The Zimmerman affair warms the cockles of a curmudgeon´s heart. (I´m not sure what a cockle is, but I want mine to be at the right temperature.) Never have I seen such sprawling, cacophonous, indignant ignorance and frightful stupidity as that being exhibited by the American public. We are doomed. I am delighted. Curmudgeons love doom.
Has there ever been such focused inattention as the case has produced? Nothing of importance is noticed, and everything lacking it is. The crucial fact to come out of the whole adventure—crucial, and therefore utterly overlooked–was that Rachel Jeantel, a prosecution witness and black girl aged nineteen years, can´t read. The grim implication of this fact is confirmed by the illiteracy of tweets from blacks regarding the case. “Ima kill dat dumass cracker be racis.” Here we see as neatly displayed as if in a jewelry box why so many young blacks will go nowhere in the remaining fifty years of their lives. They can´t read, or barely can. In a fading techno-industrial civilization—I use the latter word frivolously—this consigns them to a life on charity. Is this not of more note than who started what?
No. The educational disaster that will leave Rachel and millions of her confreres in meaningless lives on welfare pales in importance compared to the question: Did Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman have the proper racial attitudes? This is what exercises the vast endocrine boobitry howling with empty-headed rage and self-righteousness.
Of course racism was involved in the shooting. The prosecution established this beyond doubt. Trayvon referred to Zimmerman as a “creepy-ass cracker,” “cracker” being a highly pejorative term for low-class whites living in decaying trailers in the pine barrens and Everglades of Florida. So Trayvon, a racist, didn´t like white people. So what? Most blacks don´t.
A measure of the limitless hypocrisy that pervades, that almost constitutes American political life is that Travon´s clear racial hostility—“creepy-ass cracker”—is ignored. Only whites can exhibit racial antagonism. Yet perhaps twice a week on the Drudge Report one encounters cell-phone video of young blacks seriously beating whites because they are white. Here you have to understand that racial attacks are not racial. The local police chief invariably says that race wasn´t involved, when in fact nothing else was, and the papers will speak of “teens.”
But what persuaded me that humanity really did descend from monkeys, and would do well to ascend back to them, was the public´s near-perfect lack of grasp of anything involved in this national soap opera. From the vacant visages of over-coiffed network babes, from the empty minds and overhanging orbital ridges of anchor men, came a veritable Pacific of incomprehension. I was fascinated. Reasonable behavior is not very amusing.
For example, from these clouded minds there drizzled drastic drivel to the effect that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin. By this is meant that Zimmerman noticed that Martin closely resembled the young black males who had been burgling homes in the neighborhood, it being the duty of a neighborhood watch to notice exactly this.
But “profiling,” whatever network marsupials may think they think they mean by it, assuming that they think at all, is not a crime, and Zimmerman was not charged with it. “Following” is not a crime, and Zimmerman was not charged with it. Having attitudes that CNN doesn´t like is not yet a crime. Second-degree murder is a crime, and that, and only that, is what Zimmerman was charged with. The rest is irrelevant.
As best I could tell, this was far too difficult a concept for the talking heads.
Or was it? My Mexican wife, having compared the testimony in the trial to what the American media were saying, commented that the latter seemed to be trying to start a race war. Granted, she is not qualified to comment on the case, as she is not an idiot. Despite this debility, she appeared to be on to something.
Watching as much of the television coverage as I could bear, I saw that Zimmerman was being heavily packaged as guilty—of exactly what not being specified—with the strong implication that should he not be convicted, it would constitute a racially motivated miscarriage of justice. The duty of the jury was not to try him, but to convict him.
The coverage was so craftedly witless and dishonest that it was easy to suspect a conspiracy. Stupidity beyond a certain point can only be a work of intelligence. It was certainly dangerous behavior. In the cities there are large black populations who get all their news from television. These can easily be incited to violence. In California, someone called Zulu Shabazz, of the New Black Panther Party, is indeed calling for a race war against whites. The strategic brilliance of declaring war on those who grow your food and sign you checks might be lost on Sun Tzu. Oh well.
I have known people in the media for the forty years in which I pulled my oar in the triremes of print. I can attest that the talking heads do not want to provoke war. They want to display their virtue by engaging in exhibitionism disguised as confession. As a Catholic does not question the divinity of Christ, so a journalist does not question the racial guilt of whites. For everything, probably to include sunspots. It would result in ostracism, and one has to go daily to the news room.
Zimmerman´s defense was self-defense. How many of those bubbling and fuming indignantly have read Florida´s statue on self-defense? It is online. How many of those emoting about who threw the first punch have read Florida´s case law on the question? For good reasons, it doesn´t matter who punched whom first.
(You don´t like my looks and spit in my face. I punch you in the nose. You pull a switchblade and lunge at me, whereupon I shoot you dead. That´s legitimate self-defense, because I believed myself to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, this being the threshold for use of deadly force. That I threw the first punch doesn´t matter.)
Anyone of sufficient intelligence—IQ 3 should do it–can see that race relations in America are bad and getting worse. However, to judge by commentary regarding Zimmerman, very few meet this demanding intellectual standard. People achieving a lesser standard, partial sentience perhaps, can see that until blacks decide to essay literacy, even education, things will stay the same or deteriorate. The latter of course is the assured outcome. Why Mssrs. Jesse and Al don´t point this out to their constituents is, unfortunately, obvious, the purpose of race hustling being to profit the hustler.
But it isn´t my problem. Being a licensed curmudgeon, I think I´ll go to Tom´s Bar for a cold Tecate and the pleasure of an hour´s morbid reflection.