Editor's Note: Vinnie Politan is host of HLN Special Report, Prime News and In Session on truTV. He’s also a former prosecutor and is the father of three.
As the nation talks about the killing of Trayvon Martin, there is a part of the conversation that is bothering me. It is the talk of what young black male children are taught to do when confronted by police and authority. While that is an important conversation to have, it has NOTHING to do with Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, was not and has never been a police officer or a person of any authority. In fact, Zimmerman has less authority than Paul Blart or a school crossing guard (by the way, I respect crossing guards because they actually keep our children safe). This is a man with NO authority. Please, everyone, stop comparing him to a police officer.
The killing of Trayvon Martin has nothing to do with how a young black male should respond when confronted by police. The issue here is much different. It is not about how to react when confronted by authority, it is about how to react to stranger-danger. It's about what you do when you are followed, pursued and confronted by a creepy stranger in the dark.
And what you do in those circumstances is simple. You do whatever you have to do to get out of that dangerous situation. You scream for help, like Trayvon. You fight back, like Trayvon. And you hope the perpetrator doesn't have a deadly weapon. Unfortunately for Trayvon, Zimmerman had a gun.
Trayvon Martin did everything right, and did nothing wrong.