The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Trayvon Martin’

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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CONSIDER THE SOURCE

My father used the title phrase of this post so many times that I lost count of how often he said it.  If I were upset because someone had said something that was hurtful he would ask me about the individual making the statement.  Normally, it was someone from school.  The fact that I wore glasses at an early age was one area of such commentary.

He would advise me that a person who made fun of a person who needed glasses in order to see would probably also make fun of an old person who needed a cane in order to walk.  “Now, that doesn’t speak very well to the person’s sense of compassion, does it?”, he would ask.

“It’s always important when we listen to others to consider the source.”

Those words are perhaps even truer today than when I heard them as a youngster.  We have so much information thrown at us that simply sorting through it is, in and of itself, virtually a full time job.  That, of course, leaves us with little time to verify that information which is formative in helping us shape our opinions.

And when we hear the same thing, over and over not from one source but from virtually every medium reporting on a particular subject, it is easy to fall into the habit of accepting what we hear as gospel truth.  The assumption is, if everyone is saying the same thing, how could they all be wrong?  And so, in the interest of convenience, we buy the story and think no further about it.  Our opinion has been shaped by others and we have taken ownership of it.

And, of course, that is exactly the objective of advertising.  Repetition tends to breed acceptance – which is why we hear the same ads for a particular product so often.  While we subconsciously know that the purpose of advertising is to sell a product or service and may be annoyed at seeing a specific ad for the hundredth time, we do not see this as deceptive.  But when the same practice exists in our media, presenting us with the “news”, we have every right to be suspicious of the source and of its author’s motivations.

Back in the 1950’s, New York had three morning newspapers:  “The New York Post”; “The Herald Tribune”; and “The New York Times.”  “The Post” tended to contain stories that were written in a somewhat more salacious way although in dad’s opinion they had the best sports section.  “The Trib” and “The Times” approached news stories in a more in depth manner, the difference being that “The Trib” was far more conservative in its outlook.

Because my father liked to stay informed, he would purchase copies of all three, reading only “The Post’s” sports section and relying on the other two papers for news of current events.  I think that speaks well to his desire to form objective opinions.

In truth, he leaned far more closely to the interpretation of facts as they were described in “The Trib” but he wanted to hear the other side’s point of view as well.  It’s hard to defeat an opponent if you don’t understand what that opponent’s “modus vivendi” is.

There is a source on which I frequently rely because it generally does a decent job of providing information that I need – particularly as it pertains to movies and movie stars.  That source is www.nndb.com.  For example, if I am researching the cast of a particular film and only remember one of the actors who starred in it, by entering their name I can pull up that person’s biography, together with a (usually) complete listing of all the films in which he appeared.  By then going to a specific film I can bring up the entire cast and, if I wish, click on their names to access their bios as well.

Well, I’ve given credit to NNDB for the good job they do of detailing movie personalities and their artistic appearances – but when it comes to current events, I cannot offer the same commentary.  Below you will see the postings on NNDB for two people who have been in the news lately – Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman:

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon MartinAKA Trayvon Benjamin Martin

Born: 5-Feb1995
Died: 26-Feb2012
Location of death: Sanford, FL
Cause of death: Homicide
Remains: Buried, Dade Memorial Park, Miami, FL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Victim

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Shot and killed by George Zimmerman

Shot and killed while walking home by George Zimmerman, a hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer who had been specifically instructed by 911 not to pursue Martin. The killing became politically charged with many conservatives taking the side of Zimmerman, blaming the hoodie that Martin was wearing. Fox News quietly removed the hoodie they were selling from the network’s online store. On 11 April, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, and turned himself in. In 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of the charge by an all-female, mostly white jury.

Father: Tracey Martin
Mother: Sybrina Fulton
Brother: Jahvaris Fulton
Sister: Michelle
Girlfriend: (age 17 at the time of Martin’s death)

High School: Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, Miami, FL

Autopsy

George Zimmerman

George ZimmermanAKA George Michael Zimmerman

Born: 5-Oct1983
Birthplace: Manassas, VA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Criminal Defendant

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Killed Trayvon Martin

Overzealous neighborhood watch volunteer. Pursued, shot, and killed Trayvon Martin on 26 February 2012 after he was instructed not to pursue Martin by a police dispatcher. After weeks of media circus, Zimmerman was charged with 2nd Degree Murder on 11 April 2012 and released on bail on the 23rd. But as the Zimmermans deliberately deceived the court by claiming to be broke while failing to disclose over $100,000 in donations via their website, his bond was revoked on June 1st, and wife Shellie charged with perjury. On July 6th, Zimmerman was again released after a much higher bond of $1M was posted.

