NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

August 6, 2013

When to hold 'em, when to fold 'em

To the editor:

Regarding the publicity given what should be called the Stand Your Ground trial, more than one writer objects to “the race card.” As a July 29 headline sums up:

“Zimmerman trial wasn’t about race.”

So what was it about? Shootings are commonplace. What made this one newsworthy was Zimmerman’s defense.

The writers never mention Stand Your Ground or the all-powerful lobbying group that conceived and successfully pushed it in 31 states since 2006.

Exactly what the National Rifle Association wants as it maintains its low profile since what it dismisses as “the Connecticut effect.”

Comparisons to Emmitt Till? That murder, too, was commonplace until his mother did something unheard of: Insist on photographs to show a complacent if not complicit nation the extent of the brutality.

Today she would be attacked for “playing the race card,” as would Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks— and Life Magazine for “cashing in,” just as the NAACP is now.

But why stop at 1955? Let’s damn William Lloyd Garrison for stacking the race deck, Harriet Beecher Stowe for rigging it, and Abe Lincoln for dealing from its bottom.

Lincoln may be dealing yet:

From the flawed investigation to the heavy-handed instructions to the jury, this is Florida’s attempt to bait the Obama Administration.

Any federal intervention will raise an immediate cry that will ring like Pavlov’s dinner bell for libertarians and tea partyers in next year’s midterms and again in 2016:

“States Rights!”

As Lincoln might remind us, the word “state” here is a euphemism. That Trayvon Martin was black means far less than that he was murdered in a gated community.

The foremost issue is not race. It is property — and just how far a gun, like a bank account, can go to keep anything near it private.

Jack Garvey

Plum Island

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