Last year, my sister told me about a guy she knew who was jumped on the other side of town. According my sister, her friend had visited someone on the west side of town and was walking to catch the bus, but on his way a group of guys started following him. Once these guys caught up to him, they jumped him and he could only suppose it was because they didn’t recognize him from the neighborhood. Well luckily at some point, he was able to get away.
All these months since Trayvon Martin was killed, I’ve been mystified by the fact that no one wants to consider that Trayvon felt threatened by George Zimmerman? Mind you, Zimmerman was watching Trayvon before he parked his car to get out and follow Trayvon. Let me tell you this, if I saw man or woman watching me in their car and then park their car to follow me on foot, I would be truly terrified because that’s odd behavior whether you’re in the suburbs, the hood, or out in the country.
So why is it beyond consideration that Trayvon was in fact scared and may have turned to confront Zimmerman in an act of self-defense? Trayvon may have thought he was going to be jumped, robbed, or attacked in some way by this stranger who seemed to be pursuing him for no reason. If you are doing nothing but walking to where you live, yet someone is pursuing you, you would most likely feel threatened.
But, every story on the news, online, and in newspapers can not believe that a young black man would ever feel threatened by someone of another race, yet according to the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics for 2009 “71.5 percent [of hate crime victims] were victims because of an offender’s anti-black bias,” i.e. the victims were black. On the other hand, the percentage of victims due to an “anti-white bias” was “16.5 percent.”
The perpetrators of race based hate crimes is almost the complete reverse according the FBI’s website. White perpetrators made up “62.4 percent” of all racially motivated hate crime perpetrators, while black perpetrators were “18.5 percent.” And despite commonly held beliefs in our country, the FBI reports that in 2010 “69.4 percent of arrestees were white.” (Aren’t facts a mother-hubbard! They just add so much clarity to the world. They should bottle that mess and sell it!)
Possibly in the coming months (and I am only suggesting that this as a possibility considering how hard it is for news organizations to do research), news outlets could pose more accurate and probable scenarios for the night Trayvon Martin was killed. Such scenarios should include Trayvon fearing for his safety and standing his ground against a grown man pursuing him (not to mention carrying a weapon like a criminal) as he walked home.
(The FBI statistics I referenced were the most current statistics found on the FBI website. If anyone finds more recent data, please let me know in a comment with a link to the data and I will make changes as necessary. Thanks.)