The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

HOODZ IN HOODS FROM THE HOOD

Michael Brown was a thug and a resident of Ferguson, MO.  On August 10, 2014 he became the late Mr. Brown after he robbed a convenience store, shoved around the owner of that establishment, wrestled with a policeman for his gun and refused to obey officer Darren Wilson’s order to stop – instead preferring to charge at him.  Officer Wilson shot him dead and saved the country a great deal of expense in trials and the cost of jail time and probably only sped up what was destined to be Mr. Brown’s nearly inevitable future.  RIP, Michael Brown.  And bask in the glory of God’s love – or whatever heat source may be present where you now reside.

In life Mr. Brown physically was a large man.  In death he has become even bigger and been elevated to the status of “martyr” as the poster child for a movement known as “Black Lives Matter”.  I have some experience with movements going back fifty years as both a participant and an observer.  These days, my involvement in them generally centers about my bathroom routine – which I am pleased to add is going nicely.

In 1968 the Democrats held a convention in Chicago.  There was a movement afoot then, an anti-Vietnam War movement, which resulted in violence.  None of the protesters was killed.  But nearly forty demonstrators who were present, agitating for “peace” were beaten by night sticks attached to the arms of Chicago’s police department.  Incidentally, all of the protesters who went to the hospital happened to be white.

Now if you’re thinking that this anecdote supports the present narrative that the police are evil, nasty people who have to take out their repressed need to exhibit violence on anyone who crosses their path, (according to #BLM primarily directed against black law abiding citizens) you should be aware that there is more to the context of this story which might affect your view.

Yes, it is true that the police beat up a bunch of demonstrators.  But was there provocation or did the police simply decide to bash some young upstarts?  Well, the truth is that the police acted in a restrained manner until the demonstrators began throwing bags of feces and urine at them.  At that point they had pretty much the same reaction that anyone in or out of uniform would have felt.  Anger.

To my knowledge, no one has ever died because human excrement was hurled at and hit them.  While being the recipient of that sort of abuse is clearly revolting, it is not life threatening.  And in Chicago, none of the protesters was killed as a result of their incredibly bad behavior.

On the other hand, Michael Brown was 6’ 5” tall and weighed 289 pounds.  I don’t care what color he was but if I saw someone of that size charging at me as Officer Wilson testified and the forensics supports, I would feel gravely threatened.  Wouldn’t you?

So what is the “point” that Black Lives Matter is trying to make?  That seems somewhat unclear other than to have their five minutes of fame as other evanescent groups such as Occupy Wall Street have attained.  As I understand it, which is perhaps imperfectly since their message is a bit opaque, they are angry about the number of blacks who are incarcerated in our prison system.  Well, I’m angry about that too.  If those jailed blacks were leading productive lives rather than committing crimes, we could save about $3 Billion a year.  I can think of a lot of much better ways to spend that amount of money.

According to the NAACP, of the 2.3 million Americans who are incarcerated, nearly forty percent, over one million, are blacks.  On the surface, considering that the black population of the United States is about thirteen percent, this seems disproportional.  The “thesis” that Black Lives Matter puts forth is that blacks are arrested for the same crimes for which whites get a pass.  Their claim is that most of those blacks are incarcerated for “petty drug crimes”.  Not that it will matter to #BLM, the statistics don’t support that argument.

The latest statistics which I could find come from 2012.  In that year, a total of only 309,100 inmates were in jail for drug crimes of any type.  That includes both Federal and state prisons and represents a decrease from the 338,076 people who were incarcerated in the year 2000 for similar offenses.  So if the NAACP’s statistics about black incarceration are correct, that leaves us with about 700,000 inmates who are in jail for other reasons.

In 2012, just under a million people were in Federal or state prisons for either “Violent” or “Property” crimes.  Violent crimes are categorized as ones which include, murder, manslaughter, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, other sexual assault, robbery, assault, and other violent crimes.  A total of 721,200 prisoners fit that definition.  Property crimes are categorized as ones which include burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, fraud, and other property crimes.  There were 247,100 prisoners who fell into that classification.

