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Trayvon Martin – A Tragedy Turned Into An Ugly Circus of Opportunism And Racial Hatred

I watched a clip of L.Z. Granderson and Will Cain, discussing the Trayvon Martin case and I was appalled by what I saw. It shouldn’t matter that two of the participants are black and one was white. Reasonable and intelligent people should be able to discuss serious issues seriously and in a reasonable and intelligent manner. 


That isn’t what happened during this CNN interview. It quickly degenerated into a two on one attack on someone appealing for calm and to let law enforcement complete its investigations before rushing to judgement. That wasn’t good enough for the other two who quickly dismissed and demeaned his comments as uniformed in their rush to turn this tragedy into an issue of race.

This discussion exemplifies the incredible trivialization of due process and the arrogant rush to judgement being applied to the Trayvon Martin shooting in the maintstream media, across the Internet and in the streets. Dismiss waiting for the facts, this is racism pure and simple. We don’t need facts!
A young man was killed and that, no matter how anyone wants to twist the facts, is a terrible tragedy, all the more so because it was just one more unnecessary violent death in a country with too many violent deaths and that is the real issue.

It has become a cause célèbre and the rush to judgement has once again gripped social media. The usual opportunists have shown up to take full advantage of it. The Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are on hand to call Trayvon a martyr and wave the flag of racism. The New Black Panthers have put out a wanted poster with a $10,000 reward for capturing the shooter despite the fact that he is not fleeing from prosecution and is in contact with law enforcement.

And then there is Spike Lee.

Spike Lee

With what can only be called depraved indifference to the danger it posed to Mr. Zimmerman’s family, |Spike Lee posted online what he thought was Mr. Zimmerman’s home address with an invitation for people to ‘reach out and touch him”. There is nothing like a celebrity taking advantage of their celebrity to incite violence, especially in this circumstance. The address and phone number Mr. Lee posted were for an elderly couple who have nothing to do with this situation and who are now terrified of what might happen to them. They’ve fled from their own home thanks to Spike Lee’s outrageous and self-righteous bigotry. Mr. Lee, of course, has done nothing to try and correct the dangerous situation he helped create. I wonder if there will be the same hysterical demands for ‘justice’  by the mob or by the Rev. Jackson or the Rev. Sharpton against Mr. Lee if anything happens to this elderly couple as a result of his careless indifference.

Daily across social media, there are screams for justice which really are nothing more than screams for a hanging.

The media, in a cynical play to create a story bigger than it already was, published a picture of Trayvon at 12 to make it look like a little boy was shot. Geraldo Rivera went on national television to blame Trayvon’s death on the hoodie he was wearing and even President Obama has jumped in to indicate that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.
The police have been criticized for not releasing the facts and then for releasing them. A wanted poster for Mr. Zimmerman dead or alive was distributed and isn’t that the kind of society we want to build to keep our children safe?

Always looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck, vendors of casual clothing have been hawking hoodies with Trayvon’s picture on it and the mob has lined up, cash in hand, to get a souvenir from the circus.

Without very much in the way of hard, cold facts, Mr. Zimmerman has been vilified. He’s been called a racist despite coming from a multi-racial family and having mentored black children with his wife. He has been called a stalker and stands accused by the mob of having ‘gunned down’ Trayvon out of racial hatred or because he is psychotic.
Having some experience with whipping a situation up into frenzy, the Rev. Jackson warned Trayvon’s parents about a push-back and he was right. The demonization of Trayvon has started.
Stories about Trayvon being suspended from school are published with suggestive innuendo that perhaps there is more behind the suspension than is in the record. Pictures of his tattoos are posted to create an image of a gangbanger with sinister intentions, as if having a tattoo of the name of your girlfriend’s mother is sinister. He is being accused of being a drug dealer and violent. Even his most recent tweets on Twitter have been published in a desperate attempt to prove something bad although to me they appear about as banal as you would expect from a teenage boy.
None of this is important. None of it!
What is important is that a young man is dead and instead of waiting for law enforcement to do its work and complete its investigations; too many are too intent on creating a climate where the results of those investigations will no longer matter. Too many are working to polarize us into different camps at precisely the same time we should be united.
Savannah Hardin
In the time since Trayvon was shot, more than 100 children have died at the hands of abusers and hundreds have gone missing. A nine year old girl is dead and her stepmother and grandmother are charged with murder. There are no marches for her, no ongoing television discussions and no social media campaigns for justice for her and others like her.
Likewise there won’t be any protest marches or demonstrations in support of the murder of two little boys by their father in February.
Around the same time that Trayvon was shot, a 13 year old white boy  in Kansas City was chased by two black youths to the front door of his house where he was doused with gasoline and set on fire. There are no screams of racism from those screaming racism now. There is no ongoing CNN coverage, no editorials, and no protests in the streets for justice for this young man.
No….we practice selective outrage these days and reserve our condemnation and anger for the glamour causes. 
It isn’t children that are important or even racism. It’s the moment that matters and the moment is the current bandwagon of outrage that we can join and ride.

