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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zimmerman, Martin, the media, racism and hypocrisy

There is another terribly sad facet to the Martin/Zimmerman tragedy.

Racism does still exist. It is deplorable when it occurs and needs to be addressed. But the Zimmerman case is indicative of the approach that the media and our political leaders take to racism. They don't deal with facts but promulgate symbols and falsehoods. Worse, they rely on what others have asserted without ascertaining facts for themselves. In the process. by seeing "race" in everything that happens anywhere, these people are practicing a new form of racism that lacks the self-awareness to recognize what they are doing.

What happened in Florida when Treyvon Martin was shot was the result of two people making stupid mistakes. The aftermath saw one life ended and another ruined, and it was needless. However, as people like Bill Cosby have noted, there is no proof that is was caused by racism.

Denouncing the Zimmerman verdict and Zimmerman himself as "racist" has become emblematic of proclaiming "I am not a racist." Despite the facts, which all point to the fact that race was not the cause of the events that led to Treyvon Martin's death.

So as much as racism is a horrendous ongoing blister in our society, we are facing a devastating cancer which is equally problematic. That being the poisonous, self-destructive instinct to accept narratives without ascertaining their veracity. There is nothing new to this manifestation of most people to want to be seen to be "a good person" without actually putting in the most basic work of finding out whether what they are saying is true.

Because the real tragedy we a\re viewing as a result of the Zimmerman verdict is that being perceived to be a good person is valued more highly than actually being one.

The article below from Reason.com tells important facts that have escaped most of the mainstream narrative:
More than a week after George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin, the backlash against the verdict continues. President Obama spoke some undeniable truths when he noted that the African-American community’s intense reaction to the case must be seen in the context of a long, terrible history of racism. But there is another context too: that of an ideology-based, media-driven false narrative that has distorted a tragedy into a racist outrage.

This narrative has transformed Zimmerman, a man of racially mixed heritage that included white, Hispanic and black roots (a grandmother who helped raise him had an Afro-Peruvian father), into an honorary white male steeped in white privilege. It has cast him as a virulent racist even though he once had a black business partner, mentored African-American kids, lived in a neighborhood about 20 percent black, and participated in complaints about a white police lieutenant’s son getting away with beating a homeless black man.

Read the rest of this article at REASON.COM 

1 comment:

Minicapt said...

"… the result of two people making stupid mistakes …"
No, just one. Unfortunately there is an inexplicable need to balance the gross stupidity of Trayvon with some sort of assigned misbehaviour on the part of young Zimmerman. The entire body of evidence presented at his trial did not include any detail pointing to a forbidden or even discouraged action on his part. Should a fault need to be assigned to him, make it 'lack of physical fitness'.

It would appear to be some sort of modern cultural need to try to spread the blame in such cases, especially in the absence of proper evidence.