Even if we accept #BLM’s narrative that blacks get incarcerated for drug crimes which whites skip on, why are the remaining 700,000 black Americans in jail?  Could it be that they have been convicted of either Violent or Property crimes?  And if they committed those crimes, is it not appropriate that a civilized society put them away in the interest of protecting the vast majority of society which obeys the law and do not engage in those activities?

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the recent re-enactment of the protests in Ferguson which took place at the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death was the fact that quite a few of the protestors chose to wear hoods, thus disguising who they were.  In 1968 the protestors at the Democratic convention did not wear hoods.  They were proud to let people know who they were because they believed in what they were doing.  But I can think of two other groups which regularly wear hoods.  The first of those is ISIS’ executioners.  The second is the KKK.

THE NUDIST REVOLUTION

Thankfully, we survived the dire warnings that there would be an ISIS strike against the homeland on the 4th of July weekend.  (Those in my former home town, Chicago, didn’t fare quite as well with fifty shot and ten killed there).  Perhaps the attitude of the gang members, presumably the ones who were the perpetrators of these crimes was that if ISIS is going to take a break from terror, we’re here to stand in for them.  As a side note, not one single NRA member was arrested in conjunction with any of those shootings.

Perhaps it’s one of those glass half empty/glass half full scenarios.  No reasonable or even anemically red-blooded American would hope that there had in fact been an ISIS related incident this past weekend.  But what is disturbing is that there was a bombast of information spread through the media that we should all be on our toes and report any suspicious behavior – although if this message were really intended for us to do that, one would expect that there would be some central phone number which we should call.  Most of us do not have the number for the FBI on our speed dial.  And while there was no ISIS incident this weekend, the unfortunate side-effect of that is that in the future we are more likely to be skeptical and less inclined to be vigilant should another such alert be broadcast.  Most humans have an attention span of a goldfish and at least some of us have read the story of The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Perhaps our biggest impediment to defeating the potential of an ISIS attack, other than the present administration, is that a significant portion of our population, we’ll call them the far left, are more concerned with seeking political advantage than they are addressing real problems – and one of their most potent tools is trying to dissect the population of the USA by dividing us into preformed little cubby holes.  Among those are gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin – but the list goes on and on.  So as I was thinking about this I realized that there is one thing that is true of all humans, irrespective of any of the pigeon holes into which the left would assign us.  We are all naturally nudists – or at least we are all born naked.

Now I defy anyone to dispute that claim.  No, I don’t have a science background (which is to say I’m not dependent on a government grant to maintain my life style by coming up with “data” to support what the bureaucrats in Washington, D. C. want me to find).  And it’s true that I have not been personally present at the birth of every human child since mankind discovered whoopee and began making more of us.  But I’ve never yet heard of a later to be straight woman being born wearing an Hermès scarf or a future lesbian woman being born wearing a newborn-sized set of steel toe boots.

Nudism could unite the country.  If nothing else, if we all adopted a nudist lifestyle, those of us – and I include myself in this group – who are a bit out of shape, could perhaps find motivation to eat more healthfully and perhaps get more exercise.  Think about the money that would be saved by not having to buy the latest fashion since there would be none.  Granted, we might cause significant damage to the industrious, hard working and underpaid people in Sri Lanka and other third world countries which manufacture the stuff that we find in our retail stores.  But that might encourage them to find new jobs in agriculture, turning previously unfertilized land into new and rich farm soil and increasing the rice crop which might go far in eliminating hunger globally.

The largest impediment to bringing about a nudist revolution in the United States is probably the airlines.  (But since they’re presently under the scrutiny of the Department of Injustice – their days may be numbered anyway).  No longer will they be able to gouge the flying public with outrageous fees for regularly checked or overhead placed baggage since all we would need for our trips would be a toothbrush and some mouthwash.  And as an improvement to national security, we would no longer be faced with the threat of some militant jihadist trying to get on board wearing an underwear bomb since Fruit of the Loom (a Warren Buffet company) would be a thing of the past.

You might think this idea farfetched – but rumor has it that if she’s elected our next President, Hillary Clinton plans to issue an executive order, mandating that all Americans go nude.  Of course, as is characteristic of Ms. Clinton’s past behavior – this newly enacted edict will apply to everyone else – but not to her.  And that would be a blessing.

