I’m gonna give a few thoughts about last night, then I’m done with the topic. I’m also not going to be discussing the actual verdict because that’s not what this is about. I have my opinions about the ruling, you have yours, whatever. If you’ve actually studied the evidence and made up your mind, that’s fine, that’s not what this is about.
This is about how half of the internet managed to fucking disgust me.
For those that don’t know (how could you not by this point?), George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a panel of six jurors last night. Having followed the case and all the attention it got, I knew it would cause a lot of Armchair Jurors and/or Executioners to come out.
What even I didn’t expect was the wave of utterly reprehensible conduct and ignorance that followed in the ruling’s wake. Below, I’m going to list a few of the “best of the worst” pieces I saw people say.
Before I get to those quotes, however, I want you lot to think about something. Under United States law, a person is “Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” Under that presumption of innocence, “The proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies; since, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof.”
Think on that for a moment before we get into the responses below. Done? Okay, good, let’s take a peak at the madhouse.
“I hope Zimmerman gets sued so much that he has to sell his guns and his fire alarms, so his house catches fire and he burns to death.”
Congratulations, your answer to possible murder is for a possibly innocent man to die by means of a horribly long and agonizing death. Remind me to buck mob-rule if the day ever comes that I find myself on trial. I’d rather die at the hands of a legally binding jury than be at the mercy of those with as much compassion and humanity as this.
“This is an act of white supremacist terrorism. It keeps the people in fear while the white man goes free.”
*Head slams down on desk*. Fucking really? Zimmerman’s mother’s from Peru, and his father describes himself as, and I quote, “an American of German descent.” That certainly sounds like the whitest man I’ve ever met, am I right?
Yeah, we’re a country that commits terrorism on various ethnic groups of our own citizens. Hell, this country is so racist, we elected a black man to the White House! Twice! Wait, that doesn’t seem right…
Do we still have a racial tolerance problem? Yes, we do. Just like we have a same-sex tolerance problem, a fair treatment in the workplace problem, and a political problem among many others. Does that mean that every person who’s ever been arrested or killed when they supposedly perpetrated a crime is an act of racism? No, it doesn’t.
“I don’t want tears or disgust from White people.”
Congratulations, you just alienated and contradicted every person (White, Black, Purple, Neon Green, ect) who ever believed in the notion that we should try and deconstruct racism by removing titles like “African American,” or “Black American,” “Asian American,” ect. Instead, you respond to an allegation (not proven allegations, mind you) of racism with more racial segregation.
Don’t you just love the circle of intolerance? It’s just grand, isn’t it?
“SYG defense is successful 73% if victim is black, 59% if victim is white.”
Multiple things to this. A) The SYG law was not applicable in the Zimmerman case, it was a Self-Defense scenario in the eyes of the law. B) The High School drop-out rate was nearly twice as high for Black men than it was for White men. In 2010, an average of 5.9% of White Male students dropped out of High School. That number shoots up to 9.5% of you’re a Black Male. That number than skyrockets up to 17.3% if you’re a Hispanic.
Hell, let’s do one better. Between 2008 and 2009 in the state of Florida: 78,933 White students dropped out of High School compared to 32,167 for Blacks and 34,079 for Hispanics. Seems like the Whites are getting the raw end of the deal for education, right? Wrong. The actual ratio that translates to is, on average, 1.8% of White students, 4.3% among Blacks, and 3% among Hispanics.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d11/tables/dt11_116.asp (2010 National Averages)
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d11/tables/dt11_114.asp (2008-2009 State Breakdown).
So yeah, instead of quoting the ratio of minorities being thrown in jail versus Whites, you might want to instead look to why they might be there. I’ve always been a believer that the lack of a proper education leads to a life of crime, so I’m willing to bet that might be a good start.
Way to go to, Humanity, you really showed some great ideals to strive towards. Maybe next time, you might actually want to calm yourselves down and actually think about the shit that’s flying out of your mouths and how it makes you look.
Before I close this argument, however, I have a few thoughts I’d like to share with you lot.
For those out there who are believers in some form of Heaven and Hell, or the numerous variations of them, there’s this. If you truly believe in punishment and reward upon death, then if Zimmerman was actually guilty, he’ll still get his just sentence in the end. That’s why I’ve never understood the faithful who are afraid of death; If you truly believe in eternal paradise after death, why the hell are you afraid of dying?
For the atheists out there, or those who don’t believe in some form of afterlife, there’s this. A panel of six jurors, all of them Women (who, arguably, might have supported Trayvon’s side of the story a bit more), were presented with a pool of collected evidence, testimonies, and arguments. In the end, they thought that there was, at least, a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman murdered Trayvon, rather than acted out in self defense. Does that mean Zimmerman was entirely innocent? No, it doesn’t, but it does mean that the facts around how Trayvon died weren’t concrete.
Do we have a perfect legal system? Fuck no, it’s barely held together by duck tape and glue. Does that mean, however, that we can reduce ourselves to thinking that we have the right to enact the sentence we think the jury should have given? Fuck no. Laws and regulations, generally speaking, exist for a reason. Lawyers and Federal Agents have to go to college to get degrees, then go through months upon months of training just to understand and act upon the law.
So, maybe, we might want to take a step back and realize that we, the mob, are not the law. There are now a few examples of how that’s been a glaringly good thing, and I’d rather we understand that, calm ourselves down, and act like the rational, compassionate people we’d like others to imagine us to be.