Saturday, April 14, 2012

Media Rule and Crime

Why did President Obama say that Trayvon Martin looked like him?

Well because it is true.  The young man from Florida does bear a resemblance to him.  Secondly, he is a human being and we are all appalled about senseless killings like this.  There is no doubt in my mind that there are people in this country who are predisposed to think a young black man shouldn’t be anywhere but in his “place” and if he is, that is grounds for harassment, being run off, or shooting.  (Although that doesn’t mean George Zimmerman felt that way.) It’s also proof there are too many guns in wrong hands.

But, and it pains me to say this, there is another side to this.  I don’t think it was appropriate for the president to say that.  First of all, it’s a local and state matter, not a federal matter.  Just like the situation where the Harvard professor was harassed back in 2009, he is getting into something that is not his jurisdiction.  He needs to mind his own business, but he doesn’t.  He needs to learn what his job is.  Secondly, it gives the appearance that he is only concerned about crimes toward blacks (which I am sure he isn’t, but it’s the appearance).  This happens to a lot of Latinos and Asians, also.  Following that line of reasoning, it appears that he is trying to appeal to his base in the African American community—a political move.  Again, I hate to accuse him of being so cynically political, or politically cynical, but it’s hard not to.  He hasn’t proven himself otherwise.  By saying that Trayvon looks like he could be his son, he is appealing to emotions and possibly inciting more violence in a time where the justice system must take its course.  Emotion is not supposed to enter into the procedures of the justice system, and he is encouraging that. 

People are free to protest and I am glad they do.  But we live under rule of law, and that must prevail.  We don’t live under protest rule.  George Zimmerman must be given a fair trial and not tried in the media.  That is not happening.  I am not defending him.  I am defending the system, which is flawed, but it’s what we’ve got and we can’t throw it out because the president says something personal about the victim. 

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Well stated.....I agree with all your points.

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