THE BIG FIGHT AND PRISON REFORM

On Saturday, May 2nd there will be a big fight in Las Vegas – just in case you missed hearing about it.  Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will duke it out at the MGM in what is billed as “the fight of the century.”  (That would seem to be a bit premature as the century is only fifteen years old and who knows what is yet to come).

It is estimated that this fight will generate an insane amount of revenue and that Mayweather and Pacquiao will each earn in excess of $100 million in their 60/40 split.  Since boxing is inherently a violent sport and we know that all liberals would rather hand out flowers and give the peace sign to all passersby than engage in anything combative, I can only assume that conservatives whom the left points to regularly as being instigators of war, dissension and all the ills with which mankind is burdened will be the only people in attendance either in person or via the miracle of Pay Per View.

Further cementing my argument that only conservatives will have the desire to watch this contest is the left’s insistence on bringing to justice and avoiding any of those who engage in perpetrating the “War on Women,” (ISIS being a notable exception) is Mayweather’s rather checkered past in this regard.  His conviction in 2012 of domestic abuse resulted in an 87 day jail term of which he served 60 days.  Apparently the Australian government takes this sort of thing rather more seriously than the American people at large since they denied a visa to Mayweather to come to the Land Down Under to do a promotional tour.

It seems to me rather an anomaly that while we give lip service to the evils of violence, (note the recent protests regarding the violence allegedly inflicted on Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD by six members of that city’s police department) we not only condone but actively participate in an act of violence because we define it as a sport, boxing.  This certainly demonstrates the human ability to be on both sides of an issue.  While we do not yet know how the charges which have been leveled against the officers who were involved in Mr. Gray’s apprehension and subsequent unfortunate death will be determined in a court of law, we do know that many professional and amateur fighters have died as a result of injuries that they sustained in the ring.

http://www.ranker.com/list/famous-people-who-died-of-boxing/reference

In some regard we have made the “sport” of boxing a bit more civilized than when the ancient Greeks participated in it in the early Olympics.  Then the fighters were matched irrespective of weight and rather than the soft gloves we use today, hard leather straps were wrapped around the fists of the fighters which often resulted in scarring when a solid punch was landed.  Of the three “combat sports,” boxing, wrestling and pantakrion, (a combination of the techniques of the first two), boxing was considered the most dangerous.

As we approach “the big fight” on Saturday, I was startled to learn that a ringside seat in the arena can cost a six figure price.  All to watch two men beat the tar out of each other.  Whatever the outcome of the fight, that we are still so involved as a species in not only witnessing but vicariously participating in what can only be described as a controlled act of violence speaks volumes to our evolution as people.  How much further might we go to satisfy our apparent blood lust?

The left has made the argument that our prisons are bursting at the seams and there is an over-representation among that population of minorities.  Both parts of that statement are true – although the reasons might be subject to debate.  While they have no difficulty supporting abortion on demand, they are horror struck that people are adjudged as having committed crimes that are so heinous as to be deemed worthy of the death penalty.  They point to the fact that we have more people on death row than the rest of the world combined.  That may be because organizations like ISIS don’t normally have a complex process of appeals that lasts for decades and generally dispense summary beheading.  I have also heard some on the most extreme fringe of the political spectrum argue that life in prison itself is “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Here’s a thought that would lower the prison population of people with life sentences or on whom the death penalty has been imposed, would both save us a boatload of money by reducing the numbers of those whom society has to support in our penal institutions and would raise a significant amount of money from blood lusting viewers.  I owe the origination of this thought to the fact that I happened to watch a broadcast of “Gladiator” the other night.

We offer those on death row and those with life sentences the opportunity to get out of jail by participating in a gladiatorial style conflict – a battle to the death. Whether the inmate chose to participate would be at her or his sole discretion.   If the participant survives three of these bouts, she or he is freed.  Now how simple is that?  If we were to implement this it would result in a guaranteed minimum reduction in the number of these criminals by at least 75%.  And consider that if four million people are willing to pay $100 to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight on television, can you imagine what they would be willing to pay to watch a battle to the death?

