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Simply wrong

Here's what one internet commenter had to say about George Zimmerman after a jury cleared him in the Trayvon Martin case:

I'd say his chances for making 2015 New Year's Resolutions are not very high; the temptation to being known in the black community as the man who got justice for Trayvon Martin is just too high.

Exactly who is in this "black community"? My take is that the phrase is a broad categorization of everyone who identifies as black.

Is it likely that this "black community" would unanimously celebrate the eye-for-an-eye murder of George Zimmerman? Or might there be a large number of people in all communities who would be outraged by it, repulsed by it, saddened by it? Indeed, might the celebration instead be limited to a few sick individuals—individuals who belong to any number of different "communities"?

Flash back to the verdict in the O.J. Simpson case. I can't recall anyone saying, "The temptation to being known in the white community as the man who got justice for Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman is just too high."

If that unfortunate event had come to pass, white people would be free to distance themselves from the killer. The killer would not be a member of the "white community," nor would he be lauded by said community. He would simply be a killer.

To flip the script in the Zimmerman trial is simply wrong.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
anita_margarita
Jul. 15th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC)
I;m seeing various posts on Facebook, all following the same script: young blonde girl killed by 1/2/3 black men for her bicycle/$85/whatever, and the same message: why isn't this in the news?

Because it's not the same thing.
patrick_vecchio
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
If these cases aren't in the news, then how do people know about them?

Comparing two murders to decide which one is more heinous is a task with no answer.

nodressrehersal
Jul. 15th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
I get what you're saying about a broad categorization, but I'm not sure it's a categorization completely without merit.

There are folks locally and nationally who are known and recognized as "spokespersons for the black/latino/hispanic/muslim/jewish/gay - name your ethnic/religious/sexual orientation" community. That doesn't mean that what they say is spoken for all, but it does indicate that there is sometimes either a general consensus or perhaps an opinion presented by a recognized leader in that particular community in an effort to guide opinion/action, etc.

P. S. My reply to the comment above was this: Sometimes what seems like the right thing from a moral or ethical standpoint isn't necessarily the right thing from a legal standpoint. I'm not sure what that means, but in this case, it seems to be the issue.

From all that I'm reading, it seems that the defense used the "beyond a reasonable doubt" point to its credit, while the prosecution failed to use the "stand your ground" rules to its advantage. It's all a big fat mess and a crying shame.


Edited at 2013-07-15 02:40 pm (UTC)
patrick_vecchio
Jul. 15th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's valid to say anyone speaks for any given community, simply because any group of people—whether they self-identify by race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, and so on—is so large and so diverse that one person's opinion falls short of speaking for a significant portion of said community.

Let's consider the "white community." Can you think of any speaker whose point of view speaks for a large portion of the white population? Nancy Grace? Bill O'Reilly? Bill Maher? Rachel Maddow? They speak to niches, not for masses. I agree when you say such people speak their own opinions and may call for action, but to me, their opinions merely give me something to think about when I'm forming my own opinions.

The thing that troubled me about that post was the idea that the "black community" would relish Rodriguez's death if he were murdered. I would argue that a small percentage of people from any community would see such a killer as a hero. To narrow the reaction to the "black community," and to imply the black community would relish Rodriguez's murder, paints with a brush that's way, way, way too wide, and it doesn't recognize that a certain segment of the "white community," "liberal community," etc., might also see the killer as a hero.
nodressrehersal
Jul. 15th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
I understand what you're saying and I agree, I don't think it was a valid statement regarding the potential feelings of the "black community" with regard to the Zimmerman trial. But. I do think that when a group is either an actual or a perceived minority, there are community leaders who are respected and chosen to be spokespersons. Obviously they don't speak for all, but sometimes it can diffuse a volatile situation to have community leaders aka spokespersons step to the forefront.

I don't think the "white community" is the same thing, because we've never needed to band together and identify ourselves as "white" in order to be seen, heard, or treated fairly under the law. I'd be much more likely to band together with others as a community of aging baby boomers, or women, or small business owners, or any number of things before it would be as a white person.
patrick_vecchio
Jul. 16th, 2013 12:54 am (UTC)
Respected leaders, yes—but who does the choosing? A limited number of people in whatever kind of group is being talked about.

The fact that we white people don't need to band together to receive fair treatment under the law is an aspect of white privilege. Because of the society we live in, we accrue all kind of advantages simply by being white—aspects of everyday life that we don't even need to think about because we've always lived with them. This frees us to become members of the smaller communities you mention. We go through life without needing to think about the fact that we are white.

nodressrehersal
Jul. 16th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
Good and valid points, all.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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