Social media is a world of hypocrites and the mainstream media have become little more than  biased, opportunistic vultures picking over the bones of whatever story will get them ratings.

The simple truth is that we don’t know what happened that night other than there was a shooting. We don’t know yet what caused the shooting, whether or not Trayvon did or did not assault Mr. Zimmerman or if any of the witnesses who have now come forward support Mr. Zimmerman’s version of events or that of the mob.

With all due respect to Mr. Granderson who is someone from whom I would have expected a more balanced position, we don’t know if this tragedy was racially motivated. We might assume it as Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson always do when there are cameras nearby but nobody knows yet and pretending we do is nothing more than arrogant, self-opinion and bigotry paraded as fact.

What we do know is that once the investigation is done, it won’t matter. We’ve done such a good job of undermining our own social values; most won’t believe the findings of the investigation.  Justice isn’t what people are screaming for, it’s revenge and it’s revenge without actually knowing what happened.  We’ve become so incapable of rational thought we fail to realize that if Mr. Zimmerman is charged without a thorough investigation, he would probably be acquitted and wouldn’t that be just hunky dory if he was actually guilty?
At the end of the day, this hysterical rush to judgement has only made a bad situation even worse and I don’t see how any of this will ever make society a safer, better place for anyone, let alone our children. It certainly isn’t the kind of society I was hoping to see my grandson grow up in.

LINKS

Spike Lee Tweets Zimmerman’s Address – but gets it wrong endangering the safety of an elderly couple.
http://grumpyelder.com/?p=20877

CNN- Trayvon Martin case becoming more complicated as details emerge.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/27/justice/florida-teen-shooting-witnesses/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

QUESTION: Is it right to slap the name of a dead person on shirts and hoodies then sell them to people?
http://dfwalerts.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/is-it-right/

Who speaks for these children?
http://www.blogger.com/publish-confirmation.g?blogID=3913113766829019414&postID=4238096129922938467&timestamp=1332883348805&javascriptEnabled=true

13 year old boy doused with gasoline and set on fire
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2110078/Boy-13-doused-gasoline-set-alight-racially-motivated-attack-Kansas-City.html

Initial police report of the Trayvon Martin Shooting by the first officer on the scene and his sergeant
http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Twin%20Lakes%20Shooting%20Initial%20Report.pdf

Wanted Dead Or Alive – It is the comments at the bottom that are the most revealing
http://www.drudge.com/news/154938/zimmerman-wanted-dead-alive-poster

Black friend defends Zimmerman
http://www.newsmax.com/US/zimmerman-black-friend-trayvon/2012/03/25/id/433809

There are literally thousands more links online. Simply type into Google a search queery that supports your opinion and you’ll have no difficulty finding countless articles and messages to support it. What you won’t find are very many facts. They’re still being investigated and have yet to be released in their entirety. That won’t stop the vilification of both Mr. Zimmerman or Mr. Martin, of course, but then who needs facts? These days it is only opinion that is paraded around as important.

© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others
  • Anonymous

    Two things. Media wants a story and celebrities do not usually deserve any respect. Oh, play the race card whenever possible. Good rant

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      I agree on both counts. My particular issue is the lack of respect or consideration for basic rights including both Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman. This ugly circus almost guarantees that justice won’t be done for either of them and to me, that is the real tragedy.

