Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Political Parties and Polarization....

In the last week, interesting polls have been published suggesting that a higher proportion of Democrats than ever before believe in the evolution of the human species…while fewer Republicans than ever believe so.

In this morning’s Washington Post, this divergence in the political parties was stated thusly: 

…Political polarization has ushered in a new era in state government, where single-party control of the levers of power has produced competing Americas. One is grounded in principles of lean and limited government and on traditional values; the other is built on a belief in the essential role of government and on tenets of cultural liberalism.
These opposing visions have been a staple of national elections, and in a divided Washington, this polarization has resulted in gridlock and dysfunction. But today, three-quarters of the states — more than at any time in recent memory — are controlled by either Republicans or Democrats. Elected officials in these states are moving unencumbered to enact their party’s agenda…”

During the 1950s – 1970s, it was often hard to draw a hard and fast line between the Republicans and the Democrats.  Northeast “Yankees” like Jacob Javits (A Republican with Liberal Party support from New York) and Edward Brooke (an African-American Republican Senator from Massachusetts) voted with Democrats as often as with Republicans…and southern and western Democrats would make most modern-day Republicans proud.  The lines between the parties was fuzzy, even through the Reagan-Clinton era, as Clinton embraced a “New Democrat” image and Buffalo NY Republican Congressman Jack Kemp argued for paying more attention to urban decay.

Today, it seems that all pretense of ‘variety’ within the parties is gone.

If you’re a Republican, one is expected to embrace an entire litany of positions on abortion, health care, gay rights, the deficit, taxation, capital gains, employment policies, and firearms rights.  If you’re a Democrat, it’s expected that you will walk in lockstep agreement in the opposite direction on all those issues.  The result is a Congress and an electorate that is gridlocked.

But let me suggest that partisanship is not the underlying problem here.

I always wished that the political parties were a little more focused on what they actually stood for; I guess I’ve got my wish now. Like European politics (and most democracies in the world), the parties appear to have developed more specific, identifiable ‘personalities.’
But unlike Europe and Canada and most democracies – the voters’ choices have been institutionally limited to the two major parties.
And that makes it very difficult of you are a person who can not be pigeon-holed into a narrow philosophy.  And that may actually be the majority of American voters.

What does a voter do who believes in stronger gun control, but wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act?  Or, conversely, what does a voter do who supports easy firearm ownership, but also embraces a national health care system? Or who wants to see lower taxes, but less militarism?

In Europe and elsewhere, the answer is a little easier: you choose a party that more closely reflects your values. Canadians may choose from up to 15 parties: New Democrats, Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, Parti Quebecois, Liberals, and Greens; In the UK, one chooses from Conservatives, Unionists, Liberals, Labour, the Scottish Nationalist Party, Greens, Alliance, Sinn Fein, and Independence; Germans choose between Free Democrats, Social Democrats, Christian Social Union, Christian Democratic Union, the Left, and six minor parties that have won seats in state governments.

Standing on an ideological platform is fine; what is not fine is offering voters a choice of only two such platforms, forcing voters to hold their noses and vote for a candidate that stands for many positions with which they disagree. The gerrymandering of districts makes many votes simply an academic exercise anyway; and the ‘winner-take-all notion of congressional districts further thwarts the actual will of 49% of the voters in any district - or across a state.

When Republican and Democrats are able to prevent competition from getting on the ballot; draw district lines that insure their re-election; and need only win 51% of the vote in order to ram through an ideological platform in 100% agreement with their party…the system is broken.

Perhaps Europe and Canada offer a better alternative: proportional representation and multiple parties from which to choose.

Monday, December 30, 2013

RePost: A Gay Liberal Opposes Gun Control (and other infringements on the Bill of Rights)

By most standards, I’m liberal: I’m gay (and support GLBT equality), and support progressive taxation, breaking up the Mega-banks, alternative energy, a social safety net, legalized cannabis and compassionate immigration laws. I’m the president of my local teacher’s union, believe in mandatory profit-sharing, and a national health insurance plan. Most of my friends – both “Facebook” friends and flesh-and-blood friends generally agree with my positions.

But when it comes to the Second Amendment – well, I am going to stand apart from the crowd.  I do not support the current efforts to curtail firearm ownership.  And I hope my otherwise liberal friends will at least give me the benefit of reading why I am not on the bandwagon.