Father: Robert Zimmerman, Sr.
Mother: Gladys Mesa
Wife: Shellie Nicole Dean (cosmetologist, m. 2007)

University: Seminole State College of Florida (expelled 2012)

Murder 26-Feb-2012 (death of Trayvon Martin, not guilty)
Manslaughter 26-Feb-2012 (not guilty)
Peruvian Ancestry Maternal

I chose to highlight several points in both of these brief biographical summaries to illustrate the serious lack of credibility that NNDB deserves for these listings.

To make their assumptive case that Zimmerman was at fault for this unfortunate event, you will notice that in both bios they refer to the 911 call and the directive that “he should not follow Martin”.  Frankly, I agree that this might never have happened if he heeded that advice.

But it does give the suggestion of plausibility to the contention that Zimmerman was “stalking” Martin, if you accept the argument that this was just a nice kid who went out to buy some candy and an iced tea (actually Skittles and a Watermelon Punch soda – two thirds of the ingredients needed to make LEAN – a new drug popular among the Hip Hop crowd).

Now when it comes to schooling, Trayvon is merely listed as a student at his high school of record.  There is no mention of the fact that he was suspended three times by school officials and, in fact, was serving one of the suspensions the night he died.  (Nor is there any mention of the fact that “burglary tools” and women’s jewelry were found in his locker.  Or that he was also found to be in possession of a “marijuana pipe” and there was residue from cannabis in his effects).

By contrast, we are left in the Zimmerman profile with an image of a man who couldn’t even cut it in a community college and was “expelled”.  My first thought was that he was a failing student – until I did a little digging.  Here is the statement from Seminole State’s officials about Mr. Zimmerman and his “expulsion”:

Due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy involving this student, Seminole State has taken the unusual but necessary step this week to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment.   This decision is based solely on our responsibility to provide for the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman.”

And you couldn’t make a good case for racist motivation on Mr. Zimmerman’s part (with a dose of it thrown in on the part of the jury) unless you mentioned that the panel members were “mostly white”.

Last but not least, there are the photos that NNDB selected to use.  Of course, we have the perennial one of a smiling, happy, Trayvon, a young kid with the whole world in front of him; and we have the dour, grim looking George, a man who is distressed because he hasn’t found anyone offensive enough to gun down the morning that picture was taken.

Of course, I am interpreting the “facts” as I see them and that certainly has influenced the way in which I wrote this piece.  It would be less than honest if I were to say that I wasn’t trying to present a certain point of view which I hope you will, at the least, consider.  But I am honest enough and have sufficient respect for you, unlike our media, to hope that you don’t take my word or accept my spin on things as gospel truth.  Do your own research and formulate your own opinion.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have been given the right to enjoy “freedom of the press” but rather, “freedom from the press”.  And we should all always remember, before we reach a conclusion, that we should, “Consider the source”.

ASSUMPTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS

If more people had a grasp of the subtleties of the English language, we might go far toward eliminating some of the misunderstanding which exists between us.  But unfortunately, too many of our citizens communicate with a highly limited vocabulary and a poor understanding of the meaning of the words they employ in their speech.

Much of the conversation circling around the question of the profiling of people whom the police believe are likely candidates to commit crimes has taken place because people don’t understand the difference between two important words – assumptions and conclusions.  Unfortunately, President Obama in speaking on the subject today might have reinforced this confusion.

Simply put, an assumption is a belief or feeling to  which a person holds without having the evidence either to support or reject an opinion.  Some assumptions are undoubtedly based on prejudice – whether it is racial, or not trying a specific food because of the way it looks – if it looks funny it probably tastes bad – that sort of thing.

