As a consistent watcher of the political process and the chaos that surrounds it in the world’s most powerful country, I’m often faced with a particular type of disaffected participant in the process. There are a good number of folks who will consistently consider themselves above the process, noting that both sides and bad…and largely the same.
The thing about this latest tragedy is that it is, in fact, just the latest tragedy. It’s not the first, probably won’t be the last, but was in a very sad sense…just the next.
There’s an easy way to feel the outrage from this moment, if in reading the details you don’t get the gist of why it’s such a big deal. The most popular current movie in the theatres, The Hunger Games, includes a scene that has striking similarities. In that movie, the overall cultural specifics are quite different in the large sense, but in the most basic sense the feelings are the same…a young child dies, killed by someone motivated by fear, parts of the crowd cheer…and the sick, twisted injustice of it all sparks a riot.
In the real world there hasn’t been a riot, not this latest time. Sure, there have been in the past, as the rage explodes. That didn’t work as well to change things as the more peaceful means, voting and demonstrating, dreaming and sharing, understanding and demanding to be understood. Integrating and adapting while holding firm to the notion of self that makes Americans American. We’ve made such great progress is so many areas, yet here we stand once again…wondering…why did this happen…what can we do so thing never happens again.
And so our leaders speak…
And those that wish to replace them…
Gingrich shot back at the comments, saying they needlessly involved race in a politically divisive manner.
“What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful,” Gingrich toldconservative talker Sean Hannity. “It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background.”
Gingrich added that the president should have emphasized in his remarks that the shooting in Florida united all Americans.
“Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him? That’s just nonsense dividing this country up,” Gingrich said.
The admitted shooter, George Zimmerman, 28, has claimed self-defense and invoked Florida’s’ “Stand Your Ground” law. The law gives people wide latitude to use deadly force instead of retreating during a fight, and explains why Zimmerman has not been arrested.
Said Santorum: “Stand your ground is not doing what this man did.”
But when asked if the Justice Department should investigate, Santorum said that should be left to local and state authorities.
And the legit one…
After a rally in Shreveport, Louisiana on Friday, Romney called the murder a “terrible tragedy” that was “unnecessary, uncalled for, and inexplicable at this point.”
He added that it was “entirely appropriate” for the district attorney to be looking into the matter, and to have called a grand jury investigation in the pursuit of justice.
“Our hearts go out to his family, his loved ones, his friends,” Romney said. “This shouldn’t have happened.” He declined to comment on whether or not he felt the Justice Department should get involved.
Earlier in the day, the Romney campaign released a statement on the matter: “What happened to Trayvon Martin is a tragedy,” Romney said in the statement. “There needs to be a thorough investigation that reassures the public that justice is carried out with impartiality and integrity.” Romney ignored a question on the Martin story three days ago.
Romney will eventually settle on a position, after he figures out what everyone wants it to be. Then he’ll always have had that view.
And of course, the douchebags needed to weigh in to…for surely an article of clothing was to blame (which actually *concealed* the boy’s race, making it an obvious non-factor).
BRIAN KILMEADE KILMEADE (co-host): Let’s talk about the Trayvon Martin case and what’s going on in Florida right now.
GERALDO RIVERA: I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.
JULIET HUDDY (guest-host): What do you mean?
RIVERA: When you, when you see a kid walking — Juliet — when you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark skinned kid like my son Cruz, who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles. Take that hood off, people look at you and they — what do they think? What’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association?
Here are a “million” instant associations…
And of course the old stand-by…the ad hominem…
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has sparked public outrage after his website, TheBlaze.com, ran a story about the Trayvon Martin case, suggesting that the slain teen was a dangerous criminal.
In the controversial editorial posted on TheBlaze.com, Mytheos Holt criticizes Rev. Al Sharpton for rallying with thousands of supporters who are seeking justice for the Martin family, insisting that the 17-year-old may have had a criminal record.
“This is pure B.S I want to see the kids police record even if something is expunged,” Holt wrote in an article on The Blaze website.
And so it goes…