You might, as a civilized person, recoil from this modest proposal.  I can certainly understand that.  Or perhaps you’re simply concerned that we are going to release some number of known violent criminals back into society.  But we know that under former DOJ Attorney General Eric Holder, hundreds of known violent offenders were let back into the general population.  At least those who were sufficiently depraved would have a few minutes of entertainment and the money from these fights could be heavily taxed to fund research into what there is in our DNA that allows far too many of us to act out violently and hopefully find a vaccine to prevent it in the future.

THUGS

I’m not sure how old I was but my first bicycle came with training wheels.  You may know the type if you’re old enough.  There were two extra tires attached to the back in order to stabilize me as I peddled down the street.  And then came the big day.  My father said that it was time to take off the training wheels and let my bicycle be a real bicycle with only its original two wheels to carry me on my voyage.  That was a day when I had a great deal of fear and trembling as I watched my father remove the two wheels on which I had come to rely.

We came down from the apartment with my newly stripped bike and my father helped me up into the seat.  I practiced mounting and dismounting several times, Dad holding the handle bars until I started to feel comfortable with doing it.  And then we took off, my father running at the side of the bicycle as I uncertainly wobbled down the street.  The wobbling was less noticeable the faster I went – but my father had a little problem keeping up at the faster speed.  And then, he let loose his grip and I was on my own, flying down the street with a big grin on my face.

Off we went to Central Park where I rode around for well over an hour, my confidence in my ability growing by the minute – but always under the watchful eye of my father should something unexpected happen.  This was in the days before helmets or body padding the thickness of the Great Wall of China.  If a kid fell off a bike there was a high likelihood that there would be some abraded skin – but that was life and if that child were smart enough would review what she or he did wrong to avoid a repeat engagement of the same kind.

Several weekends went by and my father always accompanied me on the biking outings.  Even though New York was safer than it is today, my parents were perhaps over-protective of their only child.  Or maybe they just took a deeper interest than parents today.  If I were to go to a friend’s apartment for a party, Dad always walked me there and picked me up when it was time to go home.  Even then there were evil people in the world – a fact that was lost on me but quite evident to my parents based on their own experience.

Well, about three weeks after I first got my taste of freedom, one Sunday Dad and I were off to the park when my father noticed that there was a parking space across the street which would be legal parking until Tuesday.  I think our De Soto spent more time looking for a parking space due to New York’s alternate side of the street rules than actually taking us anywhere, so if Dad could grab this spot he was set for two days.  (He took the subway to work).  So he rushed down the street to our car and left me in front of our apartment building holding my bike and waiting for his return so that we could go off to the park.

As I was waiting his return, a kid, probably four or five years older than I was, ran up to me, pushed me to the ground and stole my bike.  I tried running after him but he obviously had an advantage and he reached Park Avenue way ahead of me.  He turned the corner when I was still half way to the avenue and by the time I got to the corner he had disappeared.  My father saw me without my bike and although he gave up the wonderful parking space to give pursuit, we never saw that kid again.

That was the first time I heard the word “Thug.”  My dad used it to describe this boy’s actions both to me and to the police.  But, needless to say, the young criminal got away with his theft and I never saw that bike again.  If I were to make a guess, I would say that my assailant was Hispanic – probably Puerto Rican as most Hispanics in New York at that time came from that island.  Dad didn’t use the term “thug” to describe him because of his ethnicity but because of what he had done.  Theft and pushing little kids around was thuggish behavior – then as now.

The recent protests in Baltimore and elsewhere throughout the country have caused this word which I considered long dormant to resurface into the vocabulary of our media and politicians.  Obama used it to describe the criminals who earlier this week looted the CVS pharmacy, destroyed 144 cars and set fire to a row of apartment houses.  But there are some in this country who want to make the use of “thug” the center of our focus on what is happening in our inner cities – likening it to the pejorative term, “N*gger.”

Using the term thug proves to their minds that America is indeed a racist country.  What a waste of time – and, sadly, a large percentage of the media, either because of their extreme aversion to asking pithy questions or more frighteningly because they are unable to formulate them, is perfectly happy to play this game.  Media, give it a rest already.

