Sunday, July 14, 2013
Rioting Over Zimmerman? Really?
This weekend brought a not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case. And with said verdict came the next chapter of this story: The rallies and angry rioting. Cory Monteith would die all over again if he knew about this. Too soon to make jokes against some kid who gave away a dream life for drugs? I digress.
Let me get this straight: You have the energy to break business windows and spray paint cop cars because some total stranger in Florida was found not guilty of killing some other total stranger? And you’re from Oakland? When it comes to the Pop-Culture Taxonomy, the Zimmerman Verdict is somewhere between Ike & Tina Turner’s Divorce and Ja-Rule’s incarceration. It doesn't seem like that now. But you won't remember George Zimmerman in ten years.
It’s because this is a race thing. Here we go again with that. Why does calling something a race thing give citizens a green light to start civil wars in city neighborhoods? Did Zimmerman target Martin because he was black? Of course he did. The neighborhood was under threat of serial break-ins, and the perpetrators were described as young, black males, so the story goes. Zimmerman shouldn’ve taken the law into his own hands. Zimmerman’s an idiot. Did he kill Martin because he was black? No. He killed Martin because the kid was beating the crap out of him.
Let me analogize this to my own life. Last night I had dinner with my wife at the Albany Pump Station. At the next table a group of young guys were boozing, getting ready to hit it hard on a Saturday night. They looked like a nice group. One of these guys was wearing a fedora. He looked a bit silly. (Trust me, I often looked more than a bit silly in my going-out days.) I caught myself eyeing him and his hat. He may've seen me. Maybe not. If I had decided to confront him physically about it, whatever happened next would be my fault. I have no idea who he was or what he was capable of. He could've been armed. He could've killed me. That's why you don't confront strangers unless you absolutely have to. Did Martin have to confront GZ? I don't know. Did he have to pummel him? Probably not. The NAACP is going to try and turn this kid into Emmett Till. Not even close.
Regardless of where your politics fall, destroying infrastructure because you’re outraged over this verdict is ridiculous. Zimmerman killed that kid. Correct. But they couldn’t prove it WASN'T self-defense. Live with it. And if you can’t live with it, and decided to spray paint PIG on a cop car because you're SO angry, you don't belong in society. “We’re all Trayvon Martins.” No, no you're not. Am I missing the significance of this case? Maybe.
Why is race an issue in this country? Maybe rioting in a city two-thousand miles away from a bad verdict is why. What are we gonna do next? Riot when TV watchers vote a minority contestant off AMERICA’S GOT TALENT. Maybe the problem with this country is everyone thinks they should be heard on everything. We all want a piece of this seemingly-obtainable fame, even if it’s fame for something bad. Listen to me. Take me seriously. I’m SO outraged over everything. The players in this case have nothing to do with you or your life.
If you must do your rallies, fine, go for it, but the verdict's in. Truthfully the DA down there was bullied into arresting Zimmerman, charging him, and finally dragging this unwinnable wreck of a case through trial. But public outcry came and came some more, so the fold job was official. As for the rioting--and the number of incidents was small, thank God--save that for its intended purpose: After your city wins a major sports championship. That’s when smart people do their window breaking and car flipping.