George Zimmerman:
I won't begin this letter with the usual salutation of "dear" because the much used term is defined as beloved one, kind or generous, or much loved. While I'm sure that your family and friends hold you in those regards, your words and actions in the Trayvon Martin case disqualifies you from being called a "dear." At least in my eyes.

Let me issue this infallible truth before proceeding: God loves you George Zimmerman, in spite of yourself. You are a part of his greatest creation. That said, so was 17 year old Trayvon Martin. You do remember him don't you? In case you don't, he was the unarmed young boy walking through the Twin Lakes gated community in Sanford, Florida back on February 26, 2012. He was the one that you executed. He was the child that begged and pleaded for his life before you pumped a bullet into his chest from a 9mm weapon of destruction.

When you spotted the young man, right away your antennas of suspicion were raised because in your mind, a young black male just does not belong in a gated community. Right away you called law enforcement and stereotypically reported that this suspicious-looking person was a black male that looked like he was on drugs or up to no good.

When Trayvon noticed that you were watching and following him, he became alarmed, put his hoodie on his head, and tried to lose you as he talked to his girlfriend on the cell phone. You followed him even after being advised by the 911 operator not to do so. You continued in your pursuit and eventually caught up with him, demanding to know why he was there. Trayvon questioned you, wanting to know why you were following him and what he had done wrong. His girlfriend on the other end of the cell phone heard the entire confrontation up until the point that you shoved him, causing the headset to fall.

Now, at that point, no one except you, Trayvon, and God knows what happened. Your claim is that as you walked back to your vehicle, Trayvon attacked you from behind. You then pull out your gun and used deadly force to deal with the much younger, much smaller, unarmed "menace." But there is so much about your sequence of events that makes absolutely no sense George. 

You're claiming self-defense but anyone with a modicum of common sense understands that one acting in self-defense does not pursue an aggressor and aggressors don't beg and plead for their lives. Neighbors report hearing some sort of altercation and afterwards, blood-curdling screams of help from Trayvon Martin.

Law enforcement arrives and take your word of self-defense without interrogation or further investigation. Trayvon was bagged up and taken to the morgue where he lay on a cold slab for three days before his family was notified. I'm curious to know why police didn't go door-to-door to have Trayvon identified. Why did police try to get witnesses to change their accounts in order to support your self-defense theory? Why didn't police bother to call phone numbers in Trayvon's cell phone in order to contact family members or for identification purposes?

Let me tell you what you took from us George Zimmerman. By all accounts, Trayvon Martin was a mild-mannered, non-confrontational, good kid that was admired and well spoken of by students, friends, and teachers. Now, in this day of "malign, mistreat, and demonize" black males, Trayvon was a jewel. You took that away from his family and the black community. You appointed yourself  judge, jury, and executioner.

In their extreme grief, Trayvon's parents went on a quest for answers and justice in the murder of their son. Trayvon had been failed by law enforcement, the media, and those who should have been able to protect him or at least ensure that justice is meted out. When news of his murder finally hit the mainstream media, things began to change. You can believe that right will be vindicated and wrong will be judged. 

Your evil intent, whether fueled by racism or some other motive, drove you to use deadly force on an unarmed child. Your story is ludicrous. If you followed and confronted Trayvon and retreated back to your vehicle as you claim, then why, pray tell, would the boy come out of nowhere and attack you? Why would he do that knowing that you had a problem with him being there in the first place? It truly defies logic.

Now, my personal opinion is simply this: you committed a premeditated act of murder and were fully aware of Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law when you pulled the trigger. You felt that your self-defense claims would be validated by the law. But what you didn't anticipate was the overwhelming international showing of support for Trayvon and his family. What you didn't consider is that the controversial law does not apply to this case. What you didn't know was that black people and others have grown tired and weary of the hate, bigotry, racial profiling, and stereotypes of black men.

You couldn't have known that by darkening Trayvon's light, you ignited fires of protest and unity around the country. Trayvon Martin is now the son of millions of black, white, Hispanic, Asian and people of other races. You killed, assassinated, and executed an innocent child and you will pay at some point. My prayer is that your callous disregard for life and justice does not cause further division between the races. We don't need Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan, Skinheads, or any other hate group getting involved in this issue. It will only worsen matters and lead to more assaults or deaths.

A day of reckoning is coming for you George Zimmerman and if it isn't done through the American justice system, then prepare yourself, if you can, to stand before a righteous God that will fairly judge and hold you accountable for your actions for infinity and beyond.

S. Denice Newton
March 25, 2012
Singing Without Song

I love this photo of Trayvon Martin and his dad Tracy. It depicts the love and adoration shared by a father and son. Recently, Tracy Martin was recalling the chain of events leading to his son's murder to a news reporter. He said that Trayvon died just yards from his back door. I could hear the agony in the father's voice as he spoke about the tragedy. Each time that I hear the 911 recording and clearly audible screams of "help me" in the background, I think my heart breaks a little more. At seventeen, Trayvon was still a child. The fear and anguish in his voice directly contradicts the "self-defense" claims by the shooter George Zimmerman. Now, about those screams. Although they are painful to hear, they have reached beyond racial, gender, socio-economic, and political borders. They have reached the ears of parents, family members, neighbors, friends, schoolmates, and others. Those screams are resounding around the world today and there is a grassroots movement of change in the atmosphere. A revolution is underway. Not one of me versus you or us versus them. It is a revolution that yells, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" Too often we congregate in our circles and talk about issues without actively pursuing change.  But Trayvon's screams have opened up an international platform that allows anyone and everyone to have a voice. He is everyone's son, black, white, Hispanic, or Asian. Right now, George Zimmerman's attorney is out disputing the  racism charge and pushing the self-defense theory. He has to. If this was a racially-motivated shooting as I suspect that it was, then it certainly falls within the "hate-crime" category which means Zimmerman can be prosecuted on those grounds and therefore,  uncovered by Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground Law." As hard as it is to listen to that child plead for his life, I will let his screams be the guiding force for more teaching, mentoring, and reaching out to youth all over this country.