1) This nation should NEVER adopt legislation as a response to a crisis.  Our track record in every area is awful, because we let emotion and politics and a blind desire to “do something!” drive the program…and we often make big, big mistakes.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the nation demanded that government do ‘something’ in the name of security.  

 That ‘something’ was one of the most shameful chapters in American history, as our government rounded up 110,000 Japanese-Americans, sent them to concentration camps, and confiscated their property. President Franklin D Roosevelt did this through an Executive Order, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona. It took until 1988 for a formal Presidential Proclamation apologizing, blaming the actions on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

And yet, we did it.  And it was clearly unconstitutional.  But we did it in response to a perceived crisis.

Fast Forward to 9/11…and we did the same thing.  The Patriot Act, NDAA, the right of Government to spy on library and bank accounts without search warrants, actual public hearings seeking to deny Muslims the right to open up mosques, the suspension of habeus corpus, the indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial, and the ongoing tragedy of Guantanamo Bay show that we are still all too willing to engage in overtly unconstitutional acts when we respond to a perceived crisis.  Every time you remove your shoes to get on a plane, and every time a TSA agent strip searches someone’s grandmother, you continue to see these effects.

We even do it in legal areas unrelated to security:  In 1993, the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that a government must show a compelling state interest to prohibit gay marriage; the emotional howling of conservatives – who feared that conservative states would have to accept same-sex marriage – led to an emotional passage of DOMA, the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” which has been ruled unconstitutional in no fewer than nine federal courts, including both the first and second Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the U S Supreme Court.

Whenever we say, “We must act now!,” and act based on emotion, we do a historically terrible job of complying with our own Constitution.

I have read a number of very strong opinions lately, and am struck by how little people actually know about firearms. Raised on a generation of Matrix and shoot-em-up movies, much of the public believes that semi-automatic rifles simply let loose with a burst of bullets. Very few seems to understand that a semi-automatic does no such thing – it’s one trigger pull, one bullet – but in the heat of emotion, facts don’t seem to matter.

2) Making something illegal – or harder to obtain – does not make it go away. Rather, it drives the good or service underground where it is controlled by criminal elements – the very thing we do not want to do.

Once again, we can look at actual, objective history: 

We outlawed alcohol, and it didn’t go away.  Instead, it went underground, and its distribution was controlled by crime families.  Violence increased significantly as these families battled for territory.  The same is true of today’s Drug cartels.  We outlawed gambling, only to see it driven underground. As expected, the openness of offshore internet gambling accounts has actually increased the visibility of the ‘service,’ and reduced criminal violence. Until 1965, birth control was illegal in Connecticut, and until 1972, abortion was illegal in the majority of US states.  Do you think that no one in Connecticut used birth control, and no one obtained abortions?  Rather, both were relegated to unsafe, shady operations that resulted in tracking difficulty and more crime.  And finally, thirteen states enforced laws outlawing sodomy…do we really believe that gay men lived celibate lives until The Supreme Court overturned these laws in 2003 (Lawrence vs. Texas)?

Outlawing human activity, goods, or services has *never* eliminated the market for those goods and services.  It has only served to drive them underground, off the radar, and into the hands of criminal and shadowy elements.  

Is that what you want for firearms?

In the wake of Newtown, I wish people would be honest and admit that the guns used at the Newtown massacre WERE STOLEN.  They were ILLEGALLY OBTAINED.  No amount of registration, background check, or prohibition stops this activity.  There is an irrational disconnect between most of the proposals being floated and what actually happened at Newtown.

3) Please, in the name of all that is Honest, I am asking all of our politicians to cease parroting the mantra that goes, “Oh, I fully support the 2nd Amendment, but we need restrictions/controls/limitations…blah blah blah”

Let me lay some Constitutional Law on you folks: the Second Amendment is NOT about hunting or sports.  It’s about personal protection – and that includes protection against the police power of the State.  You don’t have to like it or agree with it, but that is our legal history.

Some have recently developed some twisted interpretations, suggesting that the Second Amendment is too obsolete, or only applies to rural hunting situations, or is only meant for state militias (not average citizens).

Enter District of Columbia vs. Heller, the landmark 2008 Supreme Court case, which held,

“The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Not militia use – any individual.

Not hunting and sport - Personal Defense.

