Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

7/15/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter