By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon.

Shooting of Black Men

The fatalities of Black men paraded around the news and within the causes of minority groups to satisfy popular media instead of correcting the problem of how to change the antecedent stimulus only precipitates a problem that will lead to cultural wars and more rioting.

February 26, 2012, marks the tragic end of the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of a neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman.

What a travesty of a great program to protect our neighborhoods--marred by such a situation, reminding us that no system of protection exists without the flaws of humanity twisting their ways into the works. What a tragedy in the loss of life; one to the grave and the other to social derision.
As unfortunate as the death of this Florida teen is and ever will be, opponents of the “Stand Your Ground” policies that permit citizens to use force, deadly force to protect themselves in the event of threats use the Martin family tragedy to advance rhetoric to remove it.

Further, this tragedy is complicated by racially charged groups jockeying for a voice in the matter to claim Zimmerman executed the youth due to racial motives rather than shooting while defending himself. Zimmerman was on trial a year later.

A year later and after blatant tarnishing of Trayvon Martin’s memory extended to the august chambers of the United States legislators as one congress person, Bobby Rush, donned apparel similar to the youth in protest to racial profiling—though the rules of congress prohibit such demonstrations has faded into history other stories of violence paint the American collective mind with sorrow and anxiousness.
The fatalities of Black men paraded around the news and within the causes of minority groups to satisfy popular media instead of correcting the problem of how to change the antecedent stimulus only precipitates a problem that will lead to cultural wars and more rioting.

A continued plague of social warfare?

Race may have been a factor in the slaying of the men by police officers. The societal evidence that a large percentage of criminals in the justice system are minorities, with an overwhelming percentage disproportionately African Americans when compared to the 12 to 15 percent Blacks comprise of the US population supports the misconception that Blacks are inherently criminal. Michael Brown and Ferguson... Nothing has changed.
Historical and cultural norms have not progressed enough to assuage the long-held perceptions that people of color are inherently suspicious from the days of racial purity popularly held by the British influences of early America.

These deeply rooted cultural blots bleed into every aspect of American society and every cultural group—lending to the suspicion of minority groups that Caucasians secretly desire to oppress them.
Racism exists on both fronts. Minorities bastardize historical racism with comparisons to implied affronts, while Caucasians diminish or dismiss true instances of racism based on the rancorous claims of minorities that seem to surface so often.
Though morally unpopular, racism is not against the law. We are free to detest whom we will. When we attempt to uphold racist beliefs with action against any group to harm, then it is illegal. America is scarred with prejudice and change comes slowly, very much so.

Gov. Deval Patrick

“I’m sick of unarmed black men being shot by police. We have a great challenge in this country acknowledging the extraordinary progress we have made on race relations ... And at the same time, acknowledging how much remains to be done.” Boston Herald.


Zimmerman may have acted on a preconceived belief about Black men in certain apparel when he followed the boy around the neighborhood in opposition to the 911 dispatcher’s advice before he reported defending himself; however, translating his crime into a race hate crime is at best suspect. 

Can the same be said about the officers who choked Eric Garner until he passed away? Was his resistance to the police because of cultural norms that led to his death? Did Officer Daniel Pantaleo act on latent racist triggers or was the psychological impact of American culture in play?

Certain elements must be present to justify that accusation. What motivated him internally cannot be proven unless Daniel Pantaleo specifically states that his motivations for using his arrest technique on Garner were because of his African American heritage, or other evidentiary items surface.
In the Zimmerman/Martin situation, no one reported that Zimmerman is multiracial making it a minority-on-minority hate crime proven beyond doubt in a court of law that Trayvon did attack George and not a White against Black hate crime. Though such distinction is judicially moot, social perceptions treat the same matter differently.
In many reports, the items found with the Martin youth are stated with an undercurrent of accusation that lethal force was aggressive. The lack of witnesses to the incident and the psycho-social implication of Zimmerman’s name without reference to his racial identity automatically implant the idea in the collective psyche of America to take a position to fill the gap of information—for or against Zimmerman. A year later, has any of that changed?
This incident did not become the chagrin to the nation further socially. Rational people recognized racial potential evident to the case and avoided it. America has other things to worry about. Trayvon's family is still grieving. Thousands of families grieve because of the tactics of the policing systems in the United States.

The problem the police face is whether to respond with deadly force or not. When a person resists arrest as did many of the fatalities and most arrest ending with brutality, what are the cops to do?

Should they allow themselves to be killed or wounded? Mark Collins was shot and wounded in the line of duty by a Black man, Sheldon Leftenant. Collins was shot in his neck and hip. Rushed by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, he lived.

Are Black men being hunted? Leftenant is gang affiliated.  Are police officers being hunted? Did Sheldon allegedly shoot the officer in fear?
Death is tragic by itself. If Zimmerman’s claim is true, which it is decided that it is by the courts, he should not suffer for protecting himself against an aggressor just because that aggressor happens to be Black, and neither should cops suffer. BUT... they should be investigated pervasively!

The “Stand Your Ground” policy should never be in question, but the motives of those who would employ it to veil criminal acts are still out there!
How does it compare to the killing of unarmed Black men by police officers--something that has not decreased over time and is receiving more news? Did those police officers feel threatened by the men because of what they wore? Were the hands up to surrender a sign of aggression. Either way, another minority is shot and killed.

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