How many times have you heard that saying? If you’ve heard it half as much as I have, you’ve heard it a lot! And I do mean a lot! But how many times have you had the opportunity to head this colloquialism and found yourself better for it?
Not often do I notice a pattern or theme in my life, but when I do, I find a sort of spiritual awakening and renewing by taking the time to reflect on the theme and allow it to soak in and water my spirit. The title of this article, Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover, revealed itself as the theme for this weekend through three events or occurrences; Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, I hung out with the Mongols at their event in Palm Springs, and pastor preached about loving one another, as one of the pillars to Christian living in today’s world. Indulge me, if you will, as I share this theme and how these three occurrences have each had an impact on my spirit.
The first occurrence, Zimmerman being acquitted of all charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, is a blinding notice of how pre-judging someone on their appearance (in this case, Martin’s clothing and race) can lead to irreversible consequences (in this case, the loss of a young life). The facts:
- Zimmerman was out watching his neighborhood with a loaded weapon
- Zimmerman was aware that several break-ins had been occurring, perpetrated by black men
- Zimmerman saw Trayvon:
- didn’t recognize Trayvon
- thought Trayvon’s actions were suspicious (In Zimmerman’s call to the police he stated that he thought that this unknown person was up to something.)
- then proceeded to follow Martin, despite being told my local police not to pursue
- A struggle ensued between Zimmerman and Martin.
- Zimmerman claims that Martin attacked him, he fought back, and killed Martin.
Now, with Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law in mind, one could have seen Zimmerman as the attacker, as he was the one out with the gun and subsequently became the one in pursuit of Martin. One could argue that Martin was standing his ground. After all, he was the one being followed. But getting back on topic, had Zimmerman not been judging Martin by his cover of black skin, it could easily be argued that this tragedy never would have happened. Recall Zimmerman’s knowledge of the break-ins, which were allegedly being perpetuated by black males, and Martin being a black male. Had Zimmerman not made assumptions, stopped his actions, or at least went about it in a different manner, say straight forward approached Martin and said, “Are you lost? Do you need some help?” perhaps things would have turned out drastically different.
The second occurrence of the weekend, I hung out with members of the biker club the Mongols. After a friend and I attended a concert, we decided to go out, hear some music, and experience a new cultural environment. We found ourselves at the Hyatt where the Mongols had assembled for an event. Upon parking and exiting our vehicle, their presence was firmly established. Their motorcycles occupied a lot of the parking areas and they were seen patrolling the parking lot, mingling in the lobby, and after we entered the courtyard of the Hyatt, they were the sole guest hanging out in and around the pool. That is until my friend and I arrived. Unsure whether or not we would be welcomed, we asked a Prospect who happened to be walking past us. I’m often nominated as the spokesperson for my social groups, because I am adventurous and seem to bloom where I’m planted. “Excuse me,” I said, “Do you think it would be alright if we hung out here with you all?” I’m straight forward.
Stay tuned for Part II & III
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