Trayvon’s Right to Stand his Ground

there’s a key question that I really wish someone would ask with regard to the Trayvon Martin trial.did Trayvon Martin have a right to stand his ground?this isn’t just a key question fis probablyr the case, but also a clear weakness in the concept of a Stand Your Ground laws.

few conflicts are so simple as having an easily identifiable perpetrator and clearly identifiable victim. Usually both parties feel that they are justified in their actions. Zimmerman was probably sincere in his belief that Trayvon was a threat to his community. Perhaps this was motivated by race, or maybe it was motivated by the crime trends of the neighborhood as expressed by Zimmerman. He, therefore, felt justified in following Martin. When confronted by Martin, he almost certainly felt threatened.

What about Martin, however? Here was a young man being pursued by a stranger. Did he have, by virtue of Florida law, a right to stand his ground in the face of a threat? After all, the law should apply equally to Trayvon and to Zimmerman. Unfortunately, Trayvon did not survive the cinflict to make such a claim.

This is the hidden contradiction of Stand Your Ground laws. Only the survivor can make this defence. The law enshrines the dangerous ethic of “might makes right” or puts the law on the side of whoever shoots first.


  1. I hope Trayvon Martin does not die in vain, I am praising the group “Dream Defenders” for a remarkable job they are doing in Tallahassee. We need more people like them, like “National Action Network” etc…That law was implemented to profile black people, it is like the Stop & Frisk in New York City.These laws need to be repealed because they are unconstitutional.


  2. W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of “double consciousness” may have benefited Trayvon in this situation. But he was just a kid and like any other normal kid, he’s not going to react in a mature fashion to someone who is following him. A young man, especially, has to learn how to constrain his behavior. An example of an incident with a co-worker brings this concept to light. My co-worker, who has a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology, was working in the lab located in a separate building behind our boss’ home. This large home is in the McGregor Boulevard area. He was simply doing his work, using a microscope to describe the lithology of cuttings (samples of rock) taken from a well that was drilled for one of our projects. The lithology documents the particular aquifer being tapped for water use. Fort Myers police arrived and approached him with their guns drawn. Fortunately, he knew the correct way to react and calmly stated (when asked), that he was doing work for his boss and gave them our boss’ name, phone number, etc. The story was checked out, the guns were put back in their holsters, and they left….with no incident. Now, I have been house sitting, most of this year, for our boss and have gone into that same lab – sometimes, at night. And the neighbors have not called the police on me. Yes, my co-worker is a very dark black man from the Ivory Coast, and I am white. Enough said…
    After Trayvon Martin’s death, I saw on the news how many black parents were teaching their children how NOT to react in certain situations. They realized it could be a matter of life or death for their child. How sad, but how wise of them to do this.


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