Hot Topic: On Zimmerman, a clash of opinions
The Monitor continues to hear from readers about the George Zimmerman trial. Here’s a sampling of local opinion:
A few days ago our president felt compelled again to speak about the death of Trayvon Martin. It didn’t surprise me, since he spoke about it shortly after this tragedy took place, saying: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
Keep in mind, he didn’t have all the facts; all he knew was what was being reported by the news media, and we all know how fact-minded they are. It also didn’t surprise me that he showed up for this so-called unplanned news conference to push his anti-gun agenda.
The president said perhaps if things were the other way around and Trayvon Martin had killed George Zimmerman, he wonders if the jury would have made the same judgment. That is a racist statement. It is racist for a president to pass judgment only because this young man was black. Can’t help but wonder if it was the other way around, whether he would say anything about it at all. The president talked about what he went through as a young black male; what does that have to do with the outcome of Zimmerman’s trial? This president is an embarrassment to this country and should be impeached!
Zimmerman is no hero
I am a left-of-center independent who believes that George Zimmerman was overcharged and should have been found not guilty of second-degree murder. I believe the left-leaning media were guilty of hyping the case without enough facts. However, this does not make Zimmerman a hero in any sense of the word.
He was not serving his community but serving his own ego when he abandoned his role as a neighborhood watchman to play the role of a police officer. Not content with alerting the police and letting them do their job in a professional manner, this rank amateur stumbled into a situation with his gun ready to fire. Folks with Zimmerman’s mentality do not make the community safer. They make it far more dangerous for themselves and others. We have all learned since childhood that we do not have the right to take the law into our own hands when the police have been alerted and are on their way. Using deadly force requires judgement and training and should be left to professionals whenever possible. Failing to do so is immoral and criminally negligent.
Lose the demagoguery
While the news cycle has shifted from the government scandals to the Martin/Zimmerman trial and then to the birth of a new prince in Britain, those scandals are still there and are of far greater importance than the temporary distractions taking the spotlight.
The Zimmerman case did, however, relate to them because it became apparent early on how members of this administration practice the politics of division. They attempt to divide the nation by race, class, gender and any wedge issue they can find or invent. We are more divided now then any time I can remember since the 1960s. Progressives keep saying we need to have national conversations about this issue or that but, when a subject is brought up, such as race relations, progressives are not willing to engage in anything other then blaming whites, the banks or Wall Street for the problems of the black communities. Why? Are they so afraid of not being politically correct enough that they refuse to even acknowledge many of the problems that plague minorities?
The worst of these plagues is the narrative that whites are to blame for every ill that befalls blacks. There is a denial among progressives, for instance, to recognize that 90 percent of the murders of blacks is by blacks, yet they allow people like Al Sharpton to define the issue as he did with the Duke lacrosse team and most recently the Martin/Zimmerman case. As long as progressives follow this path, nothing will improve or change. Encouraging political pressure groups can only lead to greater division.
We need to reject the Sharptons of the world and recognize that no problem is one-sided. So, by all means, let’s have a national conversation but without the demagoguery, please.