” What is justice? Giving water to trees. What is injustice? To give water to thorns. Justice consists in bestowing bounty in its proper place, not on every root that will absorb water. ” -Rumi
Last night as I read an article about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case my 11-year-old son asked what it was about. I closed my laptop and I took a moment to put words together to describe the situation. I left out as many loaded details as I could.
“A teenaged boy was walking home from the store in a neighborhood that was not his own. Another man, who thought he looked suspicious began to follow him. He was part of a community watch group and he thought the boy was up to no good. They got into a fight of some kind and in their scuffle, the community watch man shot the teenager.”
“What happened to the teenager then?”
“Well, he died.”
“What happened to the community watch guy?”
“He stood trial for it and was found not guilty.”
“But he shot the boy.”
“How could he not get punished for killing a person?”
“Because he said it was self-defense. He said he was afraid for his life.”
“Did the teenager have a gun?”
Henry shook his head.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
“Me neither,” I answered.