The murder of Trayvon Martin is a disgrace

As a young white female I can walk down my street without fear of someone attacking me. I don’t have to think, “Should I put my hood down, or make sure I have a big smile on my face?” I’m not afraid someone will confront me because I look threatening. I will not be shot because of the color of my skin. I am not Trayvon Martin.

We have a problem in our world when shooting an innocent young man is accepted by many. Martin, barely 17 years old, walked down the street in Sanford, Florida on his way home. He looked “threatening” according to George Zimmerman, who followed the boy.

How could a high school student, with no hate towards anyone, look menacing enough to be shot? It wasn’t Martin’s actions that Zimmerman was observing. The fact is that Zimmerman’s eyes couldn’t go past the color of Martin’s skin.

Hate crimes occur everywhere. Here in America, where every country in the world is represented, hate crimes happen every day. A hate crime, by definition, is when, “a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group.” A social group could be anything, whether it be political, religious, ethnic, etc.

We have many famous examples in history, like the KKK for its hate against African-Americans or the Nazis and their discrimination against Jews. People don’t realize that these hate crimes are still ongoing today.

An Iraqi woman, Shaima Alawadi, was murdered in her home on March 24 in our own state of California. The note that was left next to her dying body said, “Go back to your country.” What could this woman have possibly done to be beaten to death? Is America not the land of the free? America isn’t your country just because you are white and your parents have lived here for generations. It is your country because this is where you choose to live.

Being the most diverse country in the world, we receive a lot of racial crimes. Wars are fought, pitting one race against the other and neighbor against neighbor.  No good comes out of it, just more hate for each other.

Violence should never be the first answer to a difference between people. You don’t shoot someone, or start a war with their country, because of what they look like or what their ideas are.

Talking is always the first thing that should be done. Whomever you are in disagreement with will never think exactly like you, no matter what you say. People should accept differences and move on.

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