Don't Rush to Judgment on Zimmerman

 We are George Zimmerman. 
Recently, DSU held a “debate” about the situation arising out of the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.  While we are all free to discuss and share feelings and impressions of the matter, a “debate” at this point is impossible since so few facts are known, and the implications of the few facts that are known are widely argued without any clear conclusion.  At a public institution such as DSU, where research is valued and sponsored, it is disappointing that a horrifying situation is used to promote a particular ideological agenda on our campus.  One would think and hope that what happened at Duke and to its lacrosse team would sound a warning bell about jumping to conclusions hand-in-hand with hucksters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, but apparently those lessons have been lost in the smog of Protest, Inc.
We can have a discussion on any topic that we wish, but a discussion advertised as a “debate” about an incident where so few facts are known can only lead to more misinformation, rumor-mongering, and the further development of a lynch-mob mentality.  At an institution of higher-learning such as DSU, we should strive to enlighten each other, not join in a chorus of baseless jingoism and self-righteous indignation about a situation that we know so little about.
If we truly wish to debate the larger topic of race relations, then let’s debate the racist decisions of the U.S.  Attorney General, the divisive racialism promoted by the U.S. President, the race of 94% of those who murder African-Americans, or the $10,000 bounty for Mr. Zimmerman’s murder offered by the Black Panthers.  But such a fact-based debate is more difficult because it does not fit into the simplistic cookie cutter outline promoted by Jackson, Sharpton, the Black Panthers, and Jeremiah Wright; it’s just easier to jump on the currently popular bandwagon of “us versus them”.  After the facts of the Duke “rape case” were revealed, where was the Jackson-Sharpton bandwagon to pick up the pieces of the ruined lives, families, careers, and bank accounts of the exonerated?  After Duke, where were the faculty who condemned these young men months earlier, and supported their expulsion from the university?  Who holds us accountable when we become them?  Are we not better than that?  Have we learned nothing about the rule of mobs? 
Who will speak for George Zimmerman? WE MUST.
Who is George Zimmerman?  WE ARE.
Otherwise, we will surely become what we claim to hate.
Andrew Shiers

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