Monday, July 15, 2013

My Take on The Zimmerman Verdict Us.

Anybody that was there and witnessed George Zimmerman shoot Trayvon Martin, raise your hand.

OK, anybody that was actually on the jury that decided the Zimmerman case, raise your hand.

I didn't think so.

OK then .... everybody that got whatever they know about the case from the media, or by rumor (which is the blunt word for what somebody said on social media) raise your hands.

I thought so.

The protests we're seeing around the country, and indeed the whole seeming upset about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, isn't just a racial deal. It, to me, is more of a reflection of the entire mood of the USA people, and perhaps all people everywhere.

Go back to the early 1800's in the USA for a second. You know who the most hated minority in the USA was? Probably not who you think they were:

The Irish.

The movie "Gangs of New York" touched on that. And if you saw the film, you know how ugly that was.

So why don't us good ol' boy WASPS hate the Irish now? I think it's because they look just like us. And maybe that's the root of the problem ... we tend to dislike people who aren't like us.

Until we get to know them as people. As persons.

The Irish looked just like us, so as quickly as they lost the brogue, and looked and sounded like us, the problem vanished. But with the Black citizenry, that's probably not going to happen. So they'll always be "them and us". Which is, of course, wrong.

But it's not limited to race. Or nationality. I've been observing the acrimony that's flying around the SBC for about 7+ years now, and it is absolutely silly what people are dividing over, sometimes heatedly so.


  • Calvinism vs whatever the other folks are called.
  • Open vs closed vs close communion.
  • Unknown tongues.
  • Women teachers.
  • Women pastors.
  • Whether our church has "Baptist" in its name.
Not to mention political differences affecting Baptists and others (admit it .. your opinion of someone changes the instant they say they voted for Obama .. or worse yet, if the say they like him).

If you want to look outside the USA, check out the demeanor of fans at some soccer matches. Or maybe the "Catholics" and "Protestants" in Northern Ireland.

You get the idea. Where there are differences of most any sort in people, folks will get divisive and acrimonious and sometimes hateful and mean-spirited. And maybe even murderous.

For no good reason.

I have my own opinions about George Zimmerman and they form what is not a kind attitude in my head, but that is irrelevant. Our legal system worked, and he is not guilty.

We can .. and I am sure someone will .. fill books with second guesses and "what if's" about the trial and the verdict. But let me tell you ... if I am in court, charged with a crime, over something I did that I didn't consider a crime, I'd want the best legal defense team on the planet. And so would you.

Our legal system has yielded some victories for Hobby Lobby recently, and for some others in what we consider righteous conservative cases. If you like those but protest the Zimmerman verdict, you're running a risk of being classed as a hypocrite.

Jesus was up to the task with Manuel Noriega, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, the "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz, according to all the credible reports I've seen. He's up to the task with George Zimmerman, too.

If that's not what we're wishing for, or hoping is true, we'd best lose the descriptor "Christian".

The upset we see over the verdict isn't about the verdict. It's about us.

2 Comments:

At 10:32 PM, July 15, 2013, Blogger foolery said...

As expected, well said, my friend boB. We are so very different in our backgrounds and daily lives, you and I, but I totally respect your reasoning and in this case I agree with you. I cannot speak intelligently about the case as I did not follow it (on purpose), but I have a hollow disappointment in a verdict I think was probably legally sound but ethically bankrupt. I think his culpability to his fellow humans was abandoned and denied, no matter how faultless in the eyes of the law. And again, pure speculation as I tried hard to avoid the case.

Thanks for your wisdom, as always.

 
At 9:16 AM, July 16, 2013, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks for the nice words, Laurie.

In some foreign country I've been in .. I forget which .. they have three possible verdicts: Guilty, Innocent, and Not Proven. It would've been nice to have the "Not Proven" option in this case, but our laws are different, and I wouldn't be willing to do away with our presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, just to have that third option.

From what I've read, and what I know about the effect on a man when you strap a legal firearm to his side (I was a reserve policeman for several years), I know in my heart what Zimmerman, but ....

 

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