Trayvon Martin, (Reverend) Al Sharpton, rush to judgement, race baiting, and hypocrisy
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
No, I did not watch the interview with George Zimmerman the other night on TV (Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News).
We today, nearly 5 months after Trayvon Martin was slain in Florida, do not know all the facts in the case. Conflicting accounts of that night are circulating. Did George Zimmerman stalk Trayvon Martin with intent to commit murder? Did Trayvon, in an agitated state of mind, not walk away, but rather turn and follow Zimmerman as he was backing off, and assault Zimmerman? During the violent fight that ensued, did Trayvon attempt to seize Zimmerman’s gun with the intention of shooting him at point-blank range (and thus surely to kill him)? Was George Zimmerman in fear for his life, and believed in those critical seconds that only by shooting the youth could he survive?
At present, we do not have answers to these important and relevant questions. Perhaps, we may never know all the facts in this case.
Not intending to trivialize the loss of Trayvon Martin’s life, we need some perspective here. What was initially a matter for local law enforcement and the local district attorney’s office in Florida was very quickly hyped into a national news story, and the subsequent opportunistic exploitation of this case continues today.
As the collective experience of mankind informs us, people do not like uncertainty and they are uncomfortable with unresolved issues, perhaps more so when there are many unknowns involved. There is a tendency to rush to judgement, to form conclusions without adequate factual support, so as to reduce the psychological discomfort caused by unresolved issues. But, of course, there is always the danger in rushing to form conclusions that one may reach erroneous conclusions. (Basing one’s actions on such faulty conclusions is not wise.)
As facts were being gathered in the criminal case against George Zimmerman – he is currently charged with second degree murder in this case – the Reverend Al Sharpton (a widely known public figure in the United States and of African-American ancestry) went to Florida. From his actions there, it is clear that he did not intend to be a peacemaker. This is an important point. Please note, here is a man with the title, Reverend, as he is a Christian minister.
Reverend Sharpton could have chosen to play the role of peacemaker in the circumstances, but such a choice would, sadly, have been out of character for him given his history in the public eye. Reverend Sharpton basically conducted a trial in the court of public opinion and found George Zimmerman guilty of murder. Despite many of the facts of the case not being publicly available at the time (as above, many facts are still not publicly available or known), Sharpton went ahead with stirring the pot of seething emotions in the local Florida community and, as his remarks and actions were quickly picked up and covered by the national news media, inciting racial animosity and antagonisms throughout the country. This was no accident. This was purposeful behavior by Reverend Sharpton.
Bearing the title of Reverend (as a Christian minister), carries with it certain responsibilities. As Jesus says “blessed are the peacemakers”, what might Jesus think of those claiming to be Christian ministers who, rather than being peacemakers, consciously and actively become inciters of animosity if not hatred? Race baiting is not peacemaking. I dare say that Jesus takes a dim view of those who try to incite hatred and make bad situations even worse – especially if they are claiming to be Christian ministers!
Many others in these intervening months have noted how these race baiters do not seem to have any problem with the sad fact of several dozens of young black males violently murdered each and every week in the USA (mostly by other blacks). So, why is the loss of Trayvon Martin’s life any worse than the loss of any of these other young black males’ lives?
Some of the readers of this blog may question why did we address this topic now. I will tell you honestly and candidly why. Earlier today, while browsing on some of the topic tag pages here on WordPress, an essay came to our attention. We will not reblog this essay as we do not traffic in hate and will not be conveyors, even indirectly, of such. (The essay’s author goes by the label of being an “obamacrat” or some thing like that.) In this essay, the author says to the effect (actually it is fairly explicit) that he will not be satisfied until George Zimmerman is in a coffin. The entire essay is vile and racist, and it surprised me that WordPress has allowed this guy (a malcontent?) to post many similar essays basically engaging in increasing race antagonisms. So that explains the timing of this essay here at larrysmusings.