The Lout Is Out

You know, I was among the first to sign a petition calling for a trial for George Zimmerman. It seemed to me we would need that to ever have a hope of finding the truth. Now that it's happened, the evidence I've seen shows his zeal caused the whole mess (just so you know my bias). That said, I'm seriously concerned by the reactions of all my "liberal" and "conservative" friends.

From the right, I hear things like "The kid had it coming" (apparently because "walking through a neighborhood while black" is a crime?), "If it hadn't been for race, this would never have gone to trial" (because we never investigate latinos shooting white people or other latinos, right?) , and "Zimmerman did nothing wrong" (even if you believe it was self-defense, really??? tracking kids across neighborhoods is not standard procedure for neighborhood watch!). All things that boggle my mind an intelligent person could say out loud.

From the left, I hear even crazier things, like "Murder is now legal in Florida!" (because an acquittal means the laws will never be enforced again?), "'Fucking punks...' means it was clearly racially motivated" (because latinos reserve the use of 'punk' for black people?), "This was clearly a violation of civil rights" (but all other murders are not?), and my personal favorite "How can it be self-defense to kill someone if you've only been punched in the face once" (Because while being attacked, you need to wait to be absolutely sure the person who broke your nose and is on top of you really intends to hurt you more than once!).

It seems like everyone has completely abandoned their critical reasoning skills here. I've admittedly only read and watched synopses of the trial/evidence, but nothing I can see supports *any* of these statements. What I see is an overzealous neighborhood watch captain who went a little too far, a troubled teen who got violent, and a bad situation that spiraled rapidly out of control.

Calling a man who volunteers with underprivileged black children, is business partners with a black person, and who has dated black woman a racist seems pretty stupid. Saying there shouldn't be a trial for a complicated situation in which one person ended up killing another is also pretty stupid. Saying that someone who's being violently attacked 'murdered' the person who attacked them is incomprehensible.

This video deals with the topic pretty dispassionately:

About the Author

Despite a decade of Catholic school, I have never been a believer. I guess I was just born without the gene! Nevertheless, I've always tried to explore others' ideas and practices, on the theory that just because you can't use one part of a product, it doesn't mean you have to throw the whole thing away.
 
I spent over a decade traveling the world, and I've lived in both Europe and the US. I've read the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Koran. I've studied engineering, yoga, martial arts, shooting sports, and ballroom dancing. What I've discovered is that a) spirituality is just a spooky sounding word for any of a number of methods for learning about yourself and your mind, and b) whatever word you use, doing so is the single most important thing in learning to be happy.
 
My blog, The Passionate Rationalist (http://www.societyofreason.com/devoutrationalist) is dedicated to my thoughts both on gaining self-knowledge and using your mind to eliminate misunderstanding and delusion.