There are some people in this world who are thugs, plain and simple.  They take advantage of others whether it’s through rude behavior or worse, behavior that is rightly illegal.  Destroying a car is an act of thuggery; throwing rocks at other people, police or otherwise, is an act of thuggery; setting an apartment building on fire is an act of thuggery; stealing a little kid’s bike is an act of thuggery.

Thugs should go to jail.  Hopefully, unlike the Mayor of Baltimore who apparently ordered the police to “stand down” as the rioters had their way under the theory that, “It’s only property,” those in positions of authority in cities where these demonstrations transgress the line from peaceful protest to outright thuggish behavior will take the appropriate action.  Society as a whole, black and white alike, would be better off with these rabble rousers under lock and key rather than roaming our streets and endangering our populace.

BUS FARE

About twenty years ago, give or take, business was booming in my temporary help business.  We had, after a lot of work and a great deal of frustration, developed a core constituency of clients who ordered office help from us week after week.  These were major corporations like Budget Rent A Car and The Quaker Oats Company.  Not only did they order from us with regularity – we could depend on receiving payment for our invoices in a timely manner.  Naturally, we were appreciative of their business and bent over backwards to keep them happy – making sure that we filled every assignment with a qualified person.

Every so often they would throw us a “ringer” position.  Our specialty was in secretarial help – but from time to time they would request someone for the mail room or to do document copying.  We did not have a big bench of people with those skills as that was not the focus of our recruitment efforts.

One day, one of our best clients requested a person for a two month period to work in sorting and delivering inter-office mail (naturally this was long before email was in the extensive use in which we find it today).  The client indicated that if they were happy with the person we assigned, it might turn into a permanent position.

After combing through our files we called the few people who could handle the position and would be likely to accept it.  One of those, a young man named Jamal had worked on two assignments for us although it had been quite some time since we had an opening that was appropriate for his limited skill set.  But we called him and he said he was available.  That’s when I heard one of the most heartbreaking truths about poverty and the inner city.

“You know, I would like to take the job – sounds good – and I’d like something could turn permanent.  I been looking for permanent work for a year.  But, problem is, I don’t have the bus fare to get to work.”

I didn’t talk to this young man but my Sales Manager, Stephanie had the conversation with him and she came into my office to ask if there were something we could do to get him some money so that he had bus fare until he got his first paycheck.  I adored Stephanie.  She was bright, creative and I think most importantly, she had a big heart.  She handed me Jamal’s application and the first thing that I noticed was the he lived in the Robert Taylor Homes – one of Chicago’s worst housing projects.  It was so bad in this part of “the hood” that Chicago’s finest were nervous about responding to calls in “Da Homes.”

I got Jamal on the phone, asked if he would meet us in a half hour outside his apartment building and said that we would be happy to give him a cash advance so that he could get on the bus to take the job.  There was a brief pause when he heard this and then he emotionally said he would be downstairs and described the clothes he was wearing.  So I grabbed one of the guys in the office (without telling him where we were going) and we headed out to the projects, stopping at the bank to cash a small check and make sure I had some singles and quarters in the forty dollar advance as the CTA frowned on its riders who didn’t have exact change.

True to his word, Jamal was downstairs as we pulled up, navigating between the empty McDonald’s containers that littered the area in front of his building.  I handed him the details of the assignment, two time sheets and the forty dollars.  The Cheshire Cat had nothing by way of a grin that came over the face of this young man.

This is one of those stories that has a happy ending – well sort of.  Jamal showed up at our client on time and did a great job.  After the first week he came into our office and brought his time sheet.  He thanked everyone, starting with our receptionist, then Stephanie and me for giving him this chance.  The client apparently was very pleased with him and had told him that if he kept up the good work for the two month duration of the assignment they would make arrangements with us to hire him permanently.  Jamal was 22 years old and had never had a full time job.  And that is, in fact, what happened.

About two years went by.  Our relationship with the client grew and in a typical week we had more than thirty temps working at their corporate office.  One morning Stephanie came into my office, tears streaming down her cheeks.  I got up from my desk, fearing that something tragic had happened with one of her family members, put my arms around her and asked what was wrong.

