The Free Press, Mankato, MN

July 24, 2013

Martin case was about society, not courts

---- — On July 14, I sat flipping channels between CNN and FOX News. With every breath I inhaled was the horrible and horrific broadcasting of the verdict of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case.

My shock was not as much about the jury’s acquittal of Zimmerman, but more the fact that a precious young man died for no good reason. Shocked that a young man can be shot and killed and our society nonchalantly can walk away from his death, as if stepping over a puddle of water, without thought.

This case was — and is — not about justice being rendered by the criminal justice system or the sense of its injustice. The criminal justice system is not the initiator of justice, but it is the safety net of justice. We, the people, are the initiators of justice by the way in which we see one another, the way we respect one another, and the way in which we love one another.

There is an old saying about taking matters before the legal system, in essence it says, “What do the courts know about matters of the heart?” Meaning that the most important matters in life are doing right by others, forgiveness and love. If we are unable to give such gifts to one another, then there is no court or legal system that can ever deliver justice or peace in life to us.

It is not the legal system, which ought to be under the microscope, but it is our society that ought to be scrutinized. It is we, as a society, who must change.

If we do change, then the Trayvons of the world shall no more die senselessly.

Reggie Edwards