My extended family includes children the same color as Trayvon Martin, only slightly younger.
Two of them are young men who could easily be walking around their neighborhood outside a major southern city, with a bag of candy in their hands.
Their lives became a little more jeopardized Saturday night when the jury ruled George Zimmerman not guilty for starting trouble with a gun on him, courtesy of our gun culture.
I understand the legal concept of reasonable doubt, but I have trouble with it when the oh-so-reasonable defense attorney (with his Queens accent) is willing to do his own racial profiling of a teen-age witness as a Haitian. Got that. Haitian. Kenyan. Outsiders. Not "us."
That’s where we are going in this country – brave vigilantes walking around loose, plus long voting lines in poor districts, and the cuts in food stamps and planned parenthood, and other blatantly malicious acts.
I firmly believe that Zimmerman acquired his courage not only from the big iron he was packing but from the message from the yowlers on the talk radio and the Murdochite channels, plus members of Congress – the Boehners and McConnells, the Cantors and Pauls -- who rule with a smirk, letting everybody know they are not cooperating with that Kenyan Socialist. That’s been going on for more than four years. The tone is set.
Zimmerman is just a symptom.
*-- Walking With Skittles
With the arrival of LED lighting, which costs so little to burn, every house has become an island of illumination, every city a blazing forest fire of artificial light. In my own backyard, it’s hard to enjoy the full moon because so many of our neighbors now leave their lights on all night long. And that’s without the holiday displays, each one bright enough to guide an airplane from the sky and land it safely in the middle of our street.
---Margaret Renkl, The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2022.