I’m not rehashing the entire Trayvon Martin case. But there are common lessons throughout his story that America shares as a whole, in the home, in foreign policy, and in political Churchianity.
Trayvon and George made very similar mistakes. The difference was that George had a .45 and was eleven years wiser. At any point, George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin could have acted in self-preservation—early on, rather than waiting until the last possible second. The prosecution made the same mistake: seeking a “murder” verdict, only allowing the more feasible charge of “manslaughter”, again, at the last possible second before the jury deliberated.
If you see a suspicious person, for Heaven and Earth’s sake, don’t go near him!!
George could have stayed in his SUV. He could have chosen not to walk into someone else’s gated community. He could have chosen to run away when he saw Trayvon.
Trayvon could have stayed in the bushes. He could have gone home or sought refuge in a neighbor’s house. He could have chosen not to jump on George.
The prosecution could have focused on George’s experience as a neighborhood watch leader—that from Trayvon’s perspective, and from the perspective of neighborhood watch in Trayvon’s community, George was the rightful suspect, and that George should have known this. If a trained life guard makes a mistake and someone gets hurt, that life guard can get in a lot of trouble with the Red Cross because he has more skill. George was a neighborhood watch leader. Neighborhood watch leaders aren’t allowed to create situations that require self-defense. But rather than explaining this, the prosecution overplayed their cards and contorted the situation the case as if killing Trayvon was George’s intent from the beginning.
At any point, even one person in the Trayvon case could have made one good decision to back down and justice would have entered the very next moment. But no one backed down. Why?
Everyone viewed himself as the hero—as a vigilante. “The bad guys are out there, evading justice, and I’m going to finally punish them.” George probably was hoping to catch Trayvon doing something bad and hand him over to the police. Trayvon was probably trying to teach George a “lesson” not to enter someone else’s gated community without being invited. The prosecution was probably aiming for too much on purpose, hoping that if they asked for everything they would at least get something—without realizing that its easier to drop the basket of eggs if it gets too full.
Vigilante mentality is often a motive in street gangs. While some gang wars relate to turf or money or initiations, most of the motive behind street gang violence stems from a sense of “bringing justice” in a world that is so unfair. The name of the road is “Vigilante Justice” and the road dead-ends at “Death”.
When everyone takes the law into his own hands, the bad guy wins. Even the jury thought George was in the wrong, but they didn’t see a legal way to say so—probably because the prosecution didn’t explain manslaughter up front.
America does the same thing in politics and war. We enter a situation that we don’t belong in, get ourselves into trouble, then, suddenly, we have to “act in self defense”. It relates to our national narcissistic messiah complex. We invade other countries in the name of “democracy”, all the while forgetting that we fought for our own Independence. Freedom must be earned not granted. America has created many enemies by trying to grant something that we have already forgotten.
We share the same vigilante mentality. In the case of Trayvon, no jury could find George guilty because, in principle, the jury is guilty. All of us in America are guilty.
The Church is no different. Christians don’t talk to each other. We’re so busy “protecting our children” from the “false teachings” in “other denominations” that we blatantly proselytize the greater heresy of “disunity”. But we think that’s okay because, after all, “There are so many bad teachings out there, we’re going to bring justice to a world that is so unfair.”
By contrast, consider Taiwan’s Sunflower student movement. Averaging 25 years old, these students have successfully interrupted one-third of their unjust puppet democracy, keeping one of America’s greatest rising enemies—China—at bay. Onslaught after onslaught rises against these students, but each time they respond with peace, kindness, and good humor. As a result, the movement only gets stronger.
When a dissenter begins to stir up violence at one of their gatherings, students cooperate with the very police who oppose them—restoring peace to the moment. An news agent from a Taiwan TV station is reportedly recorded in a conversation, plotting to create false news stories to make the students look violent. Rather than fighting with the news agent, the students press on like bruised victors. The White Wolf Taiwanese mafia shows up with a mob of 500, threatening the students as the police stand and do nothing. The students calmly hold their ground and the angry mob leaves without incident.
Many Americans have trouble understanding how a group of peaceful students can occupy the country’s legislative chamber. America doesn’t understand much about peaceful people in general. Taiwan’s legislature isn’t very important in their puppet democracy anyway, which is why the protests may be necessary: to expose how unnecessary their legislature actually is. That said, Taiwanese would rather not shed blood, even if their democracy’s puppet show takes an intermission.
But in the United States, we leap at any opportunity to use any and all means we can rationalize in order to enforce whatever rules we can conjure up. Shedding blood to sustain our rules—with no concern for whether the rules are good in the first place—is no problem for a Yankee. Sooner or later, though, our chronic thirst for venom will return to haunt us. And it may be sooner rather than later.
Contrary to lies from the media, the Sunflower students have not damaged the buildings they occupy. When they took the buildings, they didn’t harm police. And they have kept their control with peace. Time after time, Taiwan’s Sunflower students have done what America can’t comprehend. They do what George didn’t, what Trayvon’s friends can only wish Trayvon would have done. They seek peace without violence and justice without vengeance.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” God commands us to give justice while He alone gives vengeance. Justice and vengeance are not the same. As long as good men seek vengeance, the worst among us will always walk free. “Vengeance is mine. I shall repay,” saith the Lord. I’m still waiting for the day when America stops acting like wild donkeys, talks about the elephant in our living room, and rises up on eagles wings.