Last night, the American Federation of Teachers injected itself into the Zimmerman case with the following press release:
“While we believe in the rule of law and the jury has spoken, the implications of the acquittal are profound. It is very disappointing that a racially profiled, unarmed African-American young man wearing a hoodie can be shot dead and there be no consequences for the perpetrator. This case reminds us that the path to racial justice is still a long one, and that our legal and moral systems do not always mesh. The proceedings in the Sanford, Fla., courtroom may well have dealt with the criminal aspects of the case, as defined by Florida law, but we will continue to deal with the moral ones. As the AFT pledged in a resolution passed at our 2012 convention, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight for laws, policies and practices that will prohibit racial profiling at the federal, state and local levels.
“The disposition of this case is the antithesis of what we teach our children in school—that the law protects innocent victims and that no one has the right to take the law into his or her own hands. Everyone’s child matters. We pray for the strength of Trayvon’s parents and loved ones in this difficult time.”
After beginning the statement with an insincere nod to the “rule of law” and the decision of the jury, AFT then spends two paragraphs explaining how the rule of law was wrong in this instance and the jury was wrong in this instance. Those things led to, “the antithesis of what we teach our children in school…”
What in the world are you teaching our children in school?
Are you teaching them that it’s appropriate to stalk someone you think has somehow “disrespected” you? That’s it’s ok to knock that person to the ground, climb onto his chest, and smash his head repeatedly into the concrete?
Are you teaching them that it’s only appropriate to defend yourself if the person cracking your skull open is from a certain ancestry? Are you teaching them that it’s OK to assault someone violently as long as they think that person is white?
Are you teaching them that racial profiling only occurs when the victim is of a certain ethnic background? Are you teaching them that it’s not racist to refer to someone as a “creepy-ass cracker” right before throwing him to the ground and bashing his skull in, but it is racist to answer “black” when a 911 operator asks about someone’s race?
Do you want our nation’s children to grow up to be the kind of jurors who ignore evidence — evidence so obvious that it led both the police and the local prosecutors to clear Zimmerman almost immediately — and instead convict the innocent to satisfy the demands of an angry mob?
So please, tell me what you would teach our children to do if they found themselves straddled and being beaten half to death late at night by a stranger. But wait, apparently you cannot answer that question until you know what color skin each person has.
It seems like you want different laws of self-defense that depend on race. It seems like you want a different definition of “profiling” that depends on race. It seems like you want a different rule of law that depends on race. It seems like you want a different standard for juries that depends on race. Next you’ll want different seating areas on your school bus for people of different races… and isn’t that a giant step backwards?
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG