Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

7/15/2013 (3 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 (3 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 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More U.S.

St. Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St. Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


Overdose crisis leaves investigators desperate to get dealers off the streets Watch

Image of Heroin overdoses have spiked in the last week.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The use of fentanyl-laced heroin has resulted in an overdose crisis in the US over the course of a single week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Cincinnati.com, a rise in overdoses across the city has left police and emergency responders exhausted and ... continue reading


Five-year-old invents 'Kindness Day' Watch

Image of Five-year-old boy treats officers to a lunch from Subway.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Five-year-old William Evertz Jr. saved up his allowance for several months in hopes of purchasing a Power Wheels police car but realized his money would better benefit others. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, the Winslow Police Department in ... continue reading


Two nuns found murdered in Mississippi home Watch

Image of Police have found two nuns slain in a Mississippi home.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two Catholic nuns have been found dead in their home after they didn't show up for their work. The pair worked as nurse practitioners out of state. Police are investigating the deaths of two Catholic nuns after they missed work. The pair were found together in a ... continue reading


1 city, 2 days, 52 OD's Watch

Image of Opioids in the United States have appeared in the form of elephant tranquilizers.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Heroin laced with carfentanil, the most potent commercial opioid known to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine, is being dealt on streets across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, carfentanil significantly slows breathing and is ... continue reading


The shocking NEW reason why young people are leaving church Watch

Image of The youth are leaving the church, but why?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a surprising find, but it's also true. Americans are giving up on God. A Pew survey reveals that half of the people who have quit going to church no longer believe in God. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Nearly a quarter of the nation no longer attends ... continue reading


Massachusetts nun loses rosary to lesbian couple Watch

Image of Lesbian muggers rob nun of her rosary beads.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Sister at the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth convent was mugged by a lesbian couple, who left with the nun's rosary. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the <a ... continue reading


'Right Before I Die': Photographer reveals heartbreaking truth on taboo topic Watch

Image of One photographer captured people's dreams as they drew closer to death (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Photographer Andrew George decided to interview and photograph people close to death for a project titled "Right Before I Die." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - George's project earned an exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and he explained the ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: Jesus Walks with Us on the Dusty Road of Life Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We can learn a vital lesson from this account in the Gospel of Luke; one which can radically reorient our entire life. Jesus is always with us. He accompanies us on the Way of our daily life because He IS the Way. (John 14:6) But, we need our eyes to be opened. ... continue reading


Marian procession to commemorate birthday of Los Angeles Watch

Image of Los Angeles will hold a Marian procession and a votive Mass for the city's 235th anniversary.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The city of Los Angeles will get a Marian procession to mark its 235th anniversary on August 27. The city is named after Our Lady. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The city of Los Angeles has a very long name. Officially, the city is known as, "The Town of Our ... 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

  • The economic problem that could destroy America TODAY HD Video
  • St. Sabina: Saint of the Day for Monday, August 29, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Monday, August 29, 2016
  • My Winged Messengers
  • Daily Reading for Monday, August 29th, 2016 HD Video
  • Jihad attacks Catholic priest and attempts to detonate suicide bomb ...
  • Egyptian kings reigned with weapons from space? New study reveals ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put to ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2016 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know ... Read More