The George Zimmerman Verdict

July 13, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

There are several things that have fascinated me about the George Zimmerman trial. Many people are certain that events occurred one way, while many others are equally certain they happened another. How did so many people come to have such strong opinions about this tragic but parochial event?

The media told us that this case, and it’s outcome, are incredibly important. They are using this case to measure the health and strength of race relations in the US. However, we must remember that the media can be biased. They care about entertainment and their ratings. They allow these factors to play a disproportionately large role in the decisions concerning what things to cover. The media knew most people have strong feelings about race; it is, after all, a very important issue. They turned this case into a national event and gave it an importance and meaning way beyond what was appropriate.

Why do i say this? What does the decision of six jurors in a courtroom in Florida tell me about race relations on a national scale? Not very much. I’m serious. It tells me about as much as the opinion of six other people that might live in Wisconsin or New Mexico. Don’t get me wrong, there are things in this case that should cause us all to reflect. It is a good opportunity for each of us to look at our own lives and see how we can each work harder to eliminate discrimination and to treat every person with dignity and respect. But what does the verdict mean for us as a nation? Only what we let it mean. The media has told us it means something about the health of our nation. The media wanted something we would watch; we wanted something we thought was important. There are two tragedy’s here. The first is a young man’s death. The second is a nation focused on one trial and not focused on our own lives. Laws cannot and do not change hearts. It is only when each of us becomes personally concerned with equality and justice that race relations will improve.

This trial was an opportunity for us all to examine ourselves and ask how we can each make progress in this most important area. However, we let the media tell us what this case meant, and in so doing most people have interpreted the verdict as either a win or a loss. It is, for our nation, neither. It is an opportunity for all of us to personally reflect on what we can do to love each other better. That should be the focus. That is what is important. That is what, I am afraid, what has been lost and overlooked.

Category: Thoughts

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