Sunday, April 01, 2012

No Jokes

So..., where have I been, you may ask? Imagine being in Chicago and being told you would have to go east in order to get to Kansas City. Only with us, it was to Portland, then to Provo, two un-alike places. It all had to do with daughter Anna's Provo wedding, which went fine. Portland involved picking up daughter Leah and husband Dane, then returning them. Anna and new hubby David trekked all the way from Ohio, so I guess I can't complain. Yes, we caught a little snow and were in and out of rain at least a dozen times, but this was one of those things (awfully few, in my case) which absolutely require your presence. We returned on Wednesday in time for even MORE rain.

Three hundred entries on this blog, and I realize that, for the most part, making fun of things and people, especially in the political biz, is like shooting fish in a barrel of hardened Jello. Who could fail to look clever when the subjects include Bush, Palin, Cheney, Mitt, Rush, The Donald  - and those are just the Republicans! It's been all I could do just to keep up with the weekly flubs, only a fraction of which are even mentioned in this space.
But there are no jokes possible when the conversation turns to Trayvon Martin, the unlucky, unarmed teenager shot dead in Florida in late February.
I didn't know the young man, but understand that he, like our former seven teenagers, was not perfect. Still, it's hard to see him being guilty of anything that demanded that he be killed. Yes, it was dark, but when does a bag of Skittles look like a gun? Is Florida so warm that wearing a "hoodie" makes one a criminal suspect? He was on foot, on the sidewalk, not hiding or sneaking around, so what could he have stolen?
Of course, if we're determined enough to find an excuse, there's always something. He "had something in his pocket" or "looked suspicious" or was unknown to the "neighborhood watch" guy who found it necessary to pull the trigger. The hoodie failed to carry the words "Please don't shoot me, sir."
Here's the scorecard today. Trayvon's parents grieve, ask (thus far with little official response) for justice, or at least an arrest of the shooter, and try to retain their dignity. Local police want the whole thing to go away so that people can more quickly forget how the cops quickly concluded that no crime had taken place. Mr. Zimmerman (the shooter) and his family, have now had time to construct a version of what happened which exonerates Mr. Z. as simply defending himself from a violent black teen even though Zimmerman was bigger - by over a hundred pounds. No arrest, absolutely no apology and, need we say, no justice forthcoming. The state legislature is stuck with something called the "Stand Your Ground" law, something that appears dreamed up to put a legal cover on white folks shooting blacks when no other alibi suffices. No apology from them, either. On the upside, none of the (mostly black) protesters demanding Zimmerman's arrest have themselves been shot.
Trayvon is now a month gone, the latest in a long, long line of dead black men and boys that stretches back over a hundred and fifty years of it being illegal. Before that, shooting a black man wasn't, at least in Florida and the slave-holding South, a crime at all.        

P.S. Look in this space for a minor announcement soon regarding a new blog. 


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