Column on Zimmerman trial had a good take on modern stereotypes

Letters to the Editor


Thank you for your well-balanced column on the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case. I agree that there are many facets to this case, which include “stereotyping,” which we as Americans (along with most humans) practice. Zimmerman no doubt stereotyped Martin on the night of Feb. 26, in Florida, which resulted in Trayvon Martin’s unfortunate death.

That stereotyping was involved in this incident is probably a given, but I think one should consider the “vigilante mentality” that was influencing Zimmerman that night as he carried a concealed weapon on his “block watch” rounds and ignored the Sanford Police Department dispatcher who told Zimmerman that the police did not “need you to do that” i.e. take the law into his own hands.

I suppose there was a time for vigilantes in our country, notable in the Old West, but history shows us that lawless vigilantism can easily morph into a me-versus-them mentality… such as practiced by Neo-Nazis, Aryan Nations, Ku-Klux-Klan, and the radical bedfellows like them.

I feel that a 25 year-old man, from a generation raised on shoot-em-up video games, should not have been allowed to carry concealed heat to “protect” his neighborhood, regardless of how noble the idea sounded.

There are no winners in this case. In our country, established on and guided by the rule of law, we should look to bona fide law enforcement to protect our person and our property, not to untried volunteers.

Merle R. Craner



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