“I just got off the phone with Vera Jackson.  (She was the lady who placed orders for temporary help for this client.)  Jamal was coming home from work on Friday and when he got to his apartment, he was killed in a drive by shooting.  Vera said that he had told her that he had nearly saved up enough to move out of the projects and into a safer neighborhood and was looking for an apartment.  If only he had found one a few weeks sooner.

I thought about Jamal yesterday as I watched the riots in Baltimore.  According to the news report, the thugs who had the accelerant and the matches burned 140 cars in one night.  They did their work in a poor neighborhood, burning down what little was there in the first place.  I thought to myself that those cars were the biggest asset their owners held, the way they got to work.

And I thought in light of this destruction, I hope these poor souls have bus fare.

HOW TO FIX AMERICA’S INNER CITY PROBLEMS

Fifty years after the “War On Poverty” had its birth, the nation’s impoverished ghetto residents of our multiple inner cities have not seen their situations improve.  In fact, the truth is quite to the contrary.  That is despite layer after layer of welfare, social program has been enacted and trillions of dollars have been spent, provided by the working taxpayers in this country, all of which were intended to ameliorate these unfortunate people’s conditions.

I’ve said it before and forgive me for repeating myself.  While the 13th Amendment officially outlawed the ownership of one person by another, we have substituted government for the slave owner, keeping its own farm of chattel servants in a permanent condition of ignorance and poverty.  And we euphemistically call this “welfare.”  The reason for perpetuating a system that obviously does not achieve its goal is quite clear.  The purpose of welfare is not to assist people who cannot make it through life on their own.  Its sole purpose is to make sure that the politicians who put it in place can have a reliable group of people on whose votes they can count so that they may live a lifestyle to which none of their constituents may ever aspire.

It is understandable that the black community voted overwhelmingly to elect Barack Obama president.  Logic would suggest that a person whom they saw as one of their own would be a champion, helping them out of their generation long condition of poverty and helplessness.  The sad truth is that Obama has not even focused on the condition of black ghetto dwellers, nor should we have expected that he would.  For the moment that he took the oath of office as President, he joined the ranks of the ruling political oligarchy who are the real threat to this country – not the wealthy one percent of money makers who are the frequent blame for all of America’s ills and perceived inequities.

If you listen to the left, and their voice is very loud, streaming through our television news shows and the vast majority of our newspapers, you will hear the chorus that the white majority in America has as its agenda the mission of oppressing the black minority.  The illogic of that statement is profound.  Because it is the white majority who have jobs and pay taxes that support those who are generationally dependent on government largesse (welfare) and receive no benefit personally for the tax dollars they send to Washington, D. C.  If there were more in our inner city ghettos who had positions, contributed to the tax rolls and did not deplete them through monthly stipend, all Americans, irrespective of color would benefit.

Do you remember the 50,000 shovel ready jobs that Obama promised his constituency and the country?  To my knowledge not one of those jobs ever materialized.  And if we are to listen to the administration, at least as their point of view was expressed recently by Assistant Spokeswoman for the Department of State, Marie Harf, the explanation for the rise and appeal of ISIS (or ISIL to use the government’s preferred terminology) is that militant youth in the Islamic world are turning to it because there is a lack of jobs and opportunity.  If that’s an accurate explanation for the rise of violence in many parts of the world, does it not follow that might be the explanation for the violence that occurred in Ferguson, MO and now in Baltimore, MD?

Following that line of thought, there is an obvious partial solution.  Until 1973, the United States had a military draft.  To this day, 18 year old males are required to register for it even though no one has been called for 42 years.  Perhaps it’s time that we gave the draft another look.

Drafting young people either into the military or a revitalized VISTA program (Volunteers in Service to America) for a two year period would provide them with a “job” and hopefully instill some discipline.  Dropouts who didn’t make it would finish out their original term of service either in the brig or in a juvenile detention facility.  That might seem harsh, but sadly, the curriculum vitae of many, particularly in our inner city ghettos, often contain stints in our more hard core prison facilities.  While we might not be able to redirect everyone into a more productive, focused way of life, we might be able to breathe some life and inspiration into at least some of these young people which hopefully will enable them to free themselves from the chains of dependency which our politicians impose on them through the implementation of our present, failed policies.

