Monday, March 26, 2012

Dearly beloved

The world is full of mysteries, great and small. I hope to understand a few of them in what remains of my lifetime, but I'm not sure that there are some questions that shouldn't be left unanswered. Those have to do with human behavior and in particular the question of how and why people arrive at and maintain some of their opinions.

Take attorney Craig Sonner, long time friend of George Zimmerman and his family, who insists that not only is Zimmerman not a racist, but that when many listeners to the 911 recording discerned Zimmerman's voice calling the unfortunate Trayvon Martin a "fucking coon," what they really heard was a term of endearment. Yes indeed, said Sonner to ABC News, amongst the teenagers who reinvent our English language anew every day, "goon" is a term of endearment and that's just what Zimmerman was calling his victim as he prepared to shoot him to death. Most terms of endearment of course are preceded by the gratuitous, yet nearly ubiquitous "fucking" and followed by gunshots. Makes sense, right?

Perhaps it will play a part in Zimmerman's defense if Federal charges are filed and it no doubt will if the charges need proof that the shooting was "racially motivated" but as a pure example of deriving an argument by rectal extraction, and of the ability to state the preposterous with a straight face, this one is remarkable.

There is always the remote possibility that Zimmerman might have done the same to any person wandering the neighborhood. It's possible that he just hated kids, a group probably not intended to fall into a category protected by hate crime legislation, but the problem with hate crimes is that it isn't the crime on trial but rather the motivation and it's very hard to prove motivation. And yet, the kid is dead.

Is it possible, in our emotionally driven and politically directed society for Zimmerman to get a fair trail? I think the facts speak for themselves and I fear that minds are long since closed as usually is the case with witch hunts and lynch mobs and of course those with institutionalized agendas have already reached conclusions that make their causes the root cause of all evil.

It may evolve that there is no clear cut motivation that explains it all, no loophole in Florida gun laws, no ties to the KKK and little more than laziness on the part of the authorities. It may be quite the opposite, but people parading around in hooded sweatshirts or baggy pants or lace up shoes without laces or calling each other goons and calling for gun bans or simply indulging in public cultivation of anger is not going to help justice. The rusty gears of the system are turning and there's no rug big enough to sweep this or any other mixed metaphor under. It's time for the party to end and for dispassionate, blindfolded process justice to begin.

No comments: