Dan Smith: Imperfect beings continue struggle to do what’s right
With a story this big, you just know I would have to comment on it. I believe I can add a few new sides and bits of information that you might not have heard yet.
I’m talking about the Trayvon Martin shooting and trial which just concluded.
George Zimmerman was the shooter, and of course he shot and killed Martin. I won’t go over the entire case; I’m sure you’ve heard many hours of testimony and commentary already.
So what is my opinion? The jury made the right decision. Does that mean that I think Zimmerman is a winner or hero? Absolutely not. He acted in a stupid way and cost the life a young man that didn’t need to die this way.
Zimmerman will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life when there was a way out of the whole mess. Zimmerman could have and should have stayed in his car like he was told to do by police dispatch. I’m sure the local police there could have resolved the complain without loss of life.
Did Zimmerman act in self-defense that night? Maybe. My issue is, he put himself in the position where he had to defend himself when it wasn’t his place or his job to do so.
You don’t go looking for trouble when it can be avoided. He had a neighborhood watch position. That is what he should have stuck to: watching. That one act on that one night changed so many lives forever. It can’t be undone. It’s not over.
The results of what Zimmerman did will last a lifetime.
There are many people who want Zimmerman in jail or at least to stand trial again in another court. Federal authorities say there is no evidence for them to charge him.
Simple facts say that there are no witnesses, even though the prosecution paraded several to the stand in the trial. None of them witnessed the shooting. Only Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin did, and one can’t speak for himself.
In all actuality, Zimmerman should never have been brought to trial in the first place. The police didn’t even charge him in the beginning because of lack of evidence. It was the outcry from the community and the pressure from certain groups that made it into the circus it became.
Even with the deck stacked against Zimmerman, he won his case. There were no males on the jury which would normally be a red flag, and you had the president speaking out and interjecting his thoughts on a local case that had nothing to do with him or his jurisdiction.
Jesse Jackson, the founder of Rainbow/PUSH, has called for the United Nations to investigate the Zimmerman-Martin case. At least one U.S. House member from Illinois has called for the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the case. So you have the highest political representatives in our country overstepping their bounds to further divide our country over a made-up race issue.
In case you didn’t hear it or maybe it was never broadcast, Zimmerman and his attorneys are suing NBC for what I’ve been preaching for years now: selective broadcasting and editing of a story to make it say something else than what it originally said. All of the major networks do it every night on the nightly news.
NBC has fired the producer that was responsible for airing selective and the cut-up version of a 911 call on the night of the shooting. It made Zimmerman look guilty by not giving the full recording.
So what else is new? We’ve seen similar tragedies in the past concerning racial issues. Some caused civil unrest, like this current one did, but not as bad as the Rodney King case.
It seems that racial issues will never be completely exterminated because they arise from human emotions which all humans have. Educating people on the issue of race helps some, but it still lacks. Prejudice occurs on both sides, all sides.
Again, it’s human nature and you can’t do anything about that. You are born with emotions and human qualities that no amount of education will ever fix completely. We as imperfect beings will continue to struggle and some will do the right thing, others will never come around.
Think before you act. We all can do that!
— Dan M. Smith is a Cincinnati native and Gatlinburg resident. He is the author of two novels. His son is serving in the Air Force. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.