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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Creating The Narrative Turns Evil

I've avoided the entire Trayvon Martin debate primarily for one reason, like everyone else in this country, I truly know nothing about the incidents of that night.  I know only that the police conducted an investigation and did not press charges or make an arrest.  I know that the original District Attorney decided not to seek an indictment.  I know that the main stream media attempted to edit the 911 phone conversation and manufactured other false pieces of evidence in order to bolster a narrative of a racially motivated execution.  I know that when the public did not get the lynching that they so lustily thirsted for, a special prosecutor was named.  I know that the special prosecutor has political ambitions beyond being an assistant state's attorney.  I know that the special prosecutor filed charges irrespective of the direction taken by the authorities who actually have jurisdiction, and that those charges won't even stand up to the scrutiny of an honest judge if 100% of the facts contained on the complaint are true.  I also know this.  Trayvon's parents lost a child, a loss which thankfully, I am not able to fully comprehend.

The Martins' behavior in all of this has been unbelievable.  They have bared their pain through all of this with dignity, and managed to stay above the political circus that their personal tragedy has become.  My heart and prayers go out to the Martin family, and I only  wish for their sake that God can overlook some of my many, many faults when listening to the prayers I give for the Martins. and their son.  As I sit here writing this post, it occurs to me that I am lucky.  I am not capable of knowing their pain.  It must be even harder to bare when everyone in the nation is attempting to politicize it.  Trayvon's death is a tragedy for them.  Their tragedy is not national, but very personal, and should remain that way.

There is a Yiddish word which, like a lot of Yiddish words is difficult to define in English. Rachmanis, and forgive my blunt attempt at description here, it is the ability to show mercy combined with compassion that all people should show to other human beings, including their enemies.  When God let the red sea waters collapse upon the Egyptian army, it was said that most of the angels in heaven began to celebrate, until they were admonished by other angels not to show joy that God was forced to destroy his own children.  This is why the 10 drops of salt water, symbolizing tears are dropped onto our dinner plates during a Passover Seder.  One tear shed for each plague visited upon those recipients of the plague, who while they may have deserved them, they were still God's children as well.  No matter what the facts are, Trayvon's parents deserve rachmanis, from every one of us.

Reading this yesterday was the last straw for me. I don't believe that a human being is capable of sinking any lower than this.  Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor of Black Studies at Syracuse University.  He is considered to be in the main stream of American Academia, and at the top of his field.  How do you parents, who are paying the exorbitant tuition for the education Syracuse offers to your children, feel about those checks you are writing, made payable to Syracuse?  At least they made it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament this year.  This is from the article penned by Dr. Boyce Watkins, which is entitled Note to Trayvon's Mother: It's Time for You to Step to the Side.

 Trayvon’s parents have done their work and they’ve done it well.  They’ve achieved the first steps toward justice for their son, and now it’s time for them to try to rebuild their lives in private.  Rev. Sharpton has done a wonderful job of highlighting the racial dimensions of this highly unfortunate incident.  At this point, the conversation about black men in the justice system must grow beyond Trayvon Martin, and the prosecution should be allowed to do its work.  The family, as well all associated racial advocates, need to strategize in private, listen to the evidence and just stop talking.

So, just to recap, Dr. Watkins would like to thank the Martins for having the good sense to have a son be slain in order to further the cause of Dr. Watkins. He just wishes that these good people would ignore their personal pain and allow their, not his, tragedy to become the rallying point for the race riots Dr. Watkins would like to see take place. I wonder if Boyce Watkins has children of his own. I wonder if something had happened to his family, would he be O.K. with his personal grief being turned into political grist for someone he has never met. I do not know the Martins, nor do I have any idea as to what their politics may be. Even if I did, I would not have the Chutzpah to tell them to step off and allow me to use their pain for my personal agenda, even if I knew them to be in complete agreement with it.

The race hucksters have been all over this one. They have, as they usually do, politicized the events of that tragic evening in complete disregard for the truth. Truth, as it always seems to be, is the bane of a good political narrative. Al Sharpton catapulted himself into the House of Representatives by leading one of these charges on the story told by Tawana Brawley. Jesse Jackson led the charge during the Duke Lacrosse rape case, and my guess is that he still has not apologized to the innocent boys accused in that case. My further guess is that he hasn't shared any of the loot he raised with his extortion operation, Rainbow Push Coalition, as a result of that case either. None of these men however has even had the unmitigated gall to ever tell the parents of a dead child to, "get off of the stage," before. By reducing the pain of the parent's to nothing more than his cause's political football, and then thanking them for having the courtesy to lose a child for his benefit, Boyce Watkins has reached a depth I had thought was not possible. Boyce Watkins, and the entire race hustling crowd could do with a little rachmanis. God, please give it to them soon.

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