ZIMMERMANIA

Just when we began to focus on serious issues like the intensification of Radical Islamic terrorist attacks on Western Civilization, who pops up his head once again but none other than George Zimmerman.  You remember him, don’t you?  He’s the guy who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Florida, was brought to trial and was acquitted.  That judgment resulted in some minor protests (though absent the burnings and lootings which subsequently have become fashionable) and an explosion in the sales of hoodies – much to the pleasure of the manufacturers in China where they are made.

Whatever you thought of the Zimmerman verdict, it’s pretty difficult to argue that George’s subsequent behavior would not suggest a person who is rapidly speeding downhill.  His latest arrest, as I recall his third, suggests that he is not coping too well with reality – or has abdicated much commitment to it.  And while it might be expedient to shake our heads and tut tut his behavior – drawing whatever inferences befit our personal views of the man  – I am surprised that the liberal left press hasn’t gone on to offer us an explanation for it, one that would be consistent with their worldview of other shooting deaths which also involved blacks.

We know from viewing the mainstream media that anyone who is murdered, irrespective of the circumstances, is always the victim.  That is particularly true if that victim happens to be darkly complected, the activity in which he was engaged prior to his expiration being irrelevant.  Just because he was robbing a convenience store or breaking a law prohibiting the sale of loose cigarettes is inconsequential.  There is always an explanation about how society doomed that person to a life of petty crime – or even more serious infractions.  But if we take that “logic” to its inevitable conclusion, that leads us to a paradoxical conundrum.

If we accept that lawbreakers have no free will but are merely marionettes whose strings are pulled in a certain predetermined sequence beyond their control, it seems only reasonable to apply that same robotic condition not just to one segment of society but to everyone.  Therefore, we should not try to convert the racist from his views but rather, accept his view on race as being nothing more than the manifestation of a condition which his environment has imposed upon him.  He is no more guilty of anything than the person who finds that cancer has invaded his body.  It’s just one of those things – a sort of “Deus ex machina” syndrome or to put it in Calvinistic religious terms, nothing more than the earthly expression of predestination.

It is clear that what might be construed as random events do have implications for our lives.  Prior to his encounter with Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman seemed to be quite a decent person.  He was involved in mentoring children, many of whom were black and certainly didn’t exhibit any reported issues which would suggest that he would become a violent person.  If we accept his version of the events that night, confirmed in the jury verdict, he was merely concerned that Martin was a threat both to him and to his neighbors.  Apparently, the local constabulary and the local DA agreed with his explanation and were prepared to let the matter drop.  Enter the DOJ.

Because the Holder Department of Justice has made a six year career of looking for and, inevitably finding, racial motivations in every instance where a black individual is slain by a non-black person, they succeeded in reopening the case and forcing the now famous trial.  And, despite Zimmerman’s acquittal, his life (and that of his family) were forever changed as a result of the trial, irrespective of the outcome.

Zimmerman was once a person who was considered a likeable person and a good neighbor was regularly portrayed in the media as a racist vigilante.  He went into hiding having received death threats.  Perhaps from the stress which we would all feel as a result of being publicly cast as a pariah, his relationship with his wife suffered and they were divorced.  He was involved in several road rage and speeding incidents and now, most recently, was charged with throwing a wine bottle at his current (soon to be ex) girlfriend.  But is any of this Zimmerman’s fault?  Or is he merely a hapless victim, brought to his current condition through a set of circumstances which were beyond his control?

If we accept the premise that the liberal left espouses, we would have to conclude that in the same way that Trayvon Martin was a victim of circumstance, (remember that if he had not been suspended from school for the third time, he might not have gone to the grocery store which led to the fatal encounter), Zimmerman is little more than a marionette whose strings were pulled by the media’s attention to his trial and by the public’s reaction to the way in which he was depicted.  In that light, his recent brushes with the law and domestic violence are little more than expressions of his condition – one which we might describe as Zimmermania.

While it might be comforting on an emotional level to believe that whatever we do can be explained away through some sort of concocted justification, it precludes us from ever being virtuous by doing good at the same time that we can never be criticized for venal behavior.  And if we accept that premise, we are closing the book on life in a moral society and are opening a volume with the one word title, “Chaos.”

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