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Trayvon, we hardly knew ye

April 2, 2012

All we really know so far about the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman

altercation is that Zimmerman shot Martin.  Yet the case has become a huge

inkblot onto which people of all stripes have projected their fears and biases.

Sides have been chosen.  Zimmerman is either a hero or a cold-blooded killer,

Martin either a saint or Satan’s stepson.


Mass media has blown on the flaming fuel of ignorance and hatred like gale

force winds.  Bill Maher is willing to send Zimmerman to prison on the basis

of a grainy surveillance recording.  Geraldo Rivera blamed Martin because

he wore a hoodie.  This is the worst idle speculation since Bill Frist looked

at some video of  brain-dead Terri Schiavo and declared her responsive.


According to various sources, Zimmerman’s is 5’7″ to 5’9″ tall and weighs from

from 170 to 250 pounds.  Martin was 6′ to 6’3″ and weighed 140 to 160.  A 5’9″,

250-pound man against a 6′, 140-pound man plays out differently than a 5’7″,

170-pound man against a 6’3″, 160-pound man.


So here’s my point: with the heat and hysteria emanating from Sanford, Florida,

likely to keep ratcheting up for some time, do let’s not get caught up in it.  I’m

glad that it has put racism back on the national table, because the U.S. has so

much more to do to resolve this fundamental problem.


But it won’t help settle the issue to believe and repeat the misunderstandings, 

half truths and intentional horseshit filling the air.  The violent death of a person,

despite the circumstances, is tragic enough.  Please keep it from compounding

into a catastrophe.               


  1. Gordon permalink
    April 2, 2012 9:44 am

    Amen, brother! Too bad we can’t put Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” gun law in prison.

    • April 3, 2012 8:14 am

      I hope that law gets a thorough review in the wake of this tragedy.

      • Gordon permalink
        April 5, 2012 11:14 am

        Not likley I’m afraid — at least not in Florida. But a little good news. Coke ust dropped its membership in ALEC, the conservative legislative group that pushed the law’s adoption in Florida and several other states.

      • April 5, 2012 7:40 pm

        The plot is thickening, eh? Deconstruction of Zimmerman’s call to the police dispatcher have weakened the perception of him as a racist.

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