Before nodding off to sleep last night, I checked in with Facebook.
“Please pray for these poor parents!” (insert picture of Trayvon’s parents)
“Don’t worry. Justice will eventually be served!”
“Finally! A not guilty verdict!”
There were status updates for the verdict. There were status updates against the verdict. But many of my Facebook friends had an opinion and they weren’t shy about voicing it.
But me? I don’t have an opinion. I don’t feel like we are entitled to an opinion. Except for George Zimmerman, that is. Because he was the only person who lived to tell about it. Which is incredibly sad. Because I would love to hear Trayvon Martin’s side of the story.
So, here’s what I/we know. A young man was walking through a neighborhood. Another man, concerned for the safety of his neighborhood (or so he says) , deemed the situation suspicious. An altercation ensued. A death occurred.
That’s it. That’s all we know. Because every eye-witness account is contradictory. Because there isn’t conclusive evidence either way. Because every family member and every friend of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin thinks their friend or family member is innocent.
We could listen to evidence and opinion and conjecture all day/week/year long. But we’d never hear the real story, what really happened. Even if we heard it from Zimmerman and Martin themselves, we’d have to sift through their words to guess at whose version is the truth.
Sound bites on the nightly news. Op-ed pieces floating around the internet. We never get the whole story. We get sensational headlines. (Who even reads the entire article anymore?) We get biased interviews. We get rants and raves from attention seeking journalists, experts and by-standers.
I feel for the jurors. The incredible burden of finding the truth. Their task was beyond difficult and heart wrenching.
I feel for George Zimmerman if he indeed, feared for his life and felt he had to pull the trigger. A man is now dead at his hands. What a burden to bear for the rest of his life.
And I feel for Trayvon Martin and his family. A life cut short. A grieving family. Their burden is beyond comprehension for most of us.
Burdens all around.
But no opinion here.
I’m not sure we’re entitled to an opinion.