By making the statement that, “Trayvon Martin might have been he,” the President played to his audience and suggested that those who make assumptions merely based on physical characteristics are dangerous elements in our society.  I believe that he referred, as he has in the past, to law enforcement – and now, of course, to private citizens who might have reacted in the same way that George Zimmerman did.

We’ll get back to the President’s statement later in this post.

Let’s turn our attention to the word conclusion.  A conclusion is an opinion that a person may hold after she or he has looked at data, evaluated the evidence and now has a basis for making a determination.  It is only fair to say that two people viewing the same statistics might reach different conclusions.  But, at the least, there is some objective information on which they relied to form their opinion.

An example of “profiling” that we not only permit but endorse is practiced regularly by TSA.  It tends to single out people who appear to be of Middle Eastern origin – and there is reason for this.  It was people of that ethnic background  who we claim were the responsible parties for the events of 9/11.  Based on our experience, they are the most likely people to commit further acts of terrorism.  The sad events at the Boston Marathon support that view.  Is there anyone who fails to see the logic of this or believes that the conclusion to engage in this practice is faulty in its logic or that it is inappropriate?

I recently read some interesting statistics which came from the NYPD.  The city has seen a tremendous reduction in crime since it began profiling individuals and initiating “stop and frisk” measures.  It should be said that more than 90% of those stopped are either black or Latino.  NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly makes no bones about his department’s targets for this policy, despite the fact that the Department is being sued over “racial profiling.”

There is a reason that the Department selected this particular demographic to make New York a safer place.  The fact is that, according to the department’s records, 96% of the murder victims in the city are either black or Latino and 97% of the suspects in custody for these murders are either black or Latino.

Those who assume that there is only a racial motivation in these pat downs would probably be right.  But if you look at the statistics, as have the NYPD, do you think it would be productive to pat down 90 year old Mrs. O’Reilly as she returns home from daily Mass?

Much has been written (and this is an excellent example of the faulty logic and the assumptions made by many) about the fact that a disproportionate number of blacks are in jail than their percentage in the general population.  Of course, the assumptive reasoning is that we have an unequal justice system that oppresses our minority black citizens.  What a load of rot.

There are proportionately more blacks in jail because there are proportionately more blacks who commit the crimes that send them there.  And those statistics hold for NY, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and a host of other cities that will most likely be scenes of rallies for “justice” for Trayvon Martin on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

That young man’s death was tragic – but perhaps it was inevitable that he might have come to this kind of violent end.  And when you, Mr. President say, “It might have been you,” I believe you are correct.  I have seen the commission of crime in the district that first elected you to office and the demographics are not far different than those in New York.

I have been a victim and I have known other victims in that district.  And the perpetrators were young black men – with or without hoodies – high on drugs or merely out for a good time.  Most of those who are violated by these thugs are black men and women – the overwhelming majority of whom are your constituents.

The fear of young black men is real.  It is real among anyone who has been a victim, anyone who knows a victim and among anyone who has done a little research.  This fear shatters all boundaries of race and color and is held as much by blacks as whites – perhaps even more by the former group.  Would you call our elderly black citizens who are fearful of young black males racists – or realists?

If you want to leave a positive legacy for the country, please stop relying on faulty assumptions and take a look at the facts.  If you do that, you will inevitably come to the conclusion that the cancers of illegitimacy and dependence and illiteracy and unemployment are at the core of the black community’s problems.  And if you do that, you will turn from flowery oration to initiating positive action.

It’s long overdue.

WINNERS/LOSERS

There were no winners in the Zimmerman/Martin trial.  Trayvon Martin is still dead.  George Zimmerman is still living in hell.

If there were anything good that came out of this farce of a well-orchestrated operetta (sans musique) it is that those engaged in the garment industry who manufacture sweatshirts with hoods saw a rise in their sales.  And we had the opportunity to hear from some of America’s brain trust (a number of NFL players and some of their kin) who made direct and indirect threats against Mr. Zimmerman and who spoke of terminating his continued residency on planet Earth.

The DOJ which had been considering bringing charges against Mr. Zimmerman for possible violations of the “Civil Rights Act” prior to the criminal trial, announced today that it is evaluating pursuing those charges.  And I believe that Mr. Zimmerman should be grateful that the DOJ is vigilant in this regard.  I hope that his attorneys request that Atty. General Holder investigate those NFL twits who tweeted their violent responses to the verdict.

