Trayvon Martin–Could Things Have Been Different?

25 Jul

I spent the first 10 years of my career in Television News (Reporter turned Anchor turned Meteorologist), and, although I’m no longer the news junkie I once was, I do pay attention to current events as best I can.

And, this week, (notwithsanding the birth of the Royal Baby), there’s nothing hotter than the fallout from the George Zimmerman trial. Cries for “Justice for Trayvon,” courtesy of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, are ringing out across the nation. And, frankly, my mind is going where it always goes–Trayvon trialbackwards. Specifically, to what could have been done to resolve this conflict before it actually began.

I can’t help thinking that, if the Martins and the Zimmermans had taken the opportunity to sit down and (gasp!) communicate, maybe there could have been some sense of understanding before the trial actually began. What would have happened if both parties had contacted each other instead of attorneys and the local news outlet? What would have happened if a non-biased third-party had been invited to the table before the 24-hour news outlets invited their talking heads? What if both sides could have explained their thoughts/feelings to each other before trial?

My thoughts–maybe, just maybe, Zimmerman could have felt and understood the grief and confusion felt by the Martins. And, maybe the Martins could have listened to Zimmerman describe the events that led up to the shooting and offer him the opportunity to explain what happened. A good mediator would have given the parties a chance to hear each other out, at the very least.

I know the media pretty well. And, I have a pretty good handle on human nature. So, I kinda knew the story would unfold in a predictable manner: Accusations of racism, divisions along socio-economic lines, a full-coverage trial. But, the question is: Does an event like this always have to follow the same journey? My answer is unequivically “no.” I firmly believe that communication BEFORE outside parties become involved would change the course of the discussion.

Problem is, if that happens, what would all those media outlets cover?






Print Friendly

No comments yet

Leave a Reply