7/24

Prologue
We are twelve days after the verdict was delivered and it seems—God I hope I am right—that the world is getting back to normal. “Important” news such as the new royal baby being born, seem to be taking the headlines and we can all relax after four weeks of intense Zimmermann paranoia. In most of my blogs, I try to say something new, something that others have not said. It would be difficult in this case, as everything has been said, so many times. But I still feel the need to summarize the events here.

Act One: Death
The death of Trayvon Martin is a terrible tragedy. First and foremost, for his parents. Some will argue that it is more of a tragedy for the young man himself, but I dispute that. He is tragically gone and feels nothing. His parents will have to live with the pain of losing a child for the rest of their lives and nothing can make up for that. People say that time cures all, but it does not cure this. It dulls the pain somewhat, but the pain will always be with them and for that, my heart goes out to them.

It is also a tragedy for the Zimmerman family. While not at the same level, it is clear that their lives have been adversely changed forever. It is likely that George Zimmerman will never be able to live his life as an ordinary person. He may have to leave the country; he may have to change his name. Whatever he does, he will always carry on his conscience the fact that he killed an unarmed and possibly, in retrospect, not deadly young man. He deserves to carry that burden with him for the rest of his life. I do NOT dispute his acquittal, which is full, final, and he IS innocent, but he still shot and killed another human being in a situation that possibly, in hindsight, should not have developed the way it did.

But in the main, it is a tragedy for America.

Act Two: The Trial
Scene I: The Race Profiteers
That term was coined by someone in the media—not sure who—but it is so appropriate to describe Al Sharpton (who long ago lost his right to be called a Reverend as one of the least reverent persons in this world), the “has-been” Jessie Jackson, the Martin family lawyers, and others. They are the ones who choose this case amongst thousands of other such cases to try and maintain their own relevance, to try and rehabilitate their losing careers, to try and stay relevant at a time when they are all waning. They, of course, made use of the complicit, indeed submissive, media (more on that later) to make their case, but it does not change the fact that they chose a case without a merit. A losing case. They made a mountain out of a molehill, a storm in a teacup. Where are they when thousands of African-American teenagers are killed every year by other black Americans? Why choose this case? Why not focus on Chicago as an example, or Detroit, or other really bad areas? Where are they when the community REALLY needs them?

Scene II: The Prosecution
The prosecutors are strong contenders for the Oscar of Shame in this case. They are lucky that so many vie for this “coveted” prize. From the start, it looked to the uneducated observer that this prosecution was overreaching and politically motivated. The fact that neither the police nor the actual prosecution in Sanford, Florida, felt that this case warranted prosecution at all was the first hint. The weak case exposed in trial for a manslaughter charge, let alone murder, was astounding and made it obvious that they were motivated by politics and swayed by public opinion, which is an absolute no-no for prosecution.

The verdict exposed them for the frauds that they were, and put them to shame. But the comment made by the head prosecutor, Angela Corey, the state attorney for the Fourth Judicial Court of Florida, AFTER the verdict, describing Mr. Zimmerman as a “murderer” clearly makes her the evil witch of this story. She drove the prosecution’s “car” and she put it in the ditch with her totally unwarranted decision to prosecute at all and to go for Murder II. Clearly it was all motivated by her wish to get good coverage in the media. She should be fired and if she is an elected person, she should be thrown out by the people. She is clearly at the top of the “bad guys” in this story.

Scene III: The Media
Ah…my “favorite” subject matter. My contempt and derision toward the media is well known to the readers of these annals. It is always coupled with my as strong a belief that a free and open media is the pillar of democracy. That is not to say that I do not wish the media would be more responsible, more professional, less biased, and that they should cease driving their own pet agendas for their own rating glory, or to satisfy their own biases.

The Coverage, Quantitatively
The saturation coverage of this trial was shocking and appalling. In all but one out of all cable and broadcast networks, it was covered wall-to-wall to the level of the near total elimination of any other subject. The coup in Egypt hardly got any mention; the trial of Nidal Malik Hasan, a terrorist who killed thirteen US soldiers on American soil got ZERO mention; and on and on. The only exception that gets better marks is Fox News. While they did still cover the trial as a major story, they did not elevate it to the 24-hour wall-to-wall coverage you could see in other cable news. I gave a sigh of relief after the verdict on the assumption that this nightmare is over, only to be proven wrong. The not guilty verdict, exposed the media’s hype and showed the story for what it was—just another trial in a small Florida town. In order to justify their own positions of making this story as a major national story, the networks doubled down and made it all about race, something that both the Martin family AND the prosecution made clear is NOT the case. But how could the media justify their obsession otherwise? Especially in the face of a simple not guilty verdict? So the nightmare continued for another week and more!

The Coverage, Qualitatively
The cover was, of course, biased. Why would that surprise me? It was so biased at times as to be ridiculous. It was such a weak case for the prosecution that even the most biased “experts” could not avoid stating and highlighting the weaknesses that were so clear and obvious. The peak of bias belongs to Don Lemon who, in addition to being one of the more boring anchors at CNN (and that says a lot…), is now clearly the most biased of them all. It seems that he cannot differentiate between his position as a gay (therefore I presume and accept that he may have suffered from discrimination and other problems) African-American young man to his position as an anchor, in what is supposed to be a respectable news network. Another flagrant episode of bias was when a few of the African-American experts on CNN tried to make a distinction after the verdict between “not guilty” and innocent—claiming that not guilty does not mean innocent. Really? Are we not a society that believes that all men are innocent until proven guilty? Is it not THE basic motto and foundation of our justice system? If we are all innocent until proven guilty, then for SURE having been FOUND not guilty after a trial makes us innocent.

