There he was, Standing His Ground again… As has been reported, George Zimmerman was arrested for domestic violence charges. Again. The police are reporting that his girlfriend claims, “at one point during a verbal altercation he grabbed a shotgun and pointed it at her, broke a glass table and pushed her out the door.” But can she be telling the truth?
His girlfriend suffered no injuries during the incident. The last person Zimmerman pointed a gun at didn’t live to tell the story. Pictures of the kid he killed went viral on the Internet, with allegations that the boy was a thug, or a pot smoker, or may have even skipped some classes. Did anyone ever apologize for such disrespect of the deceased?
What will happen with his girlfriend? Will we be bombarded with photos of her holding a beer on Bourbon Street, saying how wild and crazy and aggressive she is? Will we see photos of scratch marks she gave him? Will we have visuals of her height and weight because, after all, Zimmerman is pretty short. And we know how much short people are disadvantaged in a fight.
Sarcasm aside, people would be pilloried for suggesting that his girlfriend had it coming. That she is a “thug.” And yet to say that about young Trayvon Martin was perfectly normal course of debate- whether he was one of “those” Black kids, or one of the “good” ones. Zimmerman’s defenders were willing, around the nation, to throw a young Black male under the bus to make a point about packing heat and using it. Some Americans felt this is the cowboy way.
None of Zimmerman’s defenders are likely to take on 51% of America (women) and a highly organized group of people scaling back the problem of domestic violence. When one examines the bedfellows that come out of a public controversy, the subtle motivators are often quite clear. Particularly in a scenario where we have one guy with a gun, two different people on the other end.
I am not one to convict someone after a single news story. As far as I know, she did attack him, or made up the whole thing in an extortion plot, or any number of possible scenarios. But what it looks like is that George Zimmerman can kill all the Black teenagers he wants, just as long as he doesn’t hurt a woman. That jury in his last case left many of us feeling cynical, jaded, and dumbfounded. If people don’t want the Zimmerman double-standard to look like a textbook example of structural racism, they need to do something to change that appearance.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013