I never get used to this stuff. I hope I never do.
I’m not surprised by it. I’ve seen too much. I know too many people.
Marched too often. Or maybe not enough.
Too many funerals.
The last couple of years I have written mainly about teaching, unions and pensions. I get it that many readers of this blog follow me for that reason.
But this is not a one trick pony. Maybe some of the readers just ignore what I have to say about other social issues so that they can stay informed on pensions.
But I received quite a few comments this weekend about the Zimmerman verdict. Critical of me.
They went something like this: “You don’t know what happened that night. You weren’t there. The jury found reasonable doubt. It wasn’t about race.”
I posted a few of these comments and now I have stopped.
My answer would have been the same to all of them: Trayvon was innocent of any wrongdoing. Nobody suggests otherwise. He was stalked by George Zimmerman. Nobody suggests otherwise. In fact, Zimmerman was told by the police not to follow Trayvon. These are facts that we know. They are not disputed by anyone. Whatever happened during the confrontation, Zimmerman by his presence, precipitated it. He believed that a Black teenager in a hoodie was up to no good. That is what really happened that night. Nobody suggests otherwise. The jury’s verdict means that the mere presence of a Black teenager is reason enough to stalk, confront and kill. I know this.
An old friend, a Chicago cop, messaged me: If he would have been convicted, it wouldn’t have surprised me. However, the fact that he wasn’t convicted didn’t surprise me either. Do I feel that this attack was racially motivated? Perhaps. After all, Trayvon Martin was Black. But this goes deeper than that. Why was there a community watch? Was the “community” experiencing a rise in crime? Were the residents fearful of “undesirables” in the area? I know one thing, Zimmerman was asked to stand down and he didn’t. He is certainly guilty of being an idiot. He is at fault for starting the events that led to Trayvon’s death. Now that a concealed carry bill has been passed, we will see more people being shot needlessly.
Yes, Illinois now has a concealed weapon law. 300,000 people are now deputized. 300,000 potential George Zimmermans.
I usually find the debates over what passes for gun control laws a fraud. Twenty children and six adults were murdered in a school in New Town, Connecticut and the most Obama could come up with is a federal law on background checks. And even that failed.
The passage of Illinois’ new concealed gun law was led by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg). His uncle is David Phelps. The elder Phelps is famous for co-sponsoring the Marriage Protection Amendment when he served as a US Illinois representative. As a Democratic congressman, David Phelps was anti-choice, pro-gun and anti-Gay rights.
Up until May of last year, Democrat Brandon Phelps was a member of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Rep. Phelps said he was “disgusted” by the Governor’s attempts to ban guns from bars.
However, you don’t find many Black teenagers in bars.
So, now in Illinois any George Zimmerman with a gun who claims he is on community watch can legally pack a piece in his belt, stalk a Black kid because he is wearing a hoodie. And if the kid reacts to being followed by a pistol-packing stranger… Well, we just witnessed the conclusion to that story.
It is not surprising that laws to arm future George Zimmermans passed the Illinos legislature.
I know there are readers of this blog who may sincerely believe the murder of Trayvon Martin and the verdict were not about race.
Zimmerman’s defense team AND the prosecution claimed the case wasn’t about race.
I suppose they argue that it was really just about an armed vigilante, profiling, stalking and killing a Black teenager armed with Skittles.
But not about race.
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