I didn't pay all that much to the trial of George Zimmerman. I did follow the tragedy a bit when it first broke, but when it came to the court case, such things are rarely in my radar. It little news coverage (for me) goes a long way.
One thing that did leap out in all that came through was the huge controversy and confusion about whose voice it was on the tape that was screaming. All I could think every time I heard that was -- "Let's see. George Zimmeraman had a gun. Trayvon Martin is dead. Who did we most likely think was screaming?!
And let's say it was George Zimmerman screaming -- who cares? He stalked, attacked and ultimately shot a kid. If he himself chose to scream, for whatever reason, even if he somehow thought he was in "danger," he's still the one who killed the kid, who isn't lessened for not screaming, yet is still dead.
The AP had a headline today on Twitter, "Zimmerman jury's acquittal likely focused on justifiable use of force, reasonable doubt." I saw that and laughed, because it read to me like Twitter ended the headline after 140 characters and cut off -- "and fear of black people."
I know there are people who have tried desperately to paint this as "self-defense" under the bizarre Florida law. But when someone has a gun, driving around in the safety of a car, is stalking a kid, calls the police, the police say to stay in the car, ignores the police and gets out of the car, and keeps tracking the kid who is unarmed -- that transcends any rational definition of "Self-defense."
Did Trayvon Martin fight back? Wouldn't you?
My friend Shelly Goldstein noted that George Zimmerman's brother is worried that "Vigilantes might take the law into their own hands." You can only stare at a quote like that and shake your head. As she added, no, you can't make this stuff up. It reads like something from The Onion.
When Jimmy Carter is next traveling the world trying to correct human rights violations, perhaps he can add Florida to his itinerary.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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