Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, you know about the death of a 17 year old boy named Trayvon Martin in Florida where a neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman got into an altercation with Mr. Martin, shot him and killed him. The details are still coming to light and you can see the details here and there will be more developments over the coming days.
Let me state for the record that if Mr. Zimmerman is charged with murder in a court of law then I’ll be the first to volunteer to throw the switch on the electric chair or lock him up in a cell for life. If you seek out and kill a kid based on his race then you are scum and deserve to be removed from society.
But we don’t execute people orput a bounty on their head based on rumor or emotional charged anger. In the United States we have a means of punishing our criminals and people are still innocent until proven guilty. If we lose that premise then we have lost our country and we are no better than a tyrannical dictatorship.
There is a hashtag on twitter called #TeamDueProcess that has captured many of the death threats on Mr. Zimmerman and I’ll show a few of these below.
And of course our President has taken the low road and sown seeds of racial division with his recent comments.
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said, underscoring how the issue affected him on a personal, and not just a political or legal, level. “I think [Trayvon’s parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
“Obviously, this is a tragedy,” he said. “I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”
“I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen,” said Obama. “And that means we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.”
I agree with Obama that we should investigate this tragic death and find out the truth but to take the knee jerk reaction that this is a case of race based violence doesn’t help the country deal with this tragedy. Let’s understand the facts before we rush to judgment. Like I said, I’ll be the first to grab a pitchfork and torch to persecute this witch but before I join the mob I want to make 100% sure I’m actually going after a witch.
The Florida police need to gather the details and bring Mr. Zimmerman to trial and let our legal system determine his guilt or innocence. Our legal system is not perfect but I dare you to find a better one and let’s hold off the talk of lynching until we get the facts. If we abandon this legal system then be aware that the mob might be coming for you tomorrow. Is that what we want?