Alveda King: Grieved Over Strife Surrounding Zimmerman Verdict

Alveda King
Alveda King

I believe the verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case further exposes a grievous and deep vein of disharmony and racial tension in our nation that can only be healed when people realize that every human being should be treated with dignity and respect.

A trial like this causes public debate, and people have forgotten what is right anymore. Now Trayvon’s tragic death is obscured and Mr. Zimmerman is a public spectacle. The lines of what is right and what is legal/lawful have also been blurred, and this trial exposes that.

We saw the same scenarios in the O J. trial and the Casey Anthony cases. There was reasonable doubt, no matter how minute the reasonable doubt proves to be. Even more recently, abortionists are butchering women in so-called “legal” yet underregulated facilities where, in many cases, no arrests are being made—with Kermit Gosnell’s case being a recent exception.

In Chicago, where random killings are at an all-time high, a black woman, Tonya Reaves, was recently slaughtered and bled to death for five hours in a Planned Parenthood abortion mill, yet no arrests have been made.

Now, in the wake of Trayvon’s senseless death and Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal, many people are angry at the tragic loss of life and what some perceive to be a shun on the black race. For the record, Acts 17:26 teaches that there is one blood and one human race, not multiple races, so racism is based on a lie.

Others seem to feel a victory because certain constitutional rights were favorably argued and the question of reasonable doubt prevailed in this case. Yet it is important to also note that Zimmerman’s life is ruined too and that the court of public opinion is not completely on his side.

So in a way, the blind scales of justice seem to have favored Mr. Zimmerman, while Trayvon’s voice is silenced and his dream died with him.

The Bible says mercy triumphs over justice: “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13, NKJV). And Micah 6:8 says that we should add love and humility to justice: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbl with your God” (NIV).

Love and humility are missing on both sides of this struggle!

My uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said we must all learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or perish as fools. Too many people are dying today for too many reasons, and the race-baiting and strife add fuel to the fire, which grieves my soul.

Again, a young American man has perished; another is a public spectacle. Who wins?

We must now use this controversy as an opportunity to help educate our future generations as to how to act and how to react in similar situations. Then maybe young Trayvon’s death will not be in vain.

A profound injustice has occurred in glossing over the death of this young man and the suffering of his family. The "not guilty" verdict violates the tender nuances of human suffering and the integrity of the criminal justice system in his community.

It remains critically important, however, that all protests against the verdict demonstrate an irrevocable commitment to nonviolence, to honor the dignity of Trayvon Martin’s precious life, and to not add further tragedy to what his family and the people of Sanford have already experienced.

Let’s face it: If both people in this tragedy were of common ethnicity, there would be no media feeding frenzy. The gun-control debate is a smokescreen, in that people do use guns to kill other people as Zimmerman did in this case. But guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Yes, sometimes they use guns, but they sometimes use bombs or knives too. We definitely need love control and heart control and nonviolence control.

There are murders going on every day that the media overlooks. Remember Tonya Reaves. Millions of black babies and many of their mothers are being slaughtered in abortion mills. Where is the justice for that?

Obviously, strife and struggle and conflict were at the base of this case. Two men alone on the street in the dark. A punch is thrown. A gun escalates the trauma and drama. We need a beloved community. We need nonviolent conflict resolution.

Let us please give a nonviolent response to Trayvon’s family, to Mr. Zimmerman and to America to help to promote healing and to lay the foundation needed to repeal faulty laws that fail to protect our youth and to further enact other reforms to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil-rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also a civil rights and pro-life activist, as well as director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life. Click here to visit her blog.

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