Clenard Childress
Trayvon Martin was walking home
By Clenard Childress
August 2, 2013

Prior to the verdict of George Zimmerman, as the Rev. Jessie Jackson was being interviewed by a leading news station of his expectation of the decision of the jury in the Trayvon Martin trial, Jackson truly simplified the bottom line of this tragic consequence of mistaken identity by simply stating the obvious fact: "Trayvon Martin was walking home." Rev. Jessie Jackson's comments heighten the simplicity of the matter and behavior of a teenage boy. Trayvon Martin was doing what comes natural to a young man his age anxious to get home to watch the All-Star Game and enjoy his skittles and tea. It would also be natural to put a hood over your head if it was raining. It would also be natural to be afraid if an unknown white male is following you in the dark and the rain. It would also be natural for someone to ask the question of the perpetrator: "why are you following me?" Trayvon Martin was walking home.

    1.. injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of ones rights especially detriment to ones legal rights or claims.

    2... Preconceived judgment or opinion, an adverse opinion or learned, learned, formed without just grounds or sufficient knowledge.

    3... An instance of such judgment or opinion

    4... an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race or their supposed characteristics.

Trayvon Martin was walking home. To say he was not profiled through prejudice is absurd and dishonest. Race, and jaded perceptions, had everything to do with this case. My fellow white Conservatives, who labor with us in the vineyard, must be very careful not to lose their credibility, thus discrediting their much-needed voices and insight on the crucial issues facing this nation nationally and globally. Sean Hannity, whose clarion call to all of America warning them to give greater scrutiny of the agenda of the then state senator, Barack Obama, was honest, noble, and courageous. Sean had the platform; he used it with integrity, and stayed within the boundaries of respect and courtesy with the proper dose of objectivity. Not so in the Trayvon Martin case.

The present frustration of Conservatives, of whom I would be considered as one if assessed, is at an all-time high. The Conservatives have witnessed this administration's relentless attack upon the Judeo-Christian ethic, all while hampering the proven and successful free market system as we know it. Government continues to expand in size and control. Socialism was disguised as 'Change' and America is only now wakening up to it. Within a year Conservatives have witnessed the highest court render devastating decisions betraying the values which were espoused in this country since its inception. Following the reasoning and explanation of Chief Justice Roberts, we can say that the Supreme Court sanctioned the most encumbering tax ever imposed on the United States, and then a few months later, heard the bell tolling the death knell on traditional marriage; and to add insult to injury, they were called 'bigots' by chief justice Kennedy for their position on the issue. Gun sales are through the roof due to the anticipation of the possible success of this administration's desire to abolish the 2nd Amendment. Government spokesman Pierce Morgan of CNN was given a clear message to talk back to the brain trust during an interview with Alex Jones (whom I admire and is a man for the times) who animatedly at the top of us voice proclaimed, "You're Not Going To Get Our Guns!"

Now here comes the mainstream media that has the Trayvon Martin case on the front burner. To all Conservatives, the mainstream media is the tool of the enemy. Mainstream media aided and abetted the past setbacks of Conservatives and now they must be up to something (gun restriction fodder?). Thus, they were not able to look at the case from the sole perspective for what it was. Trayvon Martin was walking home. The further abuse of mainstream media, and its reporting practices, inflamed racial overtones, but also disallowed the evidence to speak for itself. NBC didn't have to doctor tapes to incite the race issue in an attempt to boost ratings. The tapes speak for themselves, just these two lines alone lead me to know prejudice had already done its damage: "He's up to no good." "These guys always get away."
    Prejudice – injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of ones rights especially detriment to ones legal rights or claims.

    2... Preconceived judgment or opinion, an adverse opinion or learned, learned, formed without just grounds or sufficient knowledge.

Conservatives reported that Hispanic, George Zimmerman, was being victimized by the media. This was true and needed to be pointed out. The loss of objectivity comes when conservative commentators make statements like "they are calling him a white Hispanic," then using the president as an example that he is not called a "white African-American." That's not mainstream media's fault – that's the residue of inherent racism in America. That's the way our crime statistics read; also our census reports. That's the rules which were made over a century ago. If you're not all white, you are something else, and that something else determines what you are to be called (unless you're Herbert Hoover and can hide it). The Aryan implications of this can be debated, but to blame mainstream media for it, is quite a stretch and inaccurate.

Our president's use of the social issues is often for political points and shows the absence of critical thinking and unvails selfish motives. Empathizing to get your favor rating up on such a volatile issue, is irresponsible. No, his comments were not reconciliatory, and in some ways were divisive, but for Sean Hannity to bring attention to Chicago's murder rate, which was good and then ask, "Can you name three of the people that were killed?" was absurd. That was more of an 'I gotcha' ploy' rather than using the comparison as a teaching moment to expose the race hustlers as opportunists more concerned on what notoriety they can achieve, and how much money they can raise. Chicago, despite exceeding the death toll of Afghanistan within a year, was never on Jackson's nor Sharpton's radar, simply because there was no profit in it. It would also expose the inept Democratic leadership of urban cities when it comes to protecting its citizens. Who is the Mayor of Chicago?

Now, I understand most Conservatives were at their wits end and deeply disappointed, along with myself, after the judiciary debacles that will adversely impact our nation, but we ourselves can't let this effect our own assessment of what is justice. In repeated segments, I would hear Sean Hannity and his Conservative quests, keep repeating that "It's not against the law to follow someone." It epitomized their real sentiments, which was not whether or not George Zimmerman acted wrongfully, and invoked the death of Trayvon Martin, but would the letter of the "law" exonerate him and get him off. This was very disturbing. This was a mischaracterization of the law implying that, because it wasn't against the law it was therefore lawful and right to do with impunity. This also means, your bias was more important than your objectivity, and sense of justice. The law doesn't necessarily assure that justice is measured out properly. Not all laws are just laws. It's up to just people to interpret properly how to apply the law in the grey areas.

Example: suppose you get a call from your son or daughter, it's a rainy night and they notice a suspicious person whom they don't know, following them after coming out of a local convenience store? "Dad what should I do?" Is your response going to be, "Don't worry dear; it not against the law to be followed by someone." Or, would you immediately shift into combat mode, to not only call the police, but personally go to intercept that intruder? Let's be real here: following someone is a provocation of the highest degree, and for you to attempt to dismiss it as being legal, is proof of your bias and is also patently ludicrous. For Sean to interview the man in the context of 'your own perspective and your knowledge on the case' was in my estimation, irresponsible. Why it was even allowed, I don't know; I guess it wasn't against the law. Upon its completion, Mr. Hannity says he felt Zimmerman was innocent. Hey, we can all have our opinions but I have to raise these salient points you have failed to objectively respond to.

If Zimmerman was so confident to come and tell his story to Sean Hannity, and it was as he said, why then couldn't he take the stand and say what he said to him – to the court – if was the truth? It was the same reason O.J. Simpson couldn't take the stand; the story he told Sean is not the way it happened and it would never hold up. Is this an innocent man? Why not let the Mother and Father hear from your mouth why you had to shoot their son. It would be the first thing I'd do! I would let them know it was 'self-defense and I was fearful for my life and it was the last thing I wanted to do and that I also realize I have taken something very precious from you and I am so sorry.' No lawyer would speak for me, if I was telling the truth. Exploiting a white person's worst nightmare of a young black kid in a hood on top of the white man, wailing away, was all most Conservatives could see at the end of the day. Of the all-white jury sitting in judgment, it could also be said the same. It appeared that Hannity and the jury couldn't get past the picture or testimony that Trayvon Martin was on top.

SO WHAT! Hey, I have been in three fights in my life. Two of them, I didn't start but I wound up on top, and the other one I did start, and I wound up on the bottom. If anyone would have seen the last third of those fights, they would have assumed wrongly on all three altercations using your logic. This is prejudice due to the image in the minds of most people, especially white, that Black Men in hoodies, are thugs and criminals, and would be more prone to start a fight even though it's the guy with the hood that's being followed by a zealous neighborhood watch enforcement enthusiast who seemingly is always out trying to prove his worth.

Jesus and Trayvon had the same problem: "can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" "He's up to no good!" Zimmerman thought, 'can any good thing come from a young Black male in a hood that may have a buzz from marijuana?' which by the way, when I indulged, the last thing I wanted to do, was fight. Trayvon Martin didn't profile George Zimmerman; he walked by the car, they looked at each other, and Trayvon Martin continued on his way. To Trayvon, he was just a man in a car on his way home. George Zimmerman didn't become a "creepy ass white cracker" till he his view started acting like one.

I believe in the right to bear arms; I believe marriage is between one man and one woman; I believe life begins at conception; and, I believe Trayvon Martin was walking home.

© Clenard Childress


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Clenard Childress

Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr., is the senior pastor of The New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, NJ. He is the founder of the website and president of Life Education And Resource Network, Northeast. LEARN is the largest African-American pro-life group in the US... (more)


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