Harsh Reality

Friday, May 13, 2016

We Are Now All George Zimmerman

Whatever else can be said about George Zimmerman, he is a man who is not afraid of negative publicity. He unwillingly got a lot of practice after being thrust into the national spotlight when a routine turn as neighborhood watch guy ended with him killing a man with a single shot while the man was beating him unconscious. Zimmerman’s investigation, arrest and jury trial was the biggest media event of 2013 and his acquittal continued the debate long after the verdict.

By way of side note, regardless of the disbelief expressed at his acquittal by the perpetually-offended set on the left, it was never in any serious doubt. As a former deputy prosecutor and a long-time criminal defense attorney, I was somewhat surprised that Zimmerman was charged at all. Only “somewhat surprised” because the media and leftist pressure to charge Zimmerman was deafening, but it was clearly only charged for that reason. It turned out as they tend to do when a decision to go to jury trial is made on some basis other than the strength of the case. If you recall, the prosecution’s weak case against Zimmerman only got worse as the evidence was presented at trial.

Once the Not Guilty verdict was read, Zimmerman’s life would forever be under the microscope of social justice warriors who still seethe with anger at his ability to slip their grasp and characterize his defending himself while being beaten as having hunted and murdered a young black man.

Zimmerman made news this week when he put up for auction the gun that he used to shoot Trayvon Martin that rainy Florida night in 2012. Zimmerman previously has made news with scuffles with a man he described as a “Black Lives Matter supporter” and his auctioning of his own artwork to help pay his legal fees. Zimmerman also tweeted a picture of himself relaxing in a pool and taunted those who tweet death threats at him. The outrage on social media has been predictable with the lines drawn pretty much where one might expect, with one certain exception.

Several commenters who otherwise believed Zimmerman properly defended himself when he shot Martin found his auctioning of the gun to be unnecessarily taunting his liberal accusers and re-igniting a social media firestorm.

It is actually very fascinating. While it is easy to be disappointed in this kind of un-civil discourse, George Zimmerman is a man whose life has been unfairly changed forever.

Like many Americans he was fed-up with the crime in his neighborhood, so he volunteered to help. During his turn walking the neighborhood, he saw a man he did not recognize and called 9-1-1 and followed him. Martin, on the phone to his girlfriend at the time, told her there was a "creepy ass cracker" following him and indicated to her that he was going to confront him. As he was beating Zimmerman's head against the concrete, Zimmerman fired a single shot. For this, Zimmerman's life has been changed forever. He was arrested, prosecuted, vilified in national media and now has to live in hiding, forever looking over his shoulder. While the auction of the gun may be a bit ghoulish, he is in a situation that he didn't ask to be in. He was in his own neighborhood, he was attacked, and he did the only thing he could do besides let himself be killed. The people who hate George Zimmerman are going to keep hating him whether he mocks them or not. In light of that, it is hard to blame him for flipping the bird, so to speak, at the people who hate him.

Most people don’t have a sizable group of persons who want to kill them. Or even one person, one would hope. But George Zimmerman can't live a normal life like the rest of us. At last report, Zimmerman still has a bounty on his head by the Black Panther Party. And who knows how many Black Lives Matter thugs would love to be famous for killing him? He cannot mow his lawn. He cannot go to the grocery or stand at a gas pump without looking over his shoulder and wondering if his killer is nearby. If Zimmerman was just a normal guy, the auctions of these paintings and the gun used to kill Martin would be unfortunate and tasteless. But with all that he has been put through and what they have taken from him, it is difficult to judge him for not just going away and hiding like a scared worm without flipping said bird.

Zimmerman killed a man who was trying to kill him.

So what should Zimmerman have done differently? What lessons can we all take from his situation? Should we not form a neighborhood watch or otherwise try to impede criminals? Should we not call authorities and try to see where a stranger is going or what he might be doing? Should we not carry a lawfully owned firearm? Should we refuse to defend ourselves when attacked? When it is legally settled that we committed no crime, should we show the left that we are unafraid of their death threats?

For many on the left, we should do none of these things.

In this way, it is reflective of the theme on the left that any interference with someone identified by liberals as a member of an “oppressed” group is an act of racism, regardless of facts, or the safety of an individual or community.

We are seeing this play out in the presidential election with regard to illegal immigration and the flood of Muslim “refugees”. There comes a point where the outrage and cries of racism from liberals no longer matters. Their threats no longer matter. Any attempt to stop the devastating effects on our safety and our economy are met with accusations of bad intentions and racism. We are all George Zimmerman now. And Donald Trump is America’s proverbial bird that’s being flipped at our accusers.

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