  • http://www.jeanraffa.wordpress.com Jean Raffa

    An excellent, well-considered piece. There’s a sad irony in the fact that the terms “trigger happy” and “jumping the gun” seem to be relevant all around. Thank you for your call to calm restraint.
    Jeanie

  • Anonymous

    This is the first article I completely agree with. You presented the facts and it is our job, as readers, to make our own conclusions. That is what regular & social media are missing.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      Thank you for your comments.

      I don’t actually believe that it is always necessary to agree on everything. Debate and discussion are good methods to learn from each other and to advance ideas. I’m not even sure that I’m trying to convince anyone of anything when I write the articles I write. I think it is more about clarifying for myself what I think and believe.

      I don’t consider myself a journalist and much of what I write is opinion. I do, however, try to ensure that my opinion is based on facts. When it is pointed out to me that my facts are wrong or incomplete, I will correct my post and sometimes….even my opinion. :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16466665133294642195 Diane V. McLoughlin

    Good article. Shared.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      Thank you

  • Anonymous

    OH – and a quick word on the CNN interview featured above (which I just watched): The number one rule of journalism (in line with answering the five W’s and the one H) – “JUST THE FACTS!” A journalist, anchorman/anchorwoman,ANY……. reporter of news – is expected and required to report/comment on a story without bias, without emotional outrage, without ANY – indication of personal interest or gain whatsoever. However………….one should NEVER comment without all the facts, and it seems that some journalists are vehemently expecting other journalists to do so. Bandwagoneering is the latest form of bullying, and I for one, am NEVER open to listening to people who practice it, and it immediately discredits whatever point they are trying to get across to me. As if by reflex itself, my mind closes tightly………….when it feels that it is being forced to absorb any type of message from the bandwagon. I can think for myself……….. and unfortunately (or maybe just – FORTUNATELY), when an idea or an opinion is presented to me by what feels like an assault on my senses…………..the original message will never get to me……

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      I respect the right of journalists to comment on the news but in this case it was more like a mugging than a commentary or even a discussion I find increasingly that there are too many on CNN who have lost sight of the fact that they are not the story, their role is to cover the story. In this case, commentary by Mr. Granderson and Mr. Cain should have been allowed to proceed without the moderator/interviewer inserting himself into the debate.

  • Anonymous

    And THIS……….is currently the state of things……within these so-called “United”………States!!! OH but wait – these states are UNITED………they are united by the ignorance and stupidity that prevails by their citizens, their politicians, their news stations, and by the word and the message from the BIG head of ALL these states, himself…………….and let us not forget that his wife has something to say as well! Only moments ago, as I was watching the news and shaking my head (as usual), they reported on this story ( a story they have no business re-reporting on …….YET..) further perpetuating the separation of race and justice……without having all the facts! They re-aired all the images of the nationwide “hood protests”, re-stated the the only information they have, and then……………….they aired a small piece of footage featuring the “first lady” and her most recent statement on this matter. She DID say that the investigation is ONGOING. Then she closed with this:
    “We are pleased that the nation is so focused on this matter.” REALLY????????????????? Why am I so surprised? I should not be surprised – yet I am more than surprised…………I’m incredulous! What the hell kind of statement is THAT? Why would the president’s wife say such a stupid and harmful thing??? That is downright criminal as far as I’m concerned! Basically it is the same as saying “We are pleased that the nation is in a state of uproar.” Why would a first lady be pleased that her nation is in a state of further division and uproar? Does she want a civil war? I just had to briefly talk about this ……………I am really disturbed and still reeling from that statement and wanted to write about it while it was fresh in my memory so as to properly convey how sickened I really am. Yes – I wanted to “capture the moment” of the true depths of my concern over this………..BUT THE TRUTH IS – I have no business writing anymore about the Martin/Zimmerman incident…….. and its current affect on the country right now, until I recover from my outrage over the first lady’s statement. For that would be irresponsible journaling on my part (something I am against) – and I am in no condition to speak to the original topic. So – I will return later once I have calmed down……….

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      I understand and relate to your anger and your frustration. I find the screaming and yelling to be deplorable. I find it even more deplorable that those who lead and who should know better are part of the cause, not the cure.