July 22, 2013 at 4:14 PM
The case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman
Zimmerman acted in self-defense
Steve Alberts, in his letter to the editor, offered us his opinion on the George Zimmerman verdict and “Stand Your Ground” laws. [“Northwest Voices: Zimmerman verdict,” Opinion, July 17.]
Alberts writes that Zimmerman has no “legal or police experience,” which somehow means that Zimmerman couldn’t possibly make an informed opinion on whether or not Trayvon Martin was attacking him.
Alberts displays that elitist liberal arrogance, saying that most human beings are too stupid to figure out that someone is attacking them.
Mr. Alberts, when someone punches you in the face, knocks you down and starts smashing the back of your head against the concrete, you don’t need some kind of advanced “legal or police experience” to figure out that someone is attacking you and that you have to do something to save your life.
Peter Karr, Bellevue
Zimmerman was acting responsibly
Jerry Large makes the case that racism is vibrant because George Zimmerman chose to follow Trayvon Martin, and speculates that was because of his hoodie or Skittles. [“Florida verdict a ‘wake-up call,’ ” NW Thursday, July 18.]
The trial itself didn’t fully explore why Zimmerman followed Martin after being told not to. The prosecution depicted Zimmerman as profiling Trayvon Martin.
By the summer of 2011, The Retreat at Twin Lakes had experienced a rash of burglaries and break-ins. Previously a family-friendly, first-time homeowner community, it was devastated by the recession that hit the Florida housing market, and transient renters began to occupy some of the town houses in the complex.
Vandalism and occasional drug activity were reported, and home values plunged. At least eight burglaries were reported within Twin Lakes in the year before the shooting, according to the Sanford Police Department.
In a series of interviews, residents said dozens of reports of attempted break-ins and would-be burglars casing homes had created an atmosphere of growing fear in the neighborhood, and Large somehow forgets that Zimmerman was part of the Neighborhood Watch. That makes it clear why he felt compelled to check out Martin.
Richard Pelto, Kenmore
Racism and injustice continue
In reference to the subtitle on the article regarding President Obama’s remarks on the death of Trayvon Martin as “surprising,” I suggest the surprising thing is that the remarks were so long in coming, and that any of us should hear them as a surprise. [“Obama: ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me,’” page one, July 20.]
After all, it was 50 years ago in April that Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” naming the same injustices of which President Obama spoke.
“When you are harried by day and haunted by night … living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you go forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness,’” then, King wrote, we would understand why it was difficult to wait for that day when the injustices of racial prejudice would be no more.
I give thanks to our president for stating the painful truth that we are still waiting, and I hope against hope that we will take his words to heart, and live lives worthy of the challenging call to action spoken throughout the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.
May we work toward that day when racism is no more.
C. William Bailey, Seattle
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