But we all know that will not happen.

Falcons receiver Roddy White, who rarely bites his tongue, sounded off loudly on Twitter. ”F–king Zimmerman got away with murder today wow what kind of world do we live in,” White said. ”All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid.”

Marcus Vick, the brother of Eagles quarterback Mike Vick, continued a theme he began during the prosecution’s closing argument. ”Like I said before, a dogs life mean more then a human of color,” Marcus Vick said. ”My people’s did 2 years over some bullshit when this dude took a human life. Y’all MF’s sick. . . . Zimmerman u peace of DOG shit if I ever seen u I would run up n let u beat my ass then I’ll pop u right between the eyes u cricket Bitch.”

Even Giants receiver Victor Cruz, who isn’t known for saying or doing outlandish things, offered up a chilling prediction for George Zimmerman’s future, via Deadspin: ”Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up with him.”

Bengals linebacker James Harrison made a very strong point that gets to the core of the case. ”Think I’ll go pick a fight and get my ass kicked then pull my gun and kill somebody and see if I can get away,” Harrison tweeted.

Ravens receiver Torrey Smith, who lost a brother last year under far different but no less tragic circumstances, realizes that eye-for-an-eye revenge shouldn’t happen. ”Also as mad as a lot of people are over the verdict…trying to take out Zimmerman isn’t the answer neither,” Smith said.

Thank you, Mr. Smith for offering a bit of sanity to this conversation.

All humans make statements and decisions based on either logic, emotion or a combination of the two.  At certain moments one side or the other may be dominant.  But the problem is that if we allow our emotions to direct our thinking to the exclusion of logic, our decisions tend to be catastrophic.

Consider that if the Captain of the Titanic, realizing the boat was imperiled ran around yelling, “Oh, no.  The ship is sinking.  The ship is sinking,” rather than ordering the crew to prepare the lifeboats in order to evacuate the passengers.  That might well have resulted in there being no survivors.

And so, perhaps, we can overlook the over-reactive emotional response to a situation that the administration, the media and the self-styled “quasi-intelligentsia” in the black community stirred up and fostered.  After all, making sure that adding kindling to the fire of “race relations” is their agenda of distracting us from the real racial tragedies in this country.

After a few days have passed and emotions have subsided, those within America’s black community who really want to address this important matter in a serious way should start asking some serious and important questions.  And they should look at the facts, not the TV screen.

It is a fact, according to FBI statistics, that when interracial violence and death occurs involving a black and a white person, 81% of the time the victim is the white person.   If the white community has this information, do those in the black community not understand why white people might be legitimately frightened of blacks?

But there is more than this with which the black community in America should be concerned.  And that concern should not arise from their worries about “crackers” or the KKK doing them in.  Over 95% of the murders which befall blacks in America are committed by other blacks.  The “hood” is a very, very dangerous place to live and to raise children.

To my brothers and sisters who reside there, I would say to you that you have settled for enslavement as surely as if “Old Massa” purchased you at an auction.  You have been bought and paid for through that EBT card and your sub-standard healthcare that Medicaid provides and your Obamaphone.  You have sold your souls to the devil – and his name is your congressman or city representative or ward alderman.  And until you wake up and hear that call of truly great leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. who had a vision and a plan, you will live out your lives in servitude – and you will condemn your children to the same fate.

In the current culture and climate, there are no winners.

ZIMMER WHO?

For the entire duration of the trial of Public Opinion v. George Zimmerman it was impossible for me to look at Yahoo News without finding at least one update on what was happening in the Florida courtroom where Mr. Zimmerman was on trial for his freedom.  Generally, in Yahoo’s “Top Ten Trending Stories” there was some reference or other to the trial.

Today, George Zimmerman didn’t make it to that list.

Being adjudged not guilty certainly has its benefits – although I wonder if there are many who feel this was a miscarriage of justice and who intend to rectify that by personally executing their own form of justice on the now-acquitted Mr. Zimmerman.  Those who hold to that opinion are precisely the people who exhibit the same sort of primitive behavior of which Mr. Zimmerman was accused – and found not guilty.