In so doing, the Court invalidated a hand-gun ban and a trigger-lock requirement.
 The Second Amendment was drafted and adopted in order to allow every-day citizens to protect themselves against government tyranny.  It is a defense against both criminal elements and the police state - a defense denied to Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and, tragically, to Matthew Shepherd, the iconic gay youth who was beaten and tied to a Wyoming fence a decade ago.   
On an all-too-frequent basis, we read of gay men beaten with tire irons and baseball bats and left as bleeding pulps in the streets of our urban centers.  In 2004, the FBI reported that 1,482 gays were violently assaulted – some killed, some permanently disfigured and crippled.

This gay man will not be at the mercy of criminals, nor will he wait for the police to arrive.

Do I wish each of these guys carried a pistol?  Damn Straight. But cities – notably New York City and Chicago – make it near impossible for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves or carry, even if they are walking through high-crime areas late at night.

When seconds count, knowing that the police can be 5 minutes away offers no solace.

4) Constitutional Rights are not ‘contingent’ upon licensing, approval, background checks, or government permission.  You have a Right to speak, without the government deciding you are stable.  You have a right to form and engage in a religion, even if the government doesn't like it.  You have a right against self-incrimination, even if you are the most vile criminal.  You have a right to be compensated if your property is taken by eminent domain, without a public vote on whether we like you or not.  And you have a Constitutional Right to defend yourself with firearms, without government ‘permission.’ 

People are clamoring for ‘background checks.’

Can someone tell me what you are looking for in this background check? Mental stability? Criminal records?  How about a credit check? 

Do I think that convicted felons should be able to carry firearms?

Yes, I do.

[WHAT?! OK, Thom, you went too far here….!]

Hear me out:  1 in 6 black men in this country has been jailed. It is a societal embarrassment that our so-called “War on Drugs” has decimated the minority community and made ‘criminals’ out of people who never hurt anyone.  In some states, young men are branded ‘sexual offenders’ for ‘crimes’ as innocuous as peeing in public when drunk. People involved in one-time violent crimes, who have paid their debt to society and have reestablished themselves in their community wear a Scarlet A on their chest for the rest of their lives.

Should we disqualify anyone with a criminal record? 

Better be careful: it may not be long before we all have some ‘stain’ on our background, either because of an innocuous crime, or a credit rating that says we are a ‘danger,’ or songs downloaded from the internet, or because we had the audacity to support a group on a Facebook post that the government has branded a “terrorist” organization.

The clamoring for "background checks' is not being accompanied by an explanation of what we are actually looking for - and what is fair. 

After all, it is the government against which the Second Amendment is meant to protect me that would be performing the background checks. 

I will not give up any of my Constitutional Rights without a fight to the end.  That includes:

Speech (whether you agree or not, and whether you find it ‘hateful’ or not.)

Assembly and Protest (whether I have a ‘permit’ or not, even when the cops come armed with tazers and pepper spray.)

Religion (whether its ‘mainstream’ or not.)

Press (Whether I have a ‘press pass’ or not. I will use my phone as a camera to film police activity. It is my RIGHT.)

Right to Remain Silent (even when a cop pulls me over and asks me where I’ve been. I do NOT have to answer.)

And yes, the Right to Bear Arms….even when the State or the public prefer to render me defenseless.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands Takes back New York....

To: The Citizens of the Colonies of Nieuw Netherlands, most recently known as the States of New-York, New-Jersey, Vermont, and Delaware:

From: His Majesty Willem-Alexander, Monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Noordeinde Palace, Amsterdam.

Greetings to our family in the western hemisphere!

Your current troubles have caused your European parents great consternation, as we have watched you struggle among yourselves without resolution in sight.  In short, we have watched in horror as uncivilized rubes from those places called “Red States” have sought to impose the most regressive social and economic policies on the educated citizens of the northeast and western coastal zones; we have watched you wring your hands over issues of equality and victimless crimes, issues which have been long-settled in more civilized realms; and now we watch as your Congress appears unable to provide even a modicum of leadership, all while continuing to collect your taxes and pay themselves.

The final straw that now tips our hand, however, is the belligerent and aggressive acts of the State of Britain. We have learned that Queen Elizabeth II has issued a unilateral decree assuming control over the lands of the United States. As this includes lands that initially prospered under a Dutch flag, we can not permit the actions of a hostile Britain to further imperil our children.

