How many times must we walk this terrible path until we see the pattern of loss and injustice transcends race and calls upon us to do the same not symbolically but in reality?
When the O.J. Simpson verdict was read, I remember white people crying and a group of black students who cheered. They felt justice was served against a terrible legacy of injustice. I felt sick, like a killer had gotten away with murder.
I also remember Fred Goldman's face.
He looked as if someone had reached into his chest and pulled out his heart. I remember thinking that man is going to fall dead any second now. I hoped I would never be the owner of that countenance and I hoped that I'd never see it again. Well, I did.
On the face of Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy Martin.
No one wants to talk about these two cases. People want to say the Simpson/Goldman murders are old news. Tell that to Fred Goldman who never got to see his son marry and have kids. Tell that to Tracy Martin who's now in that same living hell. Or tell to me, who just got off the phone with his son reminding him that his worth as a human being is not decided by criminal cases or the perceptions of society.
There are many murders in our nation. The media decides which ones are presented to be national news but we the people decide which ones actually become those national concerns. Zimmerman's case grabbed us all because it is a clear reflection of something that I had hoped was no longer true: apparently, we still hate each other.
The Civil Rights Movement gave way to Political Correctness, this code of fake civility intended to never make anyone feel bad. But what it also did was taught bigots and other evil people to hide and it left everyone in a field filled with landmines, where saying the wrong word could cost you your livelihood. And the arbiters of this social justice is our media, which has as much integrity as Chinese steel. (See? I shouldn't have said that)
The races have integrated but it was a social integration not a personal or spiritual one. We are better than we were, but do we really know each other? Do we actually care? Or do we just say what's expected, what's safe, then secretly get with people who are just like us and vent our anger and frustrations?
Technology is pushing us all further apart as we trade actual conversation for sending tweets. As a result, the fringes of both races and ideologies are working hard to keep us apart, because without continuous animosity, none of them know how to make a living. (This is where I see Al Sharpton and Ann Coulter working at a diner arguing over how dark to make the toast)
I want all of the people protesting the Zimmerman verdict to think of Ron and Fred Goldman in your righteousness. I want you to resist splitting hairs and using lawyer analysis to make differences in the cases so you can always be right. Because there is no right here.
Ron Goldman was just as precious as Trayvon Martin. And Tracy Martin is just as worthy of justice as Fred Goldman.
I want all the people who support Zimmerman to consider that you have picked a criminal and a miscreant as the poster boy for gun rights, self defense or whatever it is this man is supposed to represent.
Think how you felt about the Simpson verdict and know that others now feel that grief.
Think of O.J.'s smug-ass face as he smiled and danced out of the courtroom over the headless corpses of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
Then think of Trayvon Martin dead on his back 180 degrees from where Zimmerman said he landed, with no DNA from a bloody fight and no fingerprints on a gun he grappled for.
Zimmerman is just as guilty as O.J. And neither case was about justice but the failings of our still struggling society. We will not talk to, argue with or fight each other about race, so we hide behind political correctness and use these media cases to do it for us. Here's a big revelation: No one is winning.
And if you think either of these killers is innocent because of his race, our racial history as a nation, the bias of the media or the legal system, then you just oil the machine that keeps producing this filth and these empty, heartbreaking verdicts.
Also, you need your head examined because they both, black and white, got away with it.