The Trayvon Martin tragedy
The unfortunate death of the black teenager in Sanford has riled the black community, but there is no justification not to investigate the facts before arresting or not arresting the shooter. Would they want us to make a snap judgment had it been a black person shooting a white person? The shooter is certainly not going anywhere, so let the investigation run its course.
Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson planned to attend a rally in Sanford to further incite the people who are asking for the shooter to be arrested immediately, and talk about unequal justice. If Sharpton and Jackson are so concerned about justice and the law, why haven't they addressed the fact that blacks (12.9 percent of the U.S. population) have been arrested for about 50 percent of the murders and "non-negligent" manslaughters in this country? That seems way out of whack and should be looked into by black activists and community leaders. The numbers I cited are in the FBI Uniform Crime Report for the latest full-year (2010) stats. Previous years are listed, and the percentages are about the same.
This is not saying George Zimmerman should not be prosecuted if he is found at fault. The needless loss of Trayvon Martin's life is a tragedy, as is the loss of any person, no matter the race or ethnicity.
Who speaks for Martin?
Robert Louis Stevenson had a clear vision of the hazards inherent in Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. As Long John Silver famously noted: "Dead men tell no tales!" So we hear George Zimmerman's allegations that he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense. But the voice of Trayvon has been silenced, and he cannot tell us his account. Who speaks for him?
How much better off we would be if our legislators had had the foresight to consider Long John Silver's stark observation when they passed this law.
Edward H. Stein
Two accused gunmen
After reading the headlines this week about the U.S. soldier who shot Afghanistan civilians, I couldn't help noticing an irony: There is all this clamor to try this guy quickly and execute him, never mind him having suffered a traumatic brain injury. Yet Maj. Nidal Hassan, who shot up Fort Hood while screaming, "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic), still hasn't stood trial, and they are still debating whether he was insane, even with the clear evidence regarding his motive: Slay as many infidels as possible.
So we have a guy in a war zone who cracks, and he must be executed immediately. But a Muslim psychiatrist who was stateside in a nice, safe office all day murders 13 and wounds 32 of our own guys, and they try to argue the poor lad suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome, from listening to real soldiers who had actual battle experience.
Cecil B. Currey