George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, has broken his long silence to launch a website seeking donations and thanking supporters. "On Sunday February 26th," Zimmerman writes on the site, "I was involved in a life-altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family, and ultimately, my entire life." Zimmerman, who faces no criminal charges, has remained in hiding since the story of his killing of an unarmed black teen became a cable TV staple, speaking only through his lawyers, who maintain that he acted in self-defense. Is his website the right way to get his message out?
Well, he's going to need the money: Zimmerman is wise to seek help, legal analyst Dan Abrams tells Good Morning America. And I certainly "don't have a lot of problem with him raising money for a legal defense." Even if Zimmerman isn't hit with criminal charges, he will almost certainly face a civil case filed by Martin's family. And that battle will cost him.
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But he fails to even show any remorse: "For Zimmerman to even dwell on how his life has been inconvenienced because of his actions and the subsequent media coverage reeks of privilege," says blogger New Black Woman at her site. Not once on this site does Zimmerman even acknowledge that he took the life of a 17-year-old boy who was unarmed, or "the pain, suffering, heartache, anger, frustration and helplessness his actions have brought onto the family and friends of Trayvon Martin."
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And parts of the website were poorly conceived: On the site, Zimmerman posted two photos, says Tommy Christopher at Mediaite, one of which shows a wall spray-painted with the words "Long Live Zimmerman." The problem? The wall belongs to a black cultural center at Ohio State University, and Zimmerman seems to be showing "appreciation for, at the very least, the sentiment expressed by the vandals." All along Zimmerman's supporters have insisted that the case isn't about race, so why were they "moved to vandalize a black cultural center, and why is Zimmerman endorsing this?"
"George Zimmerman website praises vandalism of black cultural center"