Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

7/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1935)

What was a local story, gained national significance because of the narrative in which it was framed by many in the main stream media. The return of a unanimous verdict of acquittal by the Jury, in a trial broadcast on every major network, will not end the controversies which the entire matter has brought to the surface. Everyone who cares about this Nation, whether you agree with the decision of the Jury in Florida or not, should pray that the discussion and examination of conscience which this trial has engendered is not only peaceful but productive.

George Zimmerman awaiting the verdict

George Zimmerman awaiting the verdict

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Sanford Florida, racism, civil rights, equal justice, Not Guilty, profiling, Keith A Fournier


SANFORD, FL (Catholic Online) - After deliberating for fifteen hours, the Jury of six women, chosen by both the prosecution and the defense, ended a drama which has captured the attention of many Americans. They decided that George Zimmerman took the life of Trayvon Martin in a justifiable act of self defense.

Zimmerman had been charged with Second Degree murder under Florida law. The Judge ruled that the Jury could also consider the lesser included offense of Manslaughter before the case was given to the Jury for deliberations.

The incident arose out of a neighborhood watch encounter which occurred on February 26, 2012 when a seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was considered suspicious by a watch volunteer named George Zimmerman.

The end result of the hotly disputed encounter - and the altercation which followed - became a deadly tragedy. The younger man, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed.

The initial investigation of the Sanford Police Department confirmed Zimmerman's claim that it was more than likely a matter of self defense. They decided there was not sufficient evidence to charge Zimmerman with a crime.

Within a week, the case drew national attention. It was presented over most main stream media outlets as having been tinged with racial bias. Trayvon Martin was black and Zimmerman was wrongly reported as "white" - and then as "white Hispanic".

In response to growing calls for a thorough investigation - coupled with regular insinuations from some in the politically motivated media that the entire affair was not being properly investigated due to the racial issues involved - the case gained not only national but international attention.  

Weeks of shoddy reporting, filled with racial allegations and insinuation, only added fuel to the fire. The Nation was deeply and understandably concerned over the entire affair.

On March 23, 2013, President Obama weighed in during an unrelated event in the Rose Garden. He told reporters, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

The high drama filled every segment of the integrated news media from television and radio to the internet and social media sources. The understandable national concerns only grew worse as the celebrity culture weighed in.

No-one with any sanity or moral conscience wanted this case to be about an incident of racial profiling. Racism, in any form, is morally wrong. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has much to say about the equal dignity of all men and women and the requirements of justice it entails. For example:  

"The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1935)

However, as the two starkly contrasting and contested accounts of what happened that fateful night began to emerge, alongside of the undeniable fact that Zimmerman Hispanic and had a personal history which contradicted any tinge of racism in the man, the narrative shifted again in much of the main stream media.  

Many media sources continued to stoke the flames of national division by pushing an altered and modified narrative. In some instances, though purporting to be news, media reports really constituted incitement. They insinuated that, though the encounter was still probably a result of profiling, the failure to prosecute was itself racially tinged and revealed systemic racism in the justice system.

On April 11, 2012, George Zimmerman was charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The charge was Second Degree Murder. The United States was irrevocably transfixed on a story which involved a terrible tragedy, the death of a seventeen year old young man. However, it had moved beyond that tragedy.  

What was a local story, gained national significance because of the narrative in which it was framed by many in the main stream media. The return of a unanimous verdict of acquittal by the Jury, in a trial broadcast on every major network, will not end the controversies which the entire matter has brought to the surface.

Everyone who cares about this Nation, whether you agree with the decision of the Jury in Florida or not, should pray that the discussion and examination of conscience which this trial has engendered is not only peaceful but productive.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


Sickening portrayal of Jesus pinned to a dartboard presented as art in university library Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An appalling portrayal of Jesus plastered to a dartboard was posted up as artwork inside the Art Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "art piece," titled "Vitruvian Man," shows Jesus nailed to the dartboard ... continue reading


Which bathroom should you use? And why is this a question? Watch

Image of Figuring out which restroom to use isn't supposed to be a dilemma.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The American people are seemingly obsessed with public restrooms these days and precisely how people use the potty. The fear is being stoked by concerns that individuals who "self-identify" as the opposite sex, will take advantage of liberal policies and assault ... continue reading


Prayer Is the Path to Real Freedom Watch

Image of Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus said to his disciples: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. CHESAPEAKE, VA. ... continue reading


Why is Obama now sending 250 MORE troops to Syria? Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama will be sending more troops to the Middle East.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama announced 250 more special operations forces are to be deployed to Syria within the next few weeks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Obama stated: "Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I've decided to ... continue reading


Entire family slain among outrageous marijuana operation Watch

Image of The Pike County killings are most likely drug-related.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pike County, Ohio saw eight murders on Friday with the youngest victim described as 16-years-old and the oldest at 44. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released a statement on Sunday during a news conference to mention marijuana ... continue reading


We Are all Going to Die.How Are We Living? Watch

Image of We decide whether we use time for bearing good fruit or are used by time as a tyrant who frightens us as we fruitlessly try to resist his claim on our perceived youth. This act of choosing rightly helps us to develop a disposition; a way of living that involves the proper exercise of our human freedom aided by grace. When time is welcomed as an opportunity for bearing the fruits of love and holiness, we receive it in love, perceive it as a field of choice and build an environment for holiness

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We are to live as though time really does matter. We are invited by grace to give ourselves away for others; to imitate the One who gave Himself for the entire human race. We are invited to pour ourselves out as Jesus did. If we live life this way, when we face Him on ... continue reading


CNS fires editor in chief following anti-religious freedom tweets Watch

Image of Tony Spence has been asked to resign as Editor in Chief of Catholic News Service.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Catholic News Service has asked for the resignation of their Editor in Chief over concerns that his personal agenda has placed him at odds with his ability to lead the service. Tony Spence resigned last week over concerns that his social media posts contradicted ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 5 tips for Catholics to stay positive
  • Why are these transparent wires being put up in cities around the world?
  • Daily Reading for Sunday, May 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, April 29, 2016
  • St. Catherine of Siena: Saint of the Day for Friday, April 29, 2016
  • A Marriage Blessing Prayer HD Video
  • LISTEN NOW: Benedictine nuns release new album

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:7-21
7 and after a long discussion, Peter stood up and addressed them. 'My ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 10
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:9-11
9 I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 28th, 2016 Image

St. Peter Chanel
April 28: In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day ... Read More