Today on Capitol Hill, black lawmakers continue to call the incident a hate crime and they demand action. The principle of innocent until proven guilty, or the wise policy of not speaking about the issue without knowing all of the facts doesn’t apply.
Now people who have been reading my blog for a while know that I occasionally become obsessed with topics and write about them for longer than some of my readers would like. But I don’t think I’m making that mistake with the Trayvon Martin incident. I think this is a major event that has a lot of implications for the future of our nation, and I’m not entirely sure how it will turn out.
I’m pretty certain in my assumption that the real facts of the case, which will come out before the jury, make it likely that a jury would find in favor of the defendant. Remember that at this time, most of facts are hidden because the police have not released to the public any details of their investigation except for the report filled out by the first on-scene responders (who are presumably patrol officers and not involved in homicide investigations). However, we do know that the case was reviewed by prosecuting attorneys and they told the police to let George Zimmerman go and not to book his arrest as an official arrest. This either means the state attorneys are racist (very unlikely) or that based on the facts they thought it very likely they would lose the case. State attorneys are like the characters in the Tom Wolfe novel Bonfire of the Vanities who relish the idea of being able to prosecute a rich white guy for the murder of a black. Yes, Zimmerman is not rich, and he’s half Hispanic, but a middle-class half-Hispanic is a good-enough stand-in for the more desirable rich white defendant.
So what looks like a strong possibility is that Zimmerman will soon be arrested (again) and charged with homicide and held in jail until his trial. Let’s hope that he doesn’t get beaten up or even killed while he’s in jail. At his trial, there’s a strong chance the jury will find him not-guilty. This verdict won’t be accepted by the blacks, who will riot, and perhaps, unlike the Rodney King riots which were local to Los Angeles, these riots will be nationwide riots and not limited to Florida.
An unanswered question is how Hispanics think about these events. With all of the news attention being paid to this story, I have yet to read a single article about the Hispanic community’s reaction to these events. If we are lucky, the Hispanics will side with Zimmerman. I say this would be good luck because it’s bad for the future of the country as well as the future of Hispanics in this country if they think of themselves as black and vote like blacks. It’s much better for Hispanics to aspire to be like Zimmerman, a guy with a wife, a house, a job, who attended college part-time, and who cared enough about his community to volunteer for a citizen’s watch.