Last year when the story about the killing of a teenager in Florida broke, I was in the midst of writing new songs for my album 2012 album project "Missing Anchor". I read the reports, watched the news, and came up with my own assessment of what transpired. And since Trayvon Martin was the voice we couldn't hear from, after the fact, I decided to make the song's point of view basically his. This started out just being my own emotional processing of this event, but it's such an important story for us all to process -- about race and violence and guns, that I ended up placing it at the start of my self-produced album.
While writing, I started the song, "Talking to my girl on the phone, wandering these streets heading home, I notice him following close behind, fear in his face and worry in his eyes", and as I recall, the rest of the story told itself once I had that starting point. In terms of the songs narration and plot, I was definitely feeling comfortable with the notion that this was a case of profiling and somebody taking the law into their own hands. Everything that has come to light since the case has come to be tried in a court of law doesn't really differ from that, from what I gather, so the chorus, "Why is getting home so much harder when my hood's pulled over my head" aims to really underline this idea that Trayvon was being judged and profiled and targeted as a "bad guy" -- just because he had his hood pulled up and he was a young black man, he ended up on the wrong end of George Zimmerman's gun.
I had no idea what really happened between the two once they starting "fighting" -- so I sort of get past that by saying, "angry words, punch push and shove, fighting back ends with his gun". I don't say who punched or pushed. To me it doesn't matter -- at the end of it, we know the gun ended the interaction between the two. And a teenager's life came to an abrupt end.
I'm saddened by the outcome of the trial by jury, because I think George Zimmerman should face justice in his role of tracking down this kid and killing him rather than allowing the authorities to investigate Zimmerman's suspicions.