Sometimes S… Happens: The Trayvon Martin Shooting and the Zimmerman Verdict

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Criminal trials concern the guilt or innocence of a person who has broken state or federal law. The defendant is considered to be innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution’s responsibility is to convince the jury through the evidence at hand that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A verdict of “not-guilty” does not imply innocence; it means that the jury did not find there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict the defendant.

This is basic law that the liberals who claim that the George Zimmerman verdict was about racism miss. The issue is not the race of the defendant or of Tra

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman (Photo credit: ChrisWaldeck)

yvon. Martin. The issue is not whether the killing of Mr. Martin is a tragedy–obviously it is a tragedy. A young man’s life was taken–that is always a tragedy whether it occurs in China, England, the United States–anywhere. Two paths crossed that led to disaster and pain for the family of the deceased. Mr. Zimmerman, who does not seem to be a sociopath, has a conscience–and he will have to live with what he did the rest of his life. The issue in the trial was whether Zimmerman met the criteria for Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” The defense failed to show this, and thus the only responsible verdict for the jury to reach is “not-guilty.” In a different state with different laws Mr. Zimmerman may have been justly charged. Given Florida’s law, the trial of George Zimmerman became a Soviet-style show trial that thankfully did not lead to a miscarriage of justice.

Personally I find Mr. Zimmerman’s actions before the shooting overly-aggressive and reckless. He kept following Mr. Martin when the police told him to stop. He left his car, thus making the situation more volatile. I think he realizes now that his actions were wrong–but if it is true, as multiple witnesses said, that Mr. Martin (who was not the saint the media portrayed him to be) began to pummel Mr. Zimmerman so that Mr. Zimmerman believed his life to be in danger, Zimmerman’s firing the fatal shot was not legally wrong.

The mainstream media’s race-baiting, and in one network, an edited audio track, are unethical actions that only stir dangerous passions. Mr. Sharpton’s usual agitation came into play–and his stirring up the pot of hatred arguably led to the brutal murder of an Orthodox Jewish man in New York a number of years ago. I would not have thought any differently about the case if it had been a white man that Mr. Zimmerman killed. The left is truly racist–in its labeling of Mr. Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic,” and in its continual exploitation of African Americans for its own agenda.

The left is obsessed with race–they see it everywhere, in every incident involving an African American. The American left treats African-Americans like children. Instead of allowing self-improvement, liberals supported a nanny state that only made African Americans more dependent. Liberals support abortion which, as a percentage of race, kills more of the African-American unborn than in any other group. Some wealthy liberals enjoy their gated communities while the poor blacks they have exploited to gain more power suffer and die under incentive-stifling liberal programs. By stirring up African Americans in cases such as the Martin case, liberals fuel the racial divisions that help keep them in power. Liberal academics get a good feeling of superiority in supporting “social justice” (i.e., socialism and the automatic assumption of guilt of anyone in a Zimmerman-like case).

Mr. Obama’s behavior has been particularly poor. His taking a side in a legal case was unethical. People complained when Mr. Nixon declared Charles Manson guilty–now liberals prefer to support Mr. Obama’s irresponsible actions. If the rumor is true that justice department officials engaged in anti-Zimmerman protests, most likely under at least tacit White House approval, the Administration has engaged in obstruction of justice.

Now there is a cry among liberals to try Mr. Zimmerman under federal civil rights laws. That may well happen–and then the result of the show trial might be a subversion of justice.

Sometimes s… happens. As a former EMT, I know how easy it is to be on a bad call–many little things add up to disaster. Police officers tell me the same thing. The Zimmerman shooting of Mr. Martin is similar–too many bad things happened, bad decisions on both sides, that led to a horrific tragedy. The Martin family can take action under civil law if they wish, but a federal criminal trial would mean double jeopardy (and while I understand why the laws were passed, it is cases like this that are politicized that reveal the injustice of those laws).

Mr. Zimmerman may have had character flaws that led him to a tragic decision to keep pursuingĀ  a young man in his neighborhood. But his decisions, as bad as they were, were not violations of Florida law. Thus, the jury did the just and honest thing. Bless them for not yielding to public and media pressure.

More Insanity from the Obama Administration: Racial Balance in School Discipline

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Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Obama justice department is pushing for racial balance in school discipline. On July 26 he gave an executive order to set up a panel funded by the federal government. This panel is empowered to find ways to lower the “disparity” of discipline between black and white students. In effect, school administrators will suspend more white students to have an allegedly more racially balanced discipline environment.

The fallacy is to move from (A) there is a disparity between the number of black students suspended vs. the number of white students to (B) such disparity reflects racial bias rather than the actual discipline situation. (B) does not follow from (A). If a higher percentage of black students commit suspendible offenses than white students, a “disparity” will take place, but that is not due to racism. If a predominately black school suspends more black students than white students, that would reflect the demographics of that school. School administrators, fearful of federal action, may set up a quota system in which every time a black student is suspended, a white (or perhaps an Asian) student will also be suspended.

This is the insanity of federal control at its finest, especially when the Obama Administration is filled with radical left wing race baiters. Putting in a quota system would inevitably result in a white student or Asian student being suspended for a relatively minor offense in order to keep “racial balance.” The same situation would take place with other forms of school discipline such as expulsion or (in the South) paddling.

It is well known that in many urban areas in the United States the black family has been in crisis for years, and the lack of two-parent families and high illegitimacy rates along with limited parental discipline lead to a hotbed of crime. Children sometimes can escape such a background, but it is difficult. Thus, many black children are coming to school as behavioral challenges. Note that the same process is starting with white families, with the white illegitimacy rate around 26% and rising. If this rises more, the suspension rates most likely will balance out. To ignore individual discipline situations and place a quota system (or even to bring “racial balance” into the discipline equation) is madness. Such a system will automatically be unfair.

Like forced busing, “racial balance” in school discipline is another federal social engineering scheme that is doomed to failure. It will lead to more whites and Asians fleeing public schools. If a private school accepts federal aid, that school will be vulnerable to be placed under Mr. Obama’s executive order. Will higher education be next? After all, colleges and universities who accept students with federal grants and loans are vulnerable to federal regulation.

This executive order is another reason to vote for Mr. Romney. Mr. Obama is bringing the country back to the age of race-based quotas in education and jobs. In the meantime, if the government panel makes recommendations that are adopted by federal regulators, schools will be forced to be unjust to white and Asian students in the administration of discipline. How far is this administration willing to go in pushing its vision of racial balance onto the world? Very far, I think, and that is frightening.