Scene IV: The President
One can ask why is the president part of Act II—the trial. He really did not speak other than before and after the trial. The bigger question is, why is he part of this blog at all? Why did he even speak about this case? What does a small local criminal case have to do with the president of the USA? Why did he get involved in the first place? It is very telling that excluding a number of mass murders where the events were indeed of national significance, the president stays away from local criminal events, with the exception of two cases. In both cases, he intervened in favor of racial acrimony and against uniting the country. Be it the “beer summit” case at the beginning of his presidency, or this tragedy, the president ALWAYS fosters acrimony and racial disunity. I have NOT heard him providing leadership and calling for calm and to stop making this about race. But there again, why should that be surprising coming from the most abrasive, radical, divisive, and least unity-driven president of modern times? It is all about him. If it were not for the fact that there are so many contenders for the Oscar of Shame here, he would probably get it.

Act Three: Post Trial
Racism in America—the Big Tragedy
I was not born in the USA. I did not grow up here. I came here in my 40s after I was shaped by education, heritage, and life experiences—none of which involved racism. Therefore, I do not carry the racism chip on my shoulder that the vast majority of Americans seem to carry on theirs. I know how sensitive this subject is and being white and non-American I largely stayed away from it. I did write one blog on it about three years ago. In it I said the following:

  • There is NO racism in America.
  • The leadership of the African-American community betrays their community by not dealing with the real problem this community faces, while promoting their own careers and exploiting the issues the community faces rather than trying to solve it.

I believe that this case demonstrates my points:

  • Racism in America: when I say that there is none, I mean institutional racism. This is barred by law; it is eradicated by history, tradition, and education, and good for that. Are there people who are racists in America? Of course there are. Amongst 300,000,000 people, there are racists, there are anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-men, and anti-everything. But all these anti-groups represent a small minority of marginal extremists. According to the latest statistics by the FBI for 2006, there were 7,000 hate crimes and only 1/3 of those were against African-Americans due to the race. Admittedly this was the biggest sub category with the next biggest one being Jews, with just under 1,000 attacks. The point is that if there are 2,600 attacks in a year against African Americans, that is not evidence of “rampant” racism. Indeed, in many respects, African Americans are POSITIVELY favored, such as in Affirmative Action, as an example.
  • There are clearly many problems afflicting the African-American community more than other communities: unemployment, lack of education, lower incomes, drugs, huge crime problem, etc. None of these problems result from racism. They result from too many years of hypocritical self-aggrandizing leadership abusing their community for their own self-interests, rather than facing the facts and doing something about it all. In order to exploit the suffering for their own benefit, sometimes on purpose and sometime due to stupidity, those considered leadership are ignoring the real problem. The REAL problem, the core problem, the root of all evils in the African-American community is the breakdown of the family unit. The fact that over 70 percent of black children grow up in a single-family home is shocking. It is astounding. It is a national disaster.
  • This IS something that the federal government needs to do something about. This IS something that community leaders need to take action on. Over time, if this can be materially reduced, it will make the difference in this community, curing, over time, all the other issues. This is the REAL national crisis and shame and this is where we need to hear the voices of the community leaders, and first and foremost the most senior African-American man in this country—Barak Obama. He was raised in a one-parent family and managed to overcome it (with the great help from his WHITE grandparents), to persevere and to become a model husband and father.

Epilogue
Bill O’Reilly
I cannot finish this blog without mentioning the “Talking Point Memo” by Bill O’Reilly in his program The Factor on Fox News on Monday July 22nd 2013. O’Reilly is arrogant, pompous, and many times superficial, populist, and sometimes even ignorant. He is, however, the host of the highest rated program on cable news for over ten years. While arrogance is never right, at least he has something to be arrogant about. I was surprised to hear him say exactly the same as I say here (I started writing it before his program) regarding the problems afflicting the African-American community. His “memo” was on point, was correct, and was delivered with passion and conviction. He tainted it a little bit with naïve and simplistic suggestions regarding the cure—“public service announcements” and “school uniforms.” But he diagnosed the problem correctly and pointed the finger at the right people to blame—kudos!

The Oscar of Courage
The only people who deserve a real praise for their behavior throughout this unfortunate saga are the defense attorneys for Zimmerman. They were professional, passionate, respectful, delivered results, and were not afraid to say in public what the public needed to hear—Zimmerman, on the facts known to us, was guilty only of self-defense. Race played zero part in this tragedy. Good for them!

The Oscar of Shame
I referenced the “prize” a few times in this blog, as there are so many people that deserve it. The contenders were the race profiteers; the state prosecutor for her decision to file charges under Murder II, but mostly for her comment that Zimmerman is a murderer AFTER he was found not guilty; the media for the bias; and the president for his lack of leadership and quiet racial incitement.

But none are more to blame here than the “silent” majority: politicians, mainly Caucasians, who stood quietly and allowed the race profiteers and the media to take control of the story and make it what they wanted, rather than stick to the facts. I believe that these men should get the Oscar of Shame because they are cowards. They refuse to stand up to their convictions. They would rather withdraw and leave the stage for those reckless players who will twist it and turn it for their own self-interests.

I will finish with the famous saying (whose roots are disputed): “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”