The tragedy of the Zimmerman trial

The title of this post is incorrect; You need to make that tragedies, as in plural. The first tragedy that occurred, of course, was the tragedy of the events that night leading to the death of Trayvon Martin. Justified or not, the death of any person is always a tragedy –it is a tragedy for the parents and family of the deceased, it may be a tragedy of life events that led up to the person becoming deceased, and, for any normal person who, justified or not, had a hand in causing the person’s demise it is something that will haunt them throughout their days. It was a tragedy for Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother and Trayvon Martin was no Jeffrey Dahmer.

It is a tragedy that this ever went to trial to begin with and that it did so for political reasons sparked from not simply misleading and distorted media spin but out and out lies put prominently out there. Ninety-nine plus percent of people in the U.S. did not watch the trial and the case evidence against Zimmerman (of which there was precious little and even the majority of the witnesses called by the prosecution ended up helping the defense pretty much entirely). No, most people are going on their memories of edited 911 calls (thank you MSNBC) that took Zimmerman’s comments utterly out of context to make him appear racist, and the media focusing on the 911 operator telling Zimmerman that he didn’t need to follow Martin (and from the evidence in court it is clear that he stopped following Martin at that suggestion — I’ll come back to that word, suggestion in a minute). The media entirely ignored the two requests — suggestions– by that same 911 operator that Zimmerman watch and let him/her know if Martin “was doing anything else.” Both the ‘you don’t need to follow’ and the ‘watch and see what he does’ statements were not binding orders given by a member of law enforcement but rather suggestions given by someone doing a job that you, or me, or anyone with a high school diploma can do with no other credentials.

It is a tragedy that the media and those high up in organizations such as the NAACP decided to spin this as a white-against-black racist act not only based on absolutely no evidence but before they knew more than the names of the men and that there was a difference in shades of the colour of their skins. Zimmerman was first branded ‘white’ and then labeled a ‘white hispanic’ –whatever the hell that is. Zimmerman is more accurately a multi-mixed race human: His grandfather was half black, he had a Native Peoples (South American Indian) grandmother, he had Hispanic and Caucasion heritage, he had a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. He was so racist that he voted for Obama and volunteered his time tutoring poor children — black, white, and hispanic. Yet the media presented him as a leading candidate for the leadership of the KKK.

It is a tragedy that, after investigating the circumstances of events, the police rightly decided not to charge him on the grounds that there was sufficient evidence he had acted in self-defense (the Stand Your Ground law not even coming into play) and then, under political pressure, decided to charge him with second-degree murder anyway. That very same week in a Florida community not far away, a black man in his 60s shot and killed a much younger white man who was beating the snot out of him to the extent he feared for his life — he was not, rightly, charged with second-degree murder or any other crime. He was not labeled a racist. He did not have powerful political forces, including the so-called Department of Justice, aiding and abetting protests calling for his head.

It is a tragedy that the police chief in charge of the initial investigation was fired because he insisted on pointing to all the evidence that this was an act of self-defense under the law. His career is ruined.

It is a tragedy that while we rightly deplore the use of the N-word (here, I’ll go all un-PC and use it –Nigger) everyone laughs off and excuses the deplorable C-word (here I’ll go all what should be un-PC and use it — Cracker). You know, I remember being in the grocery store parking lot at the age of 7 and a car full of kids went past and screamed out the window ‘you stupid white honky’ and I was so confused. My best friend was Carla Logan. She spent hours brushing my hair and wishing for a ‘relaxer’ so she could have hair like mine. I, in turn, was incredibly envious of her thick, dark plaits and went off to school on many mornings with my Ema having fixed my hair ‘like Carla’s’ with five or six braids sprouting from the crown of my head. I couldn’t understand how these kids could throw this slur at me when they didn’t know me and only based on the colour of my skin. Despite the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, there was still deep and abiding anti-Black racism when I was a child and there was also the beginnings of anti-White racism. All these years on, you’d think both had been put firmly under the ground and, for the majority, both have been.

Most of all, I think, it is a tragedy of an American society at a cross-roads –in large part a manufactured cross-roads –in terms of race relations. It is a tragedy that, rather than embracing and celebrating the fact that the majority of Americans voted for a black (or white, you know, he is half and half) President, not once but twice, the meme put out by the media is all about how deep and overwhelmingly pervasive are the racist attitudes of the average American. People who didn’t vote for Obama didn’t do so because they are racists. Any criticism of Obama’s policies is all because people are racist. People, like George Zimmerman, who did vote for Obama — well never mind that, they are racist. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a minority of folks out there who are racist but that is not the majority –even of the many people who voted against Obama: They voted against him because of his political stances, not the colour of his skin.

It is a tragedy that, when all the evidence points to a post-racial society, race is suddenly being inserted into everything — a societal mirror of the Zimmerman trial.

The biggest tragedy by far, however, is that by doing this, by inserting race and racism into everything, racism that may not have been there before will begin to fester and grow: That is a direct outcome of any group of people who feel under threat. We are likely to see greater anti-Black racism begin to fester among whites (and anyone else who is not Black, like Hispanics and Asians and…) as they feel under attack and that it has turned into ‘us against them.’ We are likely to see greater anti-White racism fester as, again, it turns into an ‘us against them’ mentality. From a psychological, sociological, anthropological, and even biological perspective, this becomes a natural response, even if the perceived threat is artificially created. The biggest tragedy then, is that we all lose.

