16.7.13

A MAN HEARS WHAT HE WANTS TO HEAR AND DISREGARDS THE REST.

Via Media identifies the true fault lines revealed by the just-concluded George Zimmerman trial.
The presence of large numbers of immigrants from parts of the hemisphere where traditional American racial categories don’t apply very well is slowly blurring racial lines here. The relationship between African-Americans and ‘Hispanics’ is getting more complex and in some ways more tense. President Obama has lost control of the country’s race narrative. African American leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton aren’t what they used to be. Class lines in America threaten to become more important, and as that happens, African Americans who are both black and poor find themselves increasingly alienated from whites in general and upper middle class and elite blacks. Florida is a mess.
As is a Chicago in which inculcating middle-class habits in school gets trumped by respecting gang territories in laying out service territories.  Sultan Knish suggests that the alienation cuts both ways.
To understand the Zimmerman case, you have to live in a neighborhood that has just enough property values to keep you paying the mortgage and just enough proximity to dangerous territories to make you feel like you're living on the frontier.
The social science is rudimentary, yet there are probably testable hypotheses in what follows.  (The comments to the post, which has been picked up on Pajamas Media, are not for the faint of heart.)
It's about a struggling middle class in a precarious economy trying to hang on to what it has. And it's about a culture of dropouts from the economy who celebrate thuggery and then pretend to be the victims. It's doubtful that anyone in Zimmerman's neighborhood who weathered multiple break-ins has much sympathy for the Martin family. And that's one reason that the prosecution hasn't found any useful witnesses.

If Trayvon Martin had been the clean cut innocent kid that the media tried to pretend he is, the reaction might have been different. But he wasn't.
And, Daniel Flynn suggests, "They don't make men the way they used to."
Civilizing men out of existence has come at great cost to civilization. Instead of men, we get feminine imitations lacking beauty. We get lost boys compensating by becoming barbarians. We get Sanford, Florida, February 26, 2012.
Perhaps the restoration of guardrails will help. That might be Slate's Will Saletan, counting the ways in which the Popular Perspective (on all aspects of the case) got it wrong.
Don’t paint the world in black and white. Don’t declare the whole justice system racist, or blame every gun death on guns, or confuse acquittal with vindication. And the next time you see somebody who looks like a punk or a pervert, hold your fire.
That sounds too much like thought. Perhaps we begin by getting rid of the location "I feel" where "I think" is more accurate.

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