Update: New Details Emerge.
I gotta be honest, the rhetoric and discussion surrounding the Trayvon Martin case has surprised me. And I’m about as cynical as anyone. It’s hard to surprise my crusty soul these days. While I’m not surprised by what is being said by the Al Sharptons and the Black Panther Party, I am surprised by what Christians are saying about this whole thing.
First, I’m shocked how so many people just assume Zimmerman is guilty of racism. Everything you hear about the guy in interviews says the exact opposite. (Update: Here is a CNN article where his neighbors describe him.)Yet, every discussion makes the assumption this is a hate crime. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. But goodness, don’t we need to wait till at least there is Grand Jury testimony?
Second – and here is where my cynicism comes in – whenever something like this happens, it dies down quickly soon thereafter. Usually it’s because the story has more elements and is more complex than the media and protester’s narrative. We prefer things to be simple but they rarely are. Far too often, we assume the guilt or innocence of someone because of what we read in a news story. Then the story dies down because the evidence no longer fits the media narrative. And we forget about the very thing we were so passionate about last week. And then we move onto something else.
Remember how passionate everyone was about Kony just about 2 weeks ago? Now silence.
I applaud the desire for justice I see. But we need to be careful that we are not confusing a moment’s outrage with real care about justice. Our spasms of emotion resulting in sharing an opinion piece on facebook are likely to fade.
Do we really want justice? A true desire for justice would want the same for Zimmerman – who by the way is half-hispanic. To hope he gets a fair shake and is not pronounced guilty without a fair trial. And then if he is guilty, a just sentencing.