5 responses to “The tragedy of the Zimmerman trial”

  1. Lynne says :

    I totally agree with your comment. I’d like to add to your comment about your experience as a child at the grocery story. You and your brother wanted to know why the little African American child yelled out at you, and I told you it was a long story but that I’d explain once we got home. I did. Though you were little, I told you about the history of slavery and Civil Rights in the US, the long struggle for equal rights and decent treatment of our African American citizens. I told you that it would take a long time for those wounds to heal, and you as a little girl understood that. Your response was that you’d be sure to treat all people right and that you’d be understanding if you got insults hurled at you again. It is one of the times that I think I did something right and responsible to try to give you a balanced picture of this racial issue. In the matter of Trayvon and Zimmerman, the journalists in the media and political leaders were irresponsible to an astonishing degree. I no longer rely on the media sources for “news” because I see the lies and the lies of omission daily. (Try Stratfor—a better source). And Obama, president of the country, was irresponsible, too in his stupid statement about if he had a son he would look like Trayvon. What was that to the purpose? Where were calls from our leaders for calm and reasoning and most of all for responsible media coverage.
    Stupid, vile CNN calling Zimmerman “white Hispanic” —a new term altogether, and totally inaccurate in Zimmerman’s case. As you point out, he has a Black grandfather. I am so sick of the media whose agenda seems to divide this country.

  2. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    Yes, the death of a human being is always a tragedy. But I followed this trial very closely and here is what I learnt.
    Trayvon Martin viciously attacked Zimmerman (NOT Zimmerman!) and, while Zimmerman was on the concrete pavement, Martin punched him in the face many times and then Martin tried to basically take Zimmerman’s head and bang it onto the concrete pavement in order to inflict maximum harm to Zimmerman!! If Martin had simply walked his way normally without attacking Zimmerman, Martin would still be alive today. Zimmerman acted in self-defense and if he had not, he probably would have been murdered on the pavement by having his skull smashed against the concrete pavement!!! That is what happened and several facts in the trial confirm this event.
    In short, as paradoxical as it may seem, Martin’s death is the result of his own doing!! The second lesson is that, if Zimmerman had not defended himself with a gun, he would be the one to be dead today!!

    BUT there is more! Obama made comments on Martin, telling he could have been his son and basically demanded a trial. And why Obama got interested in Martin? Because he was Black and it happens that he was killed by a White.

    AND there is more! The prosecution did the unthinkable, the completely forbidden act of hiding various very negative documents related directly to the Trayvon Martin case and that the prosecution is legally obligated to provide to the defense!!!

    AND there is more!! Rev. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and company, all accused the Trayvon Martin case of being a racist act of murder committed by Zimmerman. These Black “leaders” are only fueling the race card to their own benefits and at the expense of harmony between various races in the USA!!

    AND NOW THE UGLY TRUTH IN THE USA!!
    1) Blacks are the main perpetrators of murders, drug trafficking, rapes, and many other crimes in the USA. It is a true fact, as sad as it is.
    2) Blacks are the main tenants of the jails in the USA.
    In short, to focus on Blacks first to find people who have committed crimes is perfectly normal because the facts speak for themselves and the police’s limited resources force such strategy. And the Blacks who complain about that have their Black brothers to blame for all the crimes they commit in the USA!!!
    3) The main cause of death among Blacks are Blacks!!! Check the statistics in Chicago and you will understand what I mean by that!

    And the sad thing about the USA is that, if I was living in the USA, I would have to get a gun permit because I have seen (read articles of) so many people being murdered so arbitrarily by Blacks and others in completely crazy circumstances that I really would have to have a way to basically ensure my safety.
    And I do not even like guns at all. I also read so many crazy stories of a child being killed at home using a father’s gun that a gun would not even be safe to have at home with children.

  3. Eitan (@EitanDC) says :

    Yael,

    Really great post… enjoyed reading it very much. It really is such a shame that this has turned into such an issue as it really is a complete non-issue. I also think its endemic of the type of government that currently exists in the US… basically a demogogic dictatorship that relies on strife to impose tyranny under the guise of democracy. Obamacare for instance, passing massive laws so complex its impossible to enforce, so Obama just enforces the parts he wishes and disregards other parts. Giving his political allies exemptions to the law from on high, disregarding what the law actaully is. That is how dictators work.

    I’m saddened by what my country has become, and this zimmerman trial is yet another blow against what America used to stand for. With the NSA and the IRA and all the other scandals, its making 1984 by Orwell seem not so bad. In fact, I think I might start by own blog. I’ll call it:

    “Longing for dystopian futures of the past”

    • israeliminx says :

      “Longing for dystopian futures of the past” — ohmyg-d, I love it. That is just about the most succinct assessment of my own feelings regarding the U.S. and a pretty objective assessment of the actual situation if most people had a clue and put the pieces together rather than relying on the media pablum they are fed — did you know, by the way, that the govt has now repealed the decades-old law (initially passed in the Cold War era and strengthened in the 70s and 80s) against the U.S. government actively using government propaganda against a domestic audience? That just happened last week. Nice and stealthy and only a handful of newspapers and online blogs covered it.

      • Eitan (@EitanDC) says :

        Crazy! Though I’m not surprised… with the current administration, you really can’t put anything past them. Leftists in the U.S. have been successfully waging “Total war” on the population to advance their ideology. There is nothing they won’t say, nothing they won’t do, no law they won’t ignore to advance their cause. Far too often conservative forces capitulate and play their game, accept their abuse of the language, argue against their strawmen… it is really very sad.

        Since I moved to Germany, at least I’m not as in it as I was living in D.C… but the news is just as depressing! I’m going to visit Israel this year though, at long last!

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