Sunday, March 15, 2015

Teachable Moments

I am not going to get into the issues of truth and justice because I am not a good advocate for that.  I think there are some teachable moments in the Martin/Zimmerman case.  It is so rare that children might pay attention to us older folk and this instance may give an opportunity. 
Given that all phone calls are recorded it seems to me that Mr. Martin’s last call should be subpoenaed from the phone company. There was some doubt about testimony that could be answered and it would give a more reliable timeline of events as well as state of mind.  The precise GPS coordinates may be helpful as well.
There has been an observation that the administrations characterization of vigilante justice could also be applied to our foreign policy:
I think we should hunt down all vigilantes.
There has been condemnation of Florida as unusual.  This may be. But the slaughter of young black men is not that particular as to place.  In Chicago such events are categorized as gang violence regardless of circumstance.  The thinking is that the families do not need the additional pain of knowing that their children were engaged in wrongdoing.
In Chicago Mr. Zimmerman would have been found guilty because he was out looking for it. In Chicago we go to great lengths to appear unpremeditated:
-So why did you have a baseball bat?
-I was coming from a game.
-At 3: AM?
-I was out afterwards and I didn’t want to drive.
Mr. Zimmerman was concerned about a rash of successful burglaries in his area.  Since the burglaries were successful it is likely that they were a neighbor rather than someone passing through.  Probably someone in the citizen watch group as they have the interest and the time.  I am curious as to whether the burglaries have continued.
If you can get the children’s attention it might be worthwhile to point out that young Martin had a tool in his hand, not just an emotional support system. I realize that this is a difficult concept. What would have happened if either of the children on their call had suddenly realized that it was appropriate to notify the authorities?  I’m not saying that the consequences would have changed but imagine the moment if Martin had handed Zimmerman the phone and said:
-The dispatcher wants to talk to you.
Once both young men had decided to stand their ground the only issue remaining is which one would be left standing.  According to Zimmerman, he was on the ground screaming for help.  The second dispatcher recording and subsequent testimony raised doubt on this issue. But Zimmerman’s is the only immediate deposition.  This brings to mind the advice of my own sweet dear little mother. Physical conflict is not a form of recreation or discussion. Please children, there is no reason to get someone down just to let them get back up again.  Whether you run or stand, you were given feet.

No comments:

Post a Comment