In the eyes of the world at large, the killing of a young Black man in Florida named Trayvon Martin has done nothing to diminish the image of America as a gun-totting, shoot first, ask questions later country. For Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau, correspondent Olivia Schoeller explains to her readers that on gun violence and racism, his death should be a wake-up call to Americans: ‘It’s time for a change.’
When racism and the trigger-happy combine, someone usually buys the farm. And most of the time it is a Black man. Here again, such was the case. Zimmerman obviously and immediately mistook the boy in his hooded sweatshirt for a potential criminal and thought it better to shoot quickly rather than wait for help – which is what the police had advised him to do.
Every reasonable person, both here and in the United States, is asking, “Why are one of these neighborhood watch people running around with a loaded gun and shooting at the first opportunity? Why does this type of thing continue to occur?
President Barack Obama has demanded a thorough investigation and clarification of the case. That is the proper course. However, unless there is a change in American society and social conditions as well as in the country’s mania for weapons, the next boy will soon be lying dead on the pavement. It is time for a change.
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