I followed the Trayvon Martin case as a spectator. I read the official news. I read the progressive commentary. And the president’s comments on the case. Especially this:
And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? (via Garance Franke-Ruta)
If Trayvon Martin could have been the son or the younger self of our president, what could he have been to me? I’m not black, not male, not living in Florida. I’m just a little mixed-race woman living in Seattle. I’m nothing like Trayvon Martin, right?
Of course. If a strange man followed me in his car and then confronted me, what would I have done? What would I have been expected to do? Probably scream and/or mace him and/or kick him in the nuts before running like hell. Because as a small woman living in urban areas, I’m not the threat. Never assumed to be the threat. Strange men are the threat to me because I’m trained to be afraid of rape.
Whereas if Martin had kicked Zimmerman in the nuts and ran? I have a nasty feeling that would have been considered an attack. Or proof of guilt. Or at least a justification for Zimmerman fighting back. But if Zimmerman had followed me, confronted me, and then shot me because I maced him? We would have a very different conversation on our hands.