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 June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More U.S.

'I was thinking as long as I have my hands up ... they're not going to shoot me.' Police fire shots at unarmed black therapist as he lies on the ground asking not to be shot Watch

Image of Officer shoots unarmed black man then cuffed him (WSVN).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey was attempting to calm his autistic patient, who had run away from a group home, when officers arrived on the scene and shot him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to WSVN, officers in North Miami responded to a report of ... continue reading


DEADLY heatwave settles over U.S., here's what you need to know to stay safe Watch

Image of Most of the U.S. under alert.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The worst heatwave in years is here and it will scorch the entire country from Central California to the Great Lakes, to New England. The heat will be dangerous and persistent. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Ask people what the most deadly weather phenomenon is ... continue reading


Texas female teacher slammed to ground - White officer claims blacks have 'violent tendencies' Watch

Image of Breaion King was slammed to the ground for not moving her legs.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A disturbing video was recently released over a year after a white Texas officer slams a black second-grade teacher to the pavement. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The video was recorded on the officer Brian Richtor's dash cam. He pulled second-grade teacher ... continue reading


'Here the church is their family and they know they are loved': The Church reaches out to Hispanics Watch

Image of Over half of Catholic millennials in the United States are Hispanic.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Louisiana's Diocese of Shreveport has hired its first diocesan for Hispanic youths. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hispanics compose over half the United States' Catholics yet several states offer little to no Spanish-language or Latino-centered church groups.The ... continue reading


Deacon Fournier on the Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil Watch

Image of The meaning of the agrarian parables that Jesus used has become increasingly clear as I watch those fields become green every Spring. Of course, preceding all of this, there were barren looking fields, seemingly lifeless, that is before the seed was sown. Preparing the ground for the seed involves hard work, cooperative weather and the goodness of the God who created this beautiful and fruitful world.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Living Word has been sown within us. We must assist in cultivating the ground of our hearts in order to be more fully transformed by grace and reflect the Image and Likeness of God. We are called to grow in holiness and allow the Risen Life of Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


305k believers gather in Washington DC to pray Jesus 'resets the generation' Watch

Image of Tim Tebow makes appearance and speech (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hundreds of thousands of Christians met at the National Mall in Washington D.C. this weekend to join together in an event aimed at resetting the generation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to its website, Together Reset believes there is power in ... continue reading


Who Are the Mother and Brothers of Jesus? We Are! Watch

Image of Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. We are the mother and brother and sister of Jesus

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. When we choose to be obedient to the will and the Word of God; we enter into an eternal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We actually become a part of the "family" of God; ... continue reading


God's Not Dead 2 Billboard deemed too 'provocative' while atheism ads go unnoticed Watch

Image of Atheist group spreads hate unchallenged.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Notorious atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has purchased billboard space near Cleveland airport to greet the Republican National Committee (RNC). Meanwhile, a pro-religion message has been disqualified. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Religious ... continue reading


Baton Rouge Shooting: New information revealed about war veteran gunman Watch

Image of Shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Six people were shot Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three of the victims were police officers, each of whom were killed, and three were civilians, all of whom survived the shooting. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sunday morning, 29-year-old Marine Corps ... continue reading


Christians Excluded from Commerce, Professions and Public Service. Stand Together or Fall Apart Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The trend is obvious and ominous. How will the Christian community respond? Will we withdraw from the public square? Will we build new ghettos and adopt a victim mentality? Will we continue to splinter and turn against one another? Or, will we come together ... 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

Daily Readings

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

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

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

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2016 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early ... Read More