Q&A: How does love fit into the discourse on Trayvon Martin?


Yesterday I posted about the truth as I understand it, relating to how we deal with the heinous ills that plague mankind today.

It was kind of huge.

The post was sparked by the Trayvon Martin shooting that occurred in February in South Florida but covered a range of universal issues.   https://tinawatkins.com/2012/03/27/more-on-trayvon-martin-and-racism-what-kind-of-love-is-this/

As Dr. Seuss says, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

I received an amazing comment that highlighted some particularly challenging parts of that post and am answering below.

Question: The one thing I question is why you say “God’s love is the kind that would try and convict George Zimmerman of shooting Trayvon Martin and see him put on a path of true reform instead of punishment”? With all due respect isn’t it presumptuous to assume God Himself has convicted George Zimmerman of a crime?

Answer: Well, yes.  It’s presumptuous to assume anything about God, other than His greatness and goodness.  The fact as Zimmerman stated and no one has challenged, is that he killed another human being.  We don’t need to pass judgment on why one kills another to say killing is not good.  What I hoped to communicate is that if that does happen… Shouldn’t we aspire to imagine the very best possible outcome?  One that maybe touches more lives than were lost?  It’s a tough thing to wrap the mind around, and my intent is to get those thoughts flowing.

Question: Only God knows the heart of George Zimmerman and only God knows the motives and events in the hearts of both men. It also sounds like you also have determined in your heart to know the heart of George Zimmerman. When you say “For me, that probing question dug deep into the heart of the matter of the Martin shooting, of racism, of poverty, of war…”. To know that he has the heart of a racist.

Answer: It seems to me maybe you read more into it than was written.  I don’t know, and didn’t  say I know on any level, the heart of Zimmerman.  Nor did I say he was racist.  The issues I raised throughout the post (which range from sex trafficking to genocide) are of pressing importance to me, though most are unrelated to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Through the events that unfolded after the news broke, and the messages I’ve received, I developed a clearer understanding of the common theme between the varied, much larger and seemingly different issues:

They are resolved only through divine love.

Question: To know that George is “someone filled with hate from pulling a trigger” as you insinuate. Do you know for certain he did not act out of fear for his life as opposed to racist hatred? Is there a difference?

Answer: I don’t know and don’t believe there’s a difference: Neither is rooted in a place of love.  My intent was to highlight the fallacy of thinking a law can change how someone feels .  Our feelings are simply our feelings and no one can judge them, right or wrong.  We live with them until we don’t.   Our spirits are always able to be reconciled, refreshed, renewed.

This may be difficult to conceptualize, but my intent in saying someone is filled with hate at a specific time is to reference the emotion that drives an act of violence.  It was not to judge the color of their spirit.

Question: From what the public knows it appears that George acted foolishly, but I think it wise to refrain from judgement until more information has been revealed. Shouldn’t we be extremely cautious in pronouncing these judgements and careful with the messages we send?

Answer: Yes, I agree emphatically.  And, as careful as we may be with our messaging this is a complicated and soul-stirring issue.  Which means it will be received differently by each person who gets the message.

Question: Isn’t this a time to wait?

Answer:  For messages spreading hate and judgment, yes.  The world to me, seems flooded with messages like that.  I do believe it’s imperative right now, the world begins to see more messages about love, about understanding: Those messages must be carefully crafted and circulated.

Question: In fact there have already been perversions of the truth and misleading information in the media. First this was white on black crime. Now it turns out George’s father is Jewish and mother is Peruvian. Does that make him white or hispanic? Should that matter anyways?

Answer: I wrote based on details I could verify and that have been circulating for some time, which allows space for confirmation or contradiction to be addressed: Those were my presumed facts.  I didn’t consider Zimmerman’s race among them.

The amazing truth I realized is that for me, if this incident becomes a discussion of how you resolve racism, that resolution has to come from a place of Godly love.  Race is a non-factor in that universal truth.

Question: Shouldn’t the only thing that really matters be that Trayvon Martin is dead and tragically so?

Answer: No.  Violence of all kinds, driven by greed, lust, racism, and other forces is a persistent and pervasive global issue.  So as we work to understand our hearts in response to this, as human beings, I believe we have to question where that originates from.

Question:  I heard of a 17 year old being shot dead in Whittier today on the radio. At the time no other information given. Should we wait to see what the color of skin the victim and the shooter were before we are horrified? Do we care less about that 17 year old than about Trayvon? And if so what does that say about us? If it is white on black crime is that a hate crime while black on black murder is not hateful? Aren’t all human lives valuable to God equally? Should we be upset because “one of us” was killed by “one of them”? If we see each other as “us” and “them” has not the enemy already divided us? Has not the enemy already won? When will “us” and “them” become we? When will a black was killed by a white become one of our sons was killed by another of our sons? I genuinely do not understand why there are rallies and marches for Trayvon and not for any other 17 boy or girl when they are killed.

Answer: I agree completely:  The realization of truth I’m resting in is that we really are all brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters… And because of that, responding with love is paramount.

Especially when it seems most difficult.

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