Henceforth, The Kingdom of the Netherlands immediately reasserts its claims to the former colonies of Nieuw Netherlands, comprising the current day states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Vermont.  In so doing, we hope to sever these right-thinking progressive lands from capture by either domestic Texan Rangers, or by Uptight British Lords.

Henceforth, the laws of the Netherlands now apply in these, our former-but-now-reunited Colonies:

1) The use of Marijuana is now Legal for personal use.

2) Prostitution is now legal and regulated.

3) Same-Sex Marriage is legal throughout the Kingdom.

4) The Dutch mandatory Minimum Wage of $10.93/hour now applies throughout the former Colonies. We should point out that even at this rate, our Unemployment rate is lower than the US.

5) You will now be enrolled the world’s #1 rated Universal Health Insurance System.

6) No Physician shall be prosecuted for assisting a patient desiring to end their life.

7) As long as Tenants pay rent, they may not be evicted for any reason.

8) All employees shall be covered by a collective labor agreement.

9) As a historic trading and seafaring nation, you will enjoy maximum flexibility in operating your small businesses without interference by the Kingdom

10) You will continue to enjoy your Freedoms to Speech (including using the language of your choice), Religion, Assembly, and the Press – all rights granted by this Kingdom to you in your original Colonial Charters.

In return for these freedoms and privileges, we require one thing only: as 2/3 of the Dutch Population are members of Sports Clubs and participate weekly in these healthy endeavors, we will require our reunited children to join in regular matches of Football (you call this ‘soccer’), Field Hockey, Rugby, and/or Volleyball, our top four national sports. 

We shall not await a response, fully expecting in your eager assent.  As such, we have dispatched a fleet to New York Harbor, to be henceforth known as Nieuw Amsterdam Haven.

Your King,



Friday, August 16, 2013

NYC Mayor Endorsement: Bill de Blasio

After 12 years under the billionaire mayor Bloomberg (4 more than was legal), the city has undergone massive, catastrophic change. In his drive to create a "luxury city" built exclusively for the wealthy, Bloomberg rezoned nearly 40% of the city's land mass, and much of that was up-zoning--knocking down old buildings, evicting residents and businesses, using eminent domain to steal people's property, so the real-estate developers could erect towers of glass loaded with amenities for the super rich.
Under Bloomberg, we watched our small mom-and-pop businesses struggle and die, while national and global chain stores proliferated exponentially like bedbugs. Many of those small businesses had been in the city for decades, run by third- and fourth-generation families. If you tally up all that history, well over 6,000 years of independent business were lost during the Bloomberg era.

Rents and home prices skyrocketed as neighborhoods were gentrified, and then hyper-gentrified. In Harlem alone, prices went up 222 percent between 2000 and 2012. The cultural heart of the city has atrophied, as artists can no longer afford to live here. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer, as the city's inequality gap is now on par with parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Vital parts of the city had their souls ripped out. Coney Island was leveled and is becoming a suburban shopping mall. Times Square was turned into a suburban shopping mall. Bleecker Street was turned into an upscale suburban shopping mall. I could go on...

We desperately need the anti-Bloomberg. That is why I am endorsing Bill de Blasio for Mayor of New York City. With a focus on repairing inequality, he's the only candidate who's saying "We need a real break from the Bloomberg years." The rich are afraid of him. He wants to tax the wealthy and "Take money away from big company subsidies," turning it into loans and tax incentives for small businesses. He wants to save our hospitals and create affordable housing. He was the only candidate in last night's debate to say that the real-estate industry is a problem for the city. As he said, "this city has been available to everyone, it's been open to everyone, anyone could make it here. That is now slipping away."

We need a mayor who will stop the bleeding. Bill de Blasio is not perfect, but I believe he's our best choice for the next mayor of New York City, and he's getting my vote. (Also, I'd like to stop writing this blog and if Quinn wins, the vanishings are sure to continue.)

[The above blogpost originally appeared on the Blogsite, "Jeremiah's Vanishing New York" found at

http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2013/08/de-blasio-for-new-york.html .  We repost it verbatim because it succinctly makes the case FOR deBlasio....and against Quinn]


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What Brought Detroit to it's Knees?

