Everybody and their mothers have weighed in on this case, sometimes with great insight, sometimes with great compassion, and sometimes just plain ignorant. You get to choose if I fall into any of those categories. My thoughts about this case are these:
1. This should never have received national attention. The fact that it did has more to do with the manipulation of public opinion (by a number of folks, not just the Guv’mint and/or Big Media) than with the facts of the case.
2. I guess we should be glad that there is nothing else important going on in the US of A that we all can be so concerned about one self-defense case in Florida. Sort of like hanging on for every little thing the Kardashians do. We have no big issues?
3. I’m tired of those would would like to mold public opinion treating every event as something requiring a “national dialogue.” This is code for “Let me on CNN,” friends, pure and simple. We have to fill a 24-hour news cycle, the talking heads have to talk, and they know that people are bored with discussions of things like trade issues with China, or why nuclear power might actually be safer than other ways of creating electricity. I don’t know if it’s study of the demographics or wishful thinking – probably some of both – but any sitcom on network TV shows you what the TV folks in New York think of your level of intelligence. Why should you expect news to be any different? I suppose it’s a variation on “if it bleeds, it leads,” but this is why I no longer watch local TV news and don’t get a local newspaper – too low a signal-to-noise ratio. Limbaugh calls some folks “low-information voters” and that’s who the networks tend to pander to. They could elevate the level of discussion, and enlighten as well as entertain, but I think that ship sailed during the Vietnam War. That’s when they found they could mold public opinion based on the images they showed us on television.
4. This case was never about racism – except for those people who tried so hard to make it so. It was a case of a person who felt his life was threatened, and within the laws of the State of Florida, was he justified in his response. That’s it. The jury was not supposed to determine if Zimmerman feared all black people, just if he feared for his life, and if his actions were within the limits created by Florida law. Frankly, I see all the racism coming from the folks who have been wringing their hands about the “poor, black child” who was killed. I’m sorry it happened as well, but we have established a black thug culture – it is in the media, the music, in the way folks dress. It comes from gang membership. Whether this young man was in a gang or not – he presented a threatening appearance. I’ve seen it happen in Chicago hundreds of times. Posturing is important in certain cultures. If that was what he did, and then provoked Zimmerman, and then they fought…how many other folks would have had the same response?
5. And while this one case occupied thousands of hours of TV and radio coverage, the continued widespread killing of innocent bystanders in Chicago by gang members goes on unabated. Let’s have a “national dialogue” about that, okay?