One afternoon, my friend told me he was walking around the corner to the liquor store near his home in Venice beach to get an ice cream. Another man started walking in front of him. Being that this was near Muscle Beach, the man who walked in front of him was ripped like a bodybuilder. A very big muscular dude, compared to my friend, an intellelectual.
They were both going in the same direction. The muscle man heard my friend’s footsteps behind him. He stopped and asked my friend, “Are you following me?” My friend half smiled and said no, but before he could complete his sentence, the muscle man had decked my friend and pummled him on the ground. He was in fear for his life. He actually believed it was the end for him. He screamed as much as he could. Then, out of apathetic annoyance, a neighbor yelled “Keep it down out there!” This was while my friend was being beaten to death. The muscle man ran away before he could be identified.
My friend called me, drastically explaining that I needed to take him to the hospital. His cheeks were purple and swollen and he said his neck hurt like hell. He couldn’t afford insurance, so I had to take him to a low-income clinic. The doctor said the swelling would go down after a while and no bones were broken,so he was Okay and healed up a few weeks later. I asked him if he would have shot the guy if he had a gun. My friend, was a spiritual antiwar activist type so even though he was terrified, he still said no.
Trayvon didn’t have a gun either. Fear of the unknown in both cases drove people’s actions more than race, but fear of an unknown black person in Zimmerman’s neighborhood lead him to kill instead of question.