Monday, March 26, 2012

A high-tech lynching

Back in the bad old days, not every victim of a white lynch mob was innocent.

History, rightly, has been no kinder to those who dragged a guilty black man off to the nearest lamp post or tree, put a rope around his neck and hanged him than its unblinking eye has been to those who did the same to an innocent African-American. Justice always has been more about the process -- and fairness -- than it has been about the outcome.

All earthly justice requires is that we do right, play fair and hope for the best. Ultimate justice, we must remember, is not in our hands.

Of course, history also -- unavoidably -- loves irony. That's because people so often forget their own history . . . and its lessons. Fairness is always all about us, not the other guy.

And especially not about The Other guy.

Welcome to the transformation of a movement that started out as a quest for "justice" for Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager shot to death by a "citizens patrol" volunteer. Now it's just a photo-negative version of an old-time Southern lynch mob.

It probably is no surprise this is happening in a state long noted for its citizens' inability to work and play well with one another.

PERSONALLY, I think the neighborhood-watch guy, George Zimmerman, well might be guilty of something in the shooting of the 17-year-old. That's my judgment based on extremely incomplete information from the national press -- the same information the lynch mob for "justice" is going on. Probably more, actually.

I think the guy probably was a paranoid-type police wannabe who stereotyped a harmless kid because he looked like the unending bad news out of black America, as reported by your local Eyewitness Action NewsCenter team. I think Zimmerman decided he was Dirty Harry, got in way over his head, things got out of hand, the man with handgun panicked . . . and an innocent kid ended up dead.

I think Zimmerman could be convicted of something, but likely not premeditated murder or a "hate crime" -- a term many have thrown around recklessly. I also think, Florida being Florida, that the guy might get off scot-free.

I believe Florida just might burn before all this is over with.

Of course, my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it. And so are those of the "Justice for Trayvon" protesters.

In our system, the only opinions that are supposed to matter are a judge's and jury's. Right now, "justice" has nothing to do with an arrest. Justice has everything to do with ensuring a full and fair investigation.

Justice likewise has nothing to do with media tripe like the NewsOne (for Black America) blurb convicting Zimmerman of first-degree murder before the man is even arrested for . . . anything. In legal terms, this is what is called "actionable."

In journalism school, this is what we learned not to do if we didn't want to get sued to Kingdom Come. All is fair in love and lynchings, however.

Just like the "Pussy Ass Cracker" shirt now being sold, according to The Smoking Gun. The one with George Zimmerman's face on it.

Then again, if you're already lynching somebody, there's not exactly any point in not being racist about it.

Meet the black boss. Same as the white boss. We'll get fooled again.

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