Monday, July 15, 2013

Some ground rules before we, well, you, fight

I know a lot of you are pretty raw about the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, with a verdict of Not Guilty handed down late Saturday night, and I know that applies to people of all different viewpoints. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm not going to try to influence anyone's. If it really matters to you where I fall on the matter, all I'll say is that as someone who is a resident of the state where this occurred and someone who is vehemently opposed to getting shot, I'm dismayed by any development that sets a precedent that makes it legally easier for other residents of this state to shoot me. Most people form their opinions on matters like this from their own personal experience and research but I also think some of you just like to fight. I'm not here to tell you not to fight either. I gave up on that during the last preseidential election. If that's your thing, by all means, knock yourselves out. Literally. I would like to throw out a couple of things for you to consider before you commence to ripping each other's heads off though.

First and foremost, if you're drawing any kind of comparisons between this and the OJ trial, find a bus moving at a high rate of speed and stand in front of it, please. You're making an ass of yourself and that's honestly the best thing for everybody involved.

Secondly, I'm seeing and hearing a lot of "what if" statements:

  • What if Trayvon was white?
  • What if Zimmerman was black?
  • What if Trayvon was over 18?
  • What if Trayvon had been armed?
  • What if Zimmerman was a woman?
None of these are facts in the case so none of them are things the jury could have or should have taken into consideration. When you propose "what if" scenarios to back your argument, your expectation is that people will alter their opinion based on circumstances that don't exist. That renders your argument instantly invalid.

Third, and most important, don't speak in asinine absolutes.

  • White people don't care when black people get killed.
  • Black people introduce race into everything.
If you honestly believe rhetoric like that, please follow the advice given in the first point. If you don't and you're just saying it because this incident has you fired up, look at what you're doing. You're putting your opponent in a position where they have to defend themselves by denying something that doesn't even have to do with this case. It's counter-productive. So don't do it. In fact, don't do it, ever, under any circumstances. Because that thinking will always be counter-productive.

Thanks. Now, have at it.

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