As most folks know, George Zimmermann has been found not guilty. The usual recriminations about institutional racism and the like have already begun to fly, and vigorously.
My question was why on earth this thing became such a massive deal. As near as I can tell, two men saw each other, made assumptions, committed acts of terminal stupidity and ended up in a brawl that neither one was equipped to handle, at which point one of them shot the other.
That’s it. Nothing else.
So why did this become such a massive deal? Because it was election year, and the occurrence could be made to fit anyone’s narrative by twisting facts. Want to prove that America’s racist? Trayvon Martin was killed for being black in a white neighborhood. That gun laws are too lax? Zimmermann was a hothead vigilante wannabe. Want to prove that guns are necessary? Martin would have killed Zimmermann if the latter hadn’t had a gun. Want to prove that liberals don’t really care about minorities? Point to the outrage at this death as opposed to all the black-on-black violence.
Very few of the people pontificating on this case really cared whether justice was done. What they wanted was their own ideological preconceptions about America proven, and no matter who watched this thing, their preconceptions were proven.
So, in other words, what was the point of all this nonsense and pontificating and speculating and blathering? Answer: Nothing. The only thing that was really learned was that lawyers will lie and twist the truth however they can to win their case–and, since we already knew that, what was the point?
My point is this: while the news networks and papers were focusing on this case, we weren’t hearing about the civil war in Syria or the coup in Egypt, events that have the potential to destabilize the entire Middle East. During the initial media flap, we weren’t hearing about things like the effects of sequestration and the gridlock in Washington, things that actually affect the lives of Americans in direct fashion.
Here’s what I’m trying to say here. We were offered a distraction from actual issues, and we took it. This was not a good thing.
‘Til next time,
Lowell Van Ness