At the moment, which happens to be 9:30 am, it’s 71o and sunny in Sanford. There might be some showers and clouds as the temp climbs to 85o. That’s about it for actual facts in looking back over the past two days. There have been a lot of people in the media out there flapping their gums (including the Republican Presidential candidates, of course), but no actual news since Friday.
President Obama Weighed in with Compassion
Asked on Friday to comment on the Trayvon Martin case, President Obama replied, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
“Obviously, this is a tragedy,” he said. “I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”
“I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen,” said Obama. “And that means we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.”
Geraldo Rivera Weighed in with Typical Insensitivity
On Faux News Friday:
GERALDO RIVERA: I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was. […] When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark skinned kid like my son Cruz, who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles. Take that hood off, people look at you and they — what do they think? […] It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie.
On Friday, Seminole State College released the following statement, “Due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy involving this student, Seminole State has taken the unusual but necessary step this week to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment,” according to a statement from the college. “This decision is based solely on our responsibility to provide for the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman.”
Hoodie as Emblem
From the “1,000,000 Hoodie March” on March 21st in New York’s Union Square, to “Hoodies on the Hill” on March 23rd in Washington D.C. organized by congressional staffers, to the simple and elegant protest-portrait of the Miami Heat, hoodies have become the emblem of the protests nationwide calling for justice for Trayvon Martin. Profile portraits all over Facebook and Twitter are being changed out to portraits taken in hoodies, like Trayvon’s. Hoodies with protest messages are hitting EBay; a couple of my favorites read “Guns don’t kill people, hoodies do?” and “recreational hoodie wearer, please don’t shoot”. The images of the protests are flooding the Net; some are gut-wrenching. They all should be making us examine our unconscious prejudices, not just the blatant ones.
“Stand Your Ground” Law Does Not Apply?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who signed “state your ground” into law in 2005, said “This law does not apply to this particular circumstance,” Bush said after an event at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Stand your ground means stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”
Co-sponsor of the law, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said “Quite frankly, anyone who steps out in a pursuit in a confrontational mode with a firearm? That’s not a self-protection act. You’ve initiated something.”
“Stand Your Ground” Around the Country under Scrutiny
There are 23 other states with versions of the “Stand Your Ground” law, and they are all coming under scrutiny, at least on the Net. Thanks to blogs and small town media websites people around the country are becoming aware that during the G.W. Bush years, these laws flew under the radar and into their states. Thanks to liberal media like Mother Jones, we’re all becoming aware that one of the Republicans’ best friends, the National Rifle Association, was the driving force behind them. I’ll be taking a long look at this issue in the next couple of days.
I do have to say, though, that I haven’t watched a Charlton Heston movie since he made his “cold, dead hands” speech.