I’ve avoided weighing in on the George Zimmerman trial, out of deference to the judicial process. But now the jury has spoken: George Zimmerman is not even guilty of a lesser charge such as assault, child abuse or manslaughter; still less is he guilty of any degree of murder. It’s official.
My sympathy, and I’m sure all of our prayers and sympathies, continue to go out to Trayvon Martin’s family for the tragic loss of their son and brother.
But I believe they “lost him”, so to speak, before his lethal encounter with Zimmerman. On the total weight of evidence, I believe that Martin was an aggressor, and I agree with the jury that it would have been wrong to send Zimmerman to prison, on the strong possibility (if not likelihood) that Zimmerman acted in reasonable self-defense.
I want to go beyond what Kurt and Roger L. Simon have said about President Obama. He didn’t just besmirch his office by taking public sides in a painful criminal matter where the utmost caution was needed. And he didn’t just lose politically (by taking the side that lost on trial), nor win politically (by revving up his base). No, it’s worse than that. Obama has lost morally by saying things in this matter that, in all likelihood, are morally wrong.
The latest would be Obama’s call to “honor” Travyon Martin:
President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking “ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence.”
…Obama said in a statement on Sunday…”We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
Let’s be clear. Just as the weight of evidence suggests that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, so it also suggests that Travyon Martin used excessive physical force, acting in illegal, criminal aggression. (Otherwise, how could Zimmerman’s action have been self-defense – objectively?)
Physical aggression, especially that which threatens another’s life to the point where he may be justified in taking drastic action, is morally wrong. And self-defense, IF it is genuinely called for, is morally right. And “honor” ought to be given, if at all, to the person, philosophy or action which is in the right.
I really don’t believe that either party should be “honored” here. But, if one of them absolutely had to be, wouldn’t it be Zimmerman? Certainly not because he killed; but because he was – on the weight of the evidence, and as now officially determined by a jury – likely reasonable to have killed, under the law and circumstances; likely the party who was more in the right.
That President O’Pander ignores the moral implications of what the jury found (after their intensive study of the matter), and even presents the opposite to people as that which is good and true, is typical.
Tragically, it is also divisive beyond words, a terrible injury to our nation. Why? Because it sends many people in the wrong direction – with their emotions and their sense of injury inflamed, on behalf of that which is likely wrong. Honoring the wrong does not bring healing – especially in racial matters.