Off the Editor’s Desk – 7-24-2013

The big news story that has no end is that of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. National news media have played the entire story over and over again. Television interviews have brought up the race issue.

 The jury has spoken and that should be the end of the story. But pressure is being put on the Federal Government to have another trial against Zimmerman in that he violated Martin’s civil rights, and that I feel would violate Zimmerman’s Fifth Amendment rights.

I am sure that I don’t know all of what happened the night that Martin lost his life and the only one that does have all the information is probably George Zimmerman. But the jury has rendered it verdict and that should be it.

But, someone lost their life and that makes me sad and I hope that after all is said and done a lesson is learned and hopefully it will save someone in the future.

I remember the O. J. Simpson trial of the June 13, 1994 murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman. Simpson was acquitted after a lengthy trial that lasted over eight months.

Most people disagreed with the verdict the jury rendered. But, there was no public outcry for the federal government to step in because maybe the civil rights of Nicole and Ronald had been violated. Both of them were white. Nor was there a call for a one hundred City protest of the verdict to further divide the races.

Even President Obama got into the rhetoric over the Zimmerman trial and said, “Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago.” According to a published report the president detailed how most African-American men including himself, have been followed when shopping in department stores, heard the locks click on car doors when walking across the street and seen women clutch their purses nervously when getting on elevators.

News reports on Monday indicated that the Zimmerman family has gone into hiding because of death threats.

Do we perceive to be in danger when coming into contact with someone of a different race? I believe that I am not in danger. But then I remembered how I acted a number of years ago. We had spent several days in Chicago and upon leaving Sunday morning found that our vehicle, which had been parked in the hotel garage, had been broken into and a couple of items were taken including a CB radio that I had borrowed.

Leaving the hotel we quickly got lost and ended up driving through a part of town that was what I call less than desirable. Junk cars lined the street and at several intersections were groups of young people, both black and white guys. We locked our doors of the vehicle. Not because we had been threatened, but because we felt threatened. We found our way back to the right highway without incident.

— Carlton