Pick a divisive issue currently in the news. Write a two-part post in which you take on two personas and approach the topic from both sides.
With interest I watched the trial of George Zimmerman, the man in Florida who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. A tragedy beyond measure, a person dead and a person who thought he was going to die.
As far as the trial was concerned there was little doubt of guilt or innocence when it came to applying the law. The right decision rendered.
There are deeper and more troubling issues that came to light during this episode. The most egregious was media coverage and bias. Immediately one comes to mind, the one NBC is being sued over. It concerns the linchpin of the prosecutions assertion, Zimmerman racially profiled Martin.
NBC’s tape was edited. On their tape Zimmerman seems eager to key-in on the fact Martin was black. On the tape without the editing the dispatcher asked if he was white, Hispanic, or black. In other words it was the dispatcher who prompted Zimmerman to key-in on the ethnicity of Martin.
This is only one example of dozens.
Mr. Zimmerman followed Mr. Martin because he displayed strange behavior while returning to his father’s girlfriend’s apartment. The behavior was not consistent with a kid hurrying home to watch the NBA all-star game with ice tea and Skittles. He was peering into homes as if to case them for people at home or not. The area had been plagued by break-ins in the past. Mr. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch captain. He was acting in the best interest of the community. The media had used the phrase when characterizing Zimmerman as a want-to-be cop to the point of regurgitation. None of the evidence pointed to that and if it did, isn’t that a good thing?
Evidence showed that Zimmerman was on his way back to his truck and lost sight of Martin. Martin ran away. Again indicating the presence of some sort of guilt. (Indeed he may have been afraid, but he wasn’t, the phone conversation he was having at the time proves the opposite.) Zimmerman had no idea where Martin was when walking back to his truck. Martin, out of hiding, jumped Zimmerman.
Some statements suggested Zimmerman was attacked by Martin because it was thought that Zimmerman was a homosexual.
The flipside of the issue is; yeah, that’s all true.
I’m not trying to be insensitive or flip. Someone is dead. Someone was attacked. Neither should have happened.
One thing about this whole debacle is that in the amount of time the residence heard something going on, no one flipped on a light or came to the aid of the person yelling for help. It is strangely reminiscent of decades ago when a young woman, Kitty Genovesse, in New York City was being stabbed to death and no one did anything.
Likely the worst thing that may have happened, even in the mind of Zimmerman, when he first saw Martin would have been that an apartment would have been found with no one home. Martin would have broke in and got away as a thief. That is not worth a person’s life.
If Zimmerman would have only stayed in his vehicle. If Martin would have only stayed home. Was it the gun (he had a permit for) that gave Zimmerman the cushion of confidence to follow Marin?
It was nearly fifty years ago when the screams of Kitty Genovesse went unanswered. Little has changed.
Think about this; Zimmerman lived in and served as a neighborhood watch for a ‘gated’ community. He lived in and with a community characterized by fear and paranoia; not manufactured, but real.
Sadly, black teen deaths occur in large U. S. cities with more frequency than deaths in Afghanistan. In spite of all the rhetoric to the contrary that is the more important issue.
While politicians, social engineers, and community organizers have all promised that society will become kinder, safer, and more tolerant the Bible has steadfastly said it will not. (2nd Timothy 3:1-5) Which one does the evidence point to as being trustworthy and accurate?