Needless to say, first in the fray to continue the persecution of Mr. Zimmerman were some notables who are as far to the left as one can maneuver while still remaining on planet Earth.  Al Sharpton expressed his outrage and planned on demanding that Atty. Gen. Eric Holder (himself a man of tarnished scruples) pursue a Civil Rights suit against Mr. Zimmerman.  And, it wouldn’t be a good fashion show without a few white models thrown in the mix so Elliott Spitzer (an attorney who swore to uphold the law and broke it by consorting with prostitutes illegally), had his moment to opine over the “miscarriage of justice” that took place in Florida.

As God is my judge, I don’t know how either of these men, if they have a shred of morality left in their souls, can look at themselves in the mirror and say the things that they say.  If I had either of their track records to my credit I would be looking for the deepest cave in which to hide and pray that no one would ever find me.  The shame of having to face another human being would be more than I could handle.  But I guess we’re all different – or I suppose that’s what “diversity” is all about.

In a recent post I said that I would lay odds of ten to one that Zimmerman would be found guilty – not based on the evidence but on the basis of the kangaroo court of public opinion.  Obviously, I was wrong – but beyond that – (I’ve been wrong many times in my life) – I was shocked, stunned and amazed by the verdict.

Frankly, I was agnostic on the whole trial and never watched one second of it – in the same way I never watched any of the O. J. Simpson trial for the murder of his wife and Ronald Goldman.  I don’t find courtroom melodrama particularly interesting and I have better uses for my time.

But now that the trial is over and the verdict has been rendered, I wanted to sit back and analyze why my belief that George Zimmerman would be convicted was incorrect.  So today I did a little digging and a little thinking.

At some point in the past, I had read that Trayvon Martin who was presented as a candidate for “Choir Boy of the Year”  had a rap sheet.  I easily found that he had been suspended from his high school three times – and, in fact, was on suspension when the tragic incident occurred.  This third suspension apparently stemmed from his violating his school’s “zero tolerance” policy for substance abuse.  Apparently a marijuana pipe and drug residue were found in his possession.

Now much has been made of whether Zimmerman actively “stalked” Martin or whether Martin was the aggressor.  And more has been made of the fact that if both men acted more rationally perhaps this entire sad event might have been avoided.  That second statement is probably true.

But what if Trayvon Martin, in light of the fact that he apparently used marijuana at least occasionally, were under its influence the night he died?  That might account for his acting in a way that George Zimmerman found threatening.  Of course, that is pure speculation – but the thought might have occurred to the jury members as they deliberated Mr. Zimmerman’s fate.

But here are the two reasons that I believe that Mr. Zimmerman – at least based on the evidence presented at the trial – is innocent:

First, the jury, despite all the publicity of this trial and all the pressure they must have felt, rendered their verdict quickly.  I would have expected that a quick verdict would result in Mr. Zimmerman’s incarceration.  That suggests to me definitively that the jurors believed that the prosecution had failed to make their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Second, the reaction to the verdict was predictable with calls for vigilante justice from certain elements in American society.  I cannot believe that these six women, were unaware that would be the reaction if they found the defendant not guilty.  And that their own safety might well be threatened by those same individuals.  Rendering a verdict of guilty would have been the easy and safe thing for them to do.  Instead they chose to do the difficult and courageous thing.

None of us will ever know what happened the fateful night that Trayvon Martin died.  But what we do know is that a fair trial of the accused was conducted and the jury found him not guilty.  If we believe in the rule of law, each of us needs to accept that and move on.

Otherwise, we follow the same hateful path that organizations such as the KKK walk.

THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL/AN AMERICAN ORDEAL

If I were a bookmaker, I’d lay 10/1 that George Zimmerman will be found guilty on at least some charge.  I’d feel very confident in that bet – and it has nothing to do with my review of the trial or the evidence which has been presented.  It has to do with the culture that is ever-present today in American society.

