Monday, July 15, 2013

My main thought:

Added, later on: To all the people (ESPECIALLY white hipsters) putting on hoodies and declaring "I am Trayvon Martin," stop it. You can sympathize with him and his family. But you - especially if you are from a more-privileged background - are NOT him. This is annoying me.This is not the same thing as walking a mile in someone's shoes; this is co-opting someone else for your own purposes.

Okay, disclaimer: I watched as little of the Zimmerman trial as possible. (Trying to find "other" news of the world in the middle of a "trial of the century number 5" means you wind up seeing some of that trial). So I don't know all the facts. Hell, I suspect that no one, outside of God, really knows all the facts.

But a phrase keeps going through my head: an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

I'm willing to accept that Zimmerman acted in self-defense; that seems to be what the jury found. But now, the folks calling for his head, what does that solve? It doesn't make Martin any less dead. It doesn't make two families' lives any less awful now.

And I fail to see what the non-peaceful, property-damaging protests solve - why is burning stuff or breaking the windows of someone who probably never did anything to you an answer? I'm wondering if some of the people are acting that way because they feel like they have been told to act a certain way, or that it's the only way they will see "justice" - to make some other person, someone probably totally uninvolved, to make their life worse. (My minimum goal in life is to not make the lives worse of innocent people around me. It's a pretty small goal.)

Or is it just easier to be angry about this? I don't know. I've been avoiding social media since Saturday night because the frothing on the part of some just gets to me.

For that matter, if we want to be angry about unnecessary deaths, what about all the kids who are dying in Chicago due, mostly, to gang violence? What about the report (I have not been able to substantiate it from what I consider a reliable source, so it may not be true) that a 17 year old kid in Chicago was killed by gang members because he refused to join a gang?

Our society is broken in a lot of ways but it seems that the media wants to focus on only certain ways.Yes, it's awful that Trayvon Martin died. Yes, there were probably things he could have done differently, things Zimmerman could have done differently, maybe even things the local police could have done differently that would have led to a different ending - but that didn't happen. It's sad and unfortunate but I don't think it's the huge indictment of "A Racist America" that some people are playing it up to be. (There is no solid evidence that Zimmerman used a racial slur, for example - if he had been witnessed chasing Martin down the street screaming epithets at him, then I'd say it was definitely a crime in which race played a part. But from what I've seen of the case, that does not seem to be the situation.)

I don't know. This just makes me feel more and more like we're living in a fractured country, where people are being taught to distrust even their neighbors - and while there are genuinely people out there you cannot trust, distrusting and being suspicious of everyone is a bad way to have to live.

I find myself watching less and less news, because I feel like I'm being told what to think, what to feel, what someone else thinks is important - rather than what might actually be important.

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