 This is just an amazingly, on-target post by a Detroit resident who counters the notion that poor politics, liberal democrats, union members, or wild spending bankrupted Detroit. It is, in fact, a response from a progressive libertarian who blames racism, pure and simple, for Detroit's fiscal problems...and who sees great promise in the city still.  Thank you to Milo Sales for this impassioned analysis:

Anyone who knows anything about Detroit knows how dumb this (blaming Obama or specific politicians) is. If a racist had a city, it's what Detroit would look like 50 years later. You might want to look up what White Flight and Redlining are - because that's what turned Detroit into what it is today. When you move all the jobs to the suburbs and refuse to let poor minorities rent/buy houses in the area, with shit for mass transportation (effectively stranding them with no means of reasonable income) guess what, the city will degenerate.
What you fail to realize is that METRO Detroit (ie, the Suburbs) are prosperous. As a matter of fact one of our suburbs is the second richest city in the ENTIRE country. [I suspect he is referring to Grosse Pointe].  If you understand the scale of Detroit (we can fit Manhattan, Austin and SF all in our city borders only) and then consider the size of the suburbs (at least 15x larger) you might start to make some connections here. The Old Detroit spread out, taking its wealth and jobs with it. It's not coincidence that the City/Suburbs is the most racially segregated part of the entire USA - 8 Mile is a Black/White Line, even still. 

You have a city designed for a tax base of a million trying to make do with 200,000 - which falls daily as black people whose families got left behind emigrate to the more prosperous suburbs now that, you know, they can actually do that.

Detroit wasn't killed by Democrats or Liberalism, it was killed by Racism - pure and fucking simple. Now tell me, which party is more Racist? Yeah, I thought so. It's amazing that the city has held on as long as it has without going bankrupt.

Second, despite all of this - Detroit is an amazing place; especially for Libertarians. Where else could a couple kids buy a 3 story building downtown for 40k? I renovated an entire loft out of nothing, no electricity, no water, with no permits, no government interference. I built a place that in another city would have been so far out of my budget it's absurd. You know how many permits I pull when I go till an abandoned lot and plant a community garden? None. We have communities, real ones, where people stick together and know each others names still. We have neighborhood watches where we manage not to kill unarmed kids, despite their being ACTUAL crime. We have an incredible entrepreneurial spirit - art galleries which spring from nowhere, designer clothing shops started up by 20 year old's, 2k and a screen printer. Nineteen year old's are buying and renovating homes, starting businesses.

But maybe you're right, if Obama had a city maybe it would be Detroit. A city where blacks and whites come together despite centuries of racism, create and achieve things that no one expected or thought possible. While I'm no fan of the president, I'll take that comparison.

The general ignorance of people is amazing. Maybe we're all Secret Muslims too.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Boycott Russian Winter Oympics? A Resounding NO...

I am seeing an increasing number of people calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Some come from the Neoconservative Right, because they're pissed off at Russia's non-cooperation on Snowden.  Others are gay activists, horrified at Russia's new draconian anti-gay laws.

I'll be the odd man out, and say this is a really bad idea folks.

First, NO ONE calling for a boycott will be personally hurt by it. They have nothing to lose, so its easy to yell, "Yeah, let's boycott!"  On the other hand, hundreds of American young people who have been training and working and devoting their lives to these games, would have to bear the burden of this action. It's easy to call for action when *others* have to bear the cost. I'm not willing to have American athletes suffer (or athlete's from any nation, quite frankly) to make  a political statement.

Second, the message is mixed. If we want Russia to "do" something, what is it? Turn over Snowden?  Or Repeal Anti-gay statutes? It's a mixed, muddled - and conflicting message. In other words, in return for destroying innocent people's dreams - nothing will be accomplished and no laws will change.

Third, it's hypocritical. If you wanted to protest governments that engage in civil liberties violations and espionage activities, you should have boycotted Beijing a few years ago. If you want to punish countries with anti-gay laws...where was your voice when 30 athletes came from Nigeria (a nation where homosexuality is punishable by death in the northern states) arrived in Atlanta in 1996?

Lastly, it's just poor policy to use Sports as a political weapon.  Sports is one of the few human activities that actually has the ability to take human conflict and channel it into constructive competitiveness somewhere other than on the battlefield. The statement  that was made in the summer of 1936 when African-American athletes (like Jesse Owens) trounced the Germans in track and field in Berlin helped topple the myth of Aryan Supremacy in a bloodless way that no bullet ever did.  The Olympics need to be kept out of political intrigue and maintained as a sporting event. The original, ancient Greek Olympics allowed warring city-states to compete with each other, and allowed its populations to override the war-mongering idiocy of their governments by coming together in spite of political differences.  