It is the culture that must find in the scapegoat “racism” the diversion to distract us from the fact that the policies that so-called liberals have put in place over decades have created a permanent, impoverished, uneducated underclass to which the majority of our black (or if you prefer African-American) citizens belong.  It is a tragedy, and anyone who has ever voted in Congress to expand or extend “welfare” rather than devise a program of “workfare” should, in my mind, be arrested, tried, convicted and jailed for life without possibility of parole.

I mentioned this in a much earlier post but an experience from my days in the temporary help business bears repeating – particularly in light of this trial and the overall culture we find in America today.  It is a story about a young black woman who responded to an ad and who was looking for employment.

One of our best clients, the Quaker Oats Company needed someone to do filing and make copies on their Xerox equipment.  The position was scheduled to last for two months but there was a good possibility that they might hire the individual permanently.

Most of the people whom we put out on assignment had extensive skills, far beyond the level of this position so our list of potential candidates to fill this spot was limited which is why we advertised the job.  The day after the ad appeared in “The Chicago Tribune” a young woman arrived at our office to apply for the position.  I interviewed her myself.

Because I was interested in maintaining my relationship with the client, I was willing to take a loss on this job and planned on paying the applicant far more than the going rate – specifically, I would offer a salary of three dollars over minimum wage – minimum wage or a few cents more being what the position was worth in the market.

I sat down with this young woman who was 22 years old.  She was dressed very appropriately for a job interview.  It was obvious that she had taken the time to try to put herself forward in the best possible light.  She seemed eager to find a job and, in fact, was the first one to respond.  I liked that about her.

She did not have a high school diploma – owing to the fact that the first of her children was born when she was 17.  She also had two younger kids.  Nevertheless, she seemed quite bright – and I was impressed with her attitude.  She wanted to do better for herself and her children.

After decades of interviewing people, sometimes you just have to go by gut feelings rather than documentation and I wanted to give her a chance to enter the work force.  (Other than having done some babysitting, she had never held a job).  So I offered her the position and told her what it would pay.

As I said, she was bright.  She asked how many hours a week she would be able to work so I told her 37-1/2.

She did some rough multiplication and came up with her weekly gross earnings.

Then she looked at me and said, “You know, I would really like to take this job but I can’t afford to.  I know there’s taxes going to come out of this, and I’d have to spend on carfare to get to and from, and I’d have to pay a baby sitter, and if I take this I would lose my welfare and Medicaid and one of the babies has got the colic.  I just can’t afford to take this job.”

I nearly cried.  This young woman was exactly correct.  It made no monetary sense for her to accept this job – and if not this one, certainly not any other at minimum wage.  Thus we had condemned her to a life on the public dole – a life in which she had only dependence and could never develop self-respect.  What a tragedy.

That interview haunted me for days and while I will not say it was the “Eureka moment” which caused me to march to a conservative way of thinking (I was already there), it certainly reinforced my belief that was the correct path.

That interview occurred about 20 years ago.  It would be incorrect for me to say that nothing has changed.  It has – and for the worse.  And every time politicians expand a welfare benefit, they tighten their grasp and twist the noose around the necks of those whom they need for the sole reason of getting themselves re-elected.

There is an obvious solution to this problem – so simple that you don’t need a PhD. in Economics to understand it.  Here it is.

Rather than cut off a person from welfare and Medicaid because they have found employment, simply reduce those benefits by a percentage, based on their earnings on their job.  In that way, the person is going to have significantly more money to take home and spend and will have an incentive to seek employment.  The other benefit is that the taxpayers will save money.  And perhaps the most important benefit is that the individual who is working will be able to take pride in herself.

So what does this all have to do with George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin?  Everything.

You see if you slap the word racism around loud enough and often enough; if you have the not very Rev. Al Sharpton bellowing it at the top of his lungs; if you have constant media attention paid to the trial of the allegedly “racist” Mr. Zimmerman; if you have Obama commenting on it; you have set the stage to divert the easily diverted public’s attention from the failings of our Congress; from our departure from the American ideal of America being a place where you can have anything you desire if you’re only willing to work for it; and from the real racists – who have built a power base composed of the ignorant, uneducated, welfare mothers and children who think having an Obama phone is the greatest thing in the world.

Those who have voted to establish this group that is only one step removed from slavery are the ones who should be on trial.  Not Mr. Zimmerman.

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