Once Jesse Jackson gets involved in an issue, you can be pretty sure that the time for rational discussion of the issue is long past. To Jackson, the shooting of Trayvon Martin means just one thing: “Blacks are under attack.”
I really doubt that. I keep waiting for another shoe to drop in this case, something to make the events of that night less outrageous than they seemed. But so far, it looks to be just what it was at the beginning: A jerk with a handgun who was itching to use it. Yes, racism lives on in America, and the fact that the gunman still hasn’t been arrested seems to prove it. But this crime didn’t happen because of Trayvan Martin’s race.So why did it happen? Three things. First, the one I just mentioned. This George Zimmerman character, who could have been taken for black himself on a dark night, fancied himself a lawman. To that end, he bought his gun and made a career of cruising around looking for bad guys to confront. The problem was, the evildoers of his imagination never came to him. They never seemed to invade his home, or burst into Starbucks while he was having coffee. His $250 gun began to seem useless. Then he sees this guy walking alone in a gated community.
That’s the second thing: A young man out walking alone. At night. In a gated community. If you decide to stroll alone in a gated community, your race isn’t the overriding factor. You could be a lily-white Anglican bishop in full vestments and still seem suspicious. There’s a reason you rarely see sidewalks in gated communities. You’re not supposed to walk around. And you’re definitely not supposed to walk by yourself after the sun has gone down. You’d think people in gated communities would be less paranoid because of the gate. But it doesn’t seem to work that way.Finally, the gun itself. Anybody think George Zimmerman would have gotten out of his car without his Kel Tec 9mm? Of course not. He got out because of the gun, and because of his firm conviction that a bullet is the only thing his imaginary miscreants would understand. He really wanted to use that gun. The NRA made it seem like the thing to do. I doubt he even gave much thought to Florida’s ridiculous “Stand Your Ground” law. Until later, of course.
I definitely think George Zimmerman should be charged with this homicide, particularly since he killed the only other witness. But guys like Jessie Jackson, always anxious to invoke the specter of race war, should just shut up.