compared to the total human population, that are, or have been, deserving of death. Being an impressionable 17 year old that obviously didn’t have all of life’s answers does not qualify as being deserving of death. Whom among us didn’t make mistakes at that age or at any age?

Perhaps I was deserving of death as a 17 year old boy and did a lot worse than Trayvon ever did? Perhaps my life was a waste because of bad decisions I made at that age? I think history proves that position wrong since today I serve my fellow citizens in a capacity that offers my life in the performance of that service. Trayvon will never have the opportunity to make a similar contribution.

As we struggle to understand this tragedy, we should remember that understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side and the truth. There are extreme opinions and feelings in all of this, and somewhere in the middle is reason, and the truth. The jury got it right the first time but failed to understand the model of which I’m speaking of, and therefore didn’t recognize the truth.

In their first vote they were three for not guilty (one extreme), one for second degree murder (the other extreme) and two for manslaughter (the middle where reason was. and ultimately, the truth as far as culpability for cause and effect).

The system doesn’t always get it right, everyone already knows this. What needs to be addressed now is how to fix it, so we don’t have more of the same regarding the actual incident and the lack of understanding that followed.

Blind fury and bitter rebuttal as an answer to that fury, are not the answer. Reason must be the rule of the day or we will forever be in the endless darkness of that tragic night.

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DKIdea is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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6 comments on Three Edged Sword: Trayvon & George

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By TonyBerkman on July 21, 2013 at 02:49 pm

Great article and yes there are always 3 sides to every dispute

The legal system failed us!

The problem and perhaps opportunity for America is the reaction to this verdict. We are so stuck in idolatories that the truth is rarely ever spoken.

It's as if people are afraid that if they speak the truth then the identity that they have created for themselves -- be it conservative, liberal, mainstream media outlet, conspiracy theorist -- whatever it may be is threatened and therefore they are. It's child like behaviour.

The wrong lies in a culture that has for too long judged people by the color of their skin, their clothes, their backgrounds and not based on reality. And it's not to say that discriminatory judgments are made by all people, black, white, purple, blue, gay, bi, straight, Christian, Jew, Muslim because they are. There seems to be something in our nature that feels a need to be superior. Though it need not be like this. It's time for us to grow up and get over our small selves.

It's time for us to wake up and face the truth. We are not a color blind society. We each need to be more responsible for examining our thoughts (as the President said) and with this examination we may move the country to a place where skin color and other human differences becomes meaningless to how we treat each other. We need to move to a place where we treasure out differences because it's these differences that make humanity beautiful. Just imagine a world where everyone was just like you? How fucken boring would that be?

Watch this video by a mainstream TV reporter who says it like it is

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By Coach Phatty on July 21, 2013 at 06:52 pm

Great article. One thing...I know that Trayvon paid with his life but to say that "George has rendered no payment for his role in this wrong.Even though he got off and was acquitted, he will be paying for this for the rest of his life. He is a "marked man" and will be forever in hiding. It's sad but true...he probably won't live another 10 years...somebody will "make him pay."

As for the other stuff, I am not going to say either way what I think but I just wanted to share my thoughts on that little piece of your article.

Once again, great article and keep up the good work!!

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By TonyBerkman on July 21, 2013 at 08:09 pm

Be a shame for someone else to take his life. The cycle of violence needs to stop we somehow need to find a higher level of consciousness. This continuos blame and judging others can only end when people put down their guns. Unfortunately as a species we are so far from this place that I'm sure you're right that someone will kill the man. That will leave another person dead and another person feeling as though they were justified in taking a life. As beings we need to take a look at our "track record" and recognize it likely would get us an F in almost all areas. We continue to believe that the answer should come from outside of us, whether in the form of big government, the justice system, to technology and religion, yet it will have to arise from within us if we are going to end these nightmarish scenarios that seemingly perpetuate without end. I don't know who said it (perhaps Mandela or Mother Theresa) though one cannot talk about love by focusing on hate, or peace by talking about war. Why are we so ignorant and egocentric such that we cannot see beyond our own immediate need for instant gratifcation.

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By Randy Mitchell on July 22, 2013 at 01:21 pm

Anytime anyone is murdered, no matter their color or age, it's a tragedy. The problem with this case is none of us where there and didn't witness the exact events as they occurred. Bad judgement on both parts played a part, but a jury had ample time to hear both sides and a decision was made.

What a find extremely upsetting, and makes me angry is the three-ring-circus the media, and civil rights leaders have created by using this case as a lynchpin for black vs. white. The hypocrisy and propaganda created by these people is what excites the hate in this country and they will do anything to keep it going. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc all make money anytime an opportunity like this presents itself. Do they really want us to all get along? No. They make their livings using events like this for political purposes.

I am white, and if a black man gunned me down no matter the reason, or who was right, or what led up to the fatal blow or shot, the media wouldn't say a word. There would be no tragedy, no riots in the streets, NO PRESIDENT, and no civil rights leaders coming to my defense. My case would just be another listed and buried in the court system.

Tony, you said it best by quoting that "one cannot talk about love by focusing on hate." The media are the ones focusing on hate, therefore never allowing love and improved race relations to ever gain ground. The Zimmerman case helped unite and excite their liberal base and that's what they live for.

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By TonyBerkman on July 22, 2013 at 03:57 pm

Randy right on. It's bullshit that we keep having to relive the constant "reinforcement of hatred" perpetuated by these groups that make their money and get their power from causing us to be divided.

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By Credo on July 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Intelligent analysis, excellent critical thinking.Newspaper worthy.

greats piece!


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