Earlier this year, George Zimmerman managed to divide this country. His name and that of his young victim aroused deep emotions among various segments of our society, dividing the country along racial lines. Did Martin say something to provoke Zimmerman? Why did Zimmerman continue to pursue a potentially dangerous person even after police urged him not to do so? We may never know the answers to those questions, but the rhetoric following the event was intense, inflammatory, and divisive. My guy and I were at a function where an elderly white man obviously wanted to hold onto some imaginary territory. To him, Zimmerman's innocence was clear. This young punk had broken his nose. Zimmerman acted in self-defense. Yet another white guy, ex-military, told the other elderly man they were going to "take back the country." From whom, I wonder? Why did these two older white males feel so threatened by this trial and its outcome? I see this need to hold onto territory in the pages of social media outlets, the media, and in private conversations. Many white people assume that because I'm white I hold their racist views. What I find ironic is that some of the very people who supported Zimmerman at his trial would--under normal circumstances--hate him and his Hispanic heritage because "those people" also have made inroads into a once predominantly white culture.
Now, however, we are seeing a darker side to George Zimmerman. His wife left him, casting doubt on his innocence and pure motives. He has gone to jail because of violence against the girlfriend he tried to choke. In his rage against her, Zimmerman said he had "nothing to lose." We don't know if Zimmerman's rage existed before he killed young Martin, but I wonder about the people who supported him before. Do they still condone his violence against women? Is that acceptable, too? I'm not judging him. I don't know what has happened in his life, and I know that God also holds those people accountable who judge others. Still, we have to wonder now what happened on that street earlier this year. Was Zimmerman provoked and couldn't hold his temper? Why are people so easily enraged these days? Would the outcome of this whole tragic ordeal been different had Zimmerman walked away and let police handle the situation as he'd been urged to do?