And that's the way it should stay.

Gay brothers and allies...you want to do something that will really hurt them where it hurts? Stop drinking Stoli.  Demand that your local liquor stores and favorite bars cease carrying Russian-made vodka.  Hit them where it hurts. But to do so requires you to get off your keyboard, and bear the burden of this protest yourself...will you do it?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Whites Insist on Defending Zimmerman

I have really been shocked at the stridency with which so many white folk – otherwise intelligent, even liberal white folk – have engaged in semantic gymnastics in an effort to justify the Zimmerman verdict and criticize those who see injustice.  The righteous anger in defense of Zimmerman is startling, even for someone like me, who has grown accustomed to racial animus as a fact of life.  But why has this case struck such a nerve, in the white community as well as in the black community?

I think back to something a very wise, sympathetic figure said about me more than a decade ago.  

I was still closeted, and had not come to terms with my sexuality. I was engaged in furious online debates with this man, who was unapologetically open about his orientation. I came up with every argument in the book as to why he was wrong, mistaken, sinful, sick, twisted, and deluded.  I would grasp at any weird event that had happened in the gay community, and attempted to characterize it as ‘normal’ for that group. With each such bizarre post, I would punctuate my comments with the equivalent of “A-ha!  See?!  You’re a hypocrite/wrong/blind blah blah blah."  I was irrational in my need to prove I was right.

This gentlemen with whom I was debating wrote a private message to someone else, who had the courage to send it to me.  What it said was,

“Thom is a man conflicted.  You fight yourself the hardest, and he is not really fighting me…he is fighting himself.”

That insight was brilliant.  I have never forgotten it (eternal thanks, John/Jane Z)

And I see the same concept manifesting itself among white people in the aftermath of the trial.

White people who insist that they are not racist, because, in their heads, they know it's a bad thing to be racist.

But for who, in their guts, still have knee-jerk feelings...based on race.

In their hearts, they know they distrust blacks more than whites.  They know they’re even afraid of blacks, and will cross the street to avoid them.  They know in their gut that when they hear about welfare queens and people who rip-off the tax system, they envision a black family.  They can’t avoid these feelings, often because they were raised in an environment where they were taught to fear and loathe blacks.

But, they know in their heads that such misplaced hate and prejudice is simply wrong. Ergo, they deal with a conflict between the head and the gut.

And so, “they fight themselves the hardest.”  They scour their minds and the internet and every cliché they can find to make sure that they can satisfy the racial fears in their guts by lauding Zimmerman, without violating their conscience which tells them that racial fear is not a good enough reason.

They throw punches in the air:

“Black on black crime is much worse…”

“No one ever talks about a white kid getting killed by blacks…”

“The jury spoke, it’s over…”

“You don’t see whites rioting…”

“Zimmerman was being pummeled…”

“It’s the media’s fault…”
"He was a thug.."

“If Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton wouldn't get involved….”

“The civil war ended over a hundred years ago, and all you people do is talk about race…”

Of course, not one of these arguments is a legitimate reason to support George Zimmerman. Not one of them addresses the District Attorney’s sweeping this under the rug for 45 days,  the misuse of the Stand Your Ground Statute and the refusal of the Judge to issue jury instructions on that matter, the admission of concrete slabs and shirtless pictures of Trayvon as evidence, the lack of *any* pre-emptory challenges by the prosecution over jurors, the lack of any men or blacks on the jury, the fact that Zimmerman’s father was a local Judge and the venue wasn't changed,  and a host of other suspect irregularities.

But what these folk are doing is not fighting for or against Justice.

They are using George Zimmerman as a proxy for themselves.

They know that George suspected Trayvon, because Trayvon was a young black man in a gated, middle class neighborhood.  

And they know they would have felt the same.  

Putting Zimmerman on trial is like putting them on trial.

And so the only way to fight the inner vestiges of racism in their gut, is to ‘fight themselves the hardest’ – lash out and defend Zimmerman any way they can, so they can avoid the ugly reality of having to reconcile Gut with Mind.

It’s an irrational, ugly, brutal process.