Zimmerman case demonstrates how real heroes are not welcome in America
July 22, 2013 Leave a comment
What is the meaning of the George Zimmerman affair? I have a few ideas. I could write about various aspects at length right now, but I have been so drained by arguing this topic in the past week I feel I just can’t go on anymore.
Zimmerman could be seen as the kind of ritual sacrifice America seems to periodically require in order to assuage the guilt of Jim Crow and slavery. The gun-control crowd tried their damnedest to make it about Stand Your Ground laws that were completely irrelevant to the case (laws that disproportionately benefit blacks, by the way). Perhaps this is a problem of ambitious prosecutors, products of the overwhelmingly liberal law schools – and perhaps embarrassed by the fact they spend their lives sending black and Hispanic kids to jail – hoping to nail, like Captain Ahab, that elusive Great White Defendant.
I want to focus on one aspect, and that is the inversion of the image of heroes and villains in modern America, or at least what it takes to be seen as the good guy or the bad guy.
George Zimmerman is a man of the lower middle class. He had dreams and aspirations. He looked out for his community. Aside from giving up his time to voluntarily police a neighborhood frequently targeted by hoodlums, he fought his local police force to achieve justice for a mistreated black homeless man, Sherman Ware, in 2010. Zimmerman helped to ensure the son of a police officer was arrested for beating Mr. Ware. The local black community was silent throughout.
What does a man like this do just after being acquitted of a murder charge, after being hounded for over a year, and having to live in hiding for fear of a modern-day lynch mob? Why, he rescues a family of four from an overturned vehicle, that’s what.
Yet Zimmerman, trying to do the right thing, ended up being portrayed as a villain. Perhaps not too long ago, his active citizenship would have been seen as admirable. But America changed for the worse.
Trayvon Martin chose the life of a dropout and a thug, and ended up being portrayed as an angel. We saw a picture of his angelic twelve year old self, free from gold grills, or a hoodie, or a wife-beater vest. We saw Zimmerman’s mugshot.
Would Trayvon Martin have done what Zimmerman did with that imperilled family only today?
Unlikely. This is the young man who had a Twitter account under the name of ‘No Limit Nigga’, where he expressed such gems as: “2 glock 40’s…. bitch u got 80 problems”. This is the young man with a drug habit and who was suspended from school after being found with a bag full of stolen jewelry and a screwdriver.
Today, America’s justice and welfare systems screw over the lower middle classes, struggling to better themselves in a perilous economy. It favors those dropouts who glorify thuggery yet portray themselves as victims. The people on the front-line in Zimmerman’s community realize what he was up against. That’s why they have not supplied any useful witnesses for the prosecution. Most journalists and academics will not grasp this point. They are too detached from the reality of ordinary people in Sanford, weathering multiple break-ins, crippling mortgages, and a decline in property values.
George Zimmerman is a bit like the State of Israel: he’s got one of the only houses where you would really want to live in a tough neighborhood, but he always happens to be on trial for using force to keep the savages from his door. And the savages? They are glorified. Young people in Europe wear keffiyehs as a fashion statement. Martin’s family attempted to trademark the phrases “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon”, following in the noble tradition of the King family, who managed to squeeze $800,000 out of the folks who built a memorial to their father in Washington D.C.
One of the few real heroes to emerge from this story, by the way, is former Sanford police chief Bill Lee. He refused to arrest Zimmerman last year on the grounds that there was absolutely no legal basis to do so. Racial activists eventually changed all that, despite the experts who predicted what would happen, and Lee was fired. This I see as an example of mob rule, from which it seems nobody in America is safe. Will this man get his job back now?
Will Zimmerman just be seen for the decent man that he is, and not a monster?