- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trayvon Martin’s parents are doing the rounds of the media and saying that they are stunned by the verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial (“Trayvon Martin’s parents say they’re ‘stunned’ by George Zimmerman verdict,” Web, July 17). It’s too bad they weren’t stunned by their son’s anti-social, self-destructive behavior, which was going on long before Mr. Zimmerman came across him.

It’s too bad they weren’t stunned when he first ran afoul of the law or school authorities. It’s too bad they weren’t stunned when he first began his downward slide, and too bad they weren’t stunned enough to do everything they could to prevent it all from happening.

Trayvon Martin was no ordinary young man, no paragon of virtue, no role model or exemplary young person. He was a delinquent who was no stranger to police. His future was entirely predictable. Even if he never met Mr. Zimmerman, he was practically destined to go to prison or worse.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he deserved to die. It just means that he shared culpability in his death — as did his parents and everyone around him who glossed over, excused, enabled or glorified his behavior.

Had Trayvon’s parents been stunned when he first began his downward slide, they might have prevented it — and he might still be alive today. Parenthood is the toughest job of all. Too bad they didn’t work an awful lot harder at it.

Their behavior, the behavior of the media and the behavior of racists, hatemongers and opportunists who are tripping over themselves trying to take advantage of Trayvon’s death and the circumstances surrounding it are stunning. Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal was absolutely correct.

JERRY PHILIPSON

Comox, British Columbia