• Rabbi Yitzchak Mizrahi

Guns and Races

I’ve been following the case of Zimmerman/Martin since the shooting happened, or, more accurately, since the media placed this story in the headlines. The police did not press charges against Zimmerman when the shooting happened since the story seemed to be one of self defense – or, if you like, since the victim was just a black kid.

But the public, or rather the media, insisted that this was a case of racial profiling. Zimmerman went after Martin, stalking him, provoking him and eventually murdering him. The right wing media responded by defending Zimmerman and so the war began. We, the public, quickly formed our opinions and conclusions. We chose sides, convinced that we knew best how justice could be served, one way or another. The story became of high interest to most United States citizens, dividing the country along the same lines that it has traditionally been divided. Even the president took sides, typically finding fault with the ‘stupid’ police. “If I had a son he would look like…”

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is in chaos, and we can’t understand how people can be so un-accepting of law and democratic elections. Egypt’s military just removed its elected leader from office. It has its reasons and claims. The elections were never legitimate, there was corruption in his administration, whatever the justifications are, we look at Egypt with some derision and belittlement because they can’t hold it together. They cannot accept the results of elections and live with it.

And us? Are we any better? Can we accept the decisions of a court system, can we allow a jury to make a call on whether a man is guilty of manslaughter or not after listening to all the evidence and the appeals of both lawyers?

Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.

Just hours after the verdict was decided, petitions were being sent to the attorney general to see that ‘justice’ is served. Zimmerman was acquitted and that was not the way this was supposed to turn out. This was supposed to be another Rosa Parks moment. That jury took the steam out of this whole play.

Surely, if Zimmerman would have been found guilty, petitions would have gone out instantly, condemning the decision of a jury to convict an innocent man who acted only in self defense.

One thing we can all agree on. The jury has no authority to decide against my foregone conclusion.

There were only two people present at the shooting, and one is unfortunately dead. There is no way to reverse that. Half of the story died with Trayvon and the other half will probably go to the grave with Zimmerman. All the other halves of the story that opinionated people will swear it happened just as they say it did, have no foundation in truth or in reason. Demonstrations in the streets during the court session belie a serious lack of confidence and trust in the court system. If the prosecutor can’t make his message clear to the jury with his arguments surely I can with the signs and banners. If the jury won’t listen to reason as relayed by the defendant, surely they will listen to my silent pressure for acquittal.

I would prefer any day of the year to leave a guilty man out of prison than put an innocent man behind bars. We are not dealing with a radical terrorist who is apt to blow up hundreds if we give him access to the streets.

America, get over your obsession with race. We can’t let it go. It shows up everywhere on both sides of issue. If we elect the black president and not the other it is because we feel guilty and need to give more support to the black – regardless of whether he is competent. If we elect the other, it is certain that the black candidate lost the elections, not because of he/she is less competent but because of color. We just can’t get past the race issue!

#Politics

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