Thursday, March 29, 2012

Skittles and Broccoli

Every once in a while, a week comes along that brings clarity and definition to the world and enables us to find meaning in the beautiful things that make up our lives.

Perhaps next week will be such a week.

For the parents of Trayvon Martin, this was a week that saw the world finally notice the tragedy that befell their child. It's a story that is easily told but terribly difficult to understand:

The circumstances - an unarmed teen carrying Skittles, a gated suburban community and a man with no official authority - along with simmering economic frustrations in the nation's African-American community turned the death into a social touchstone. Social media, black radio and cable television drove the debate about racial profiling and the state of black males, helping give rise to an indelible image that seems to be everywhere: Trayvon Martin and his hoodie.

It shed light on the Florida Stand Your Ground Law, which essentially allows people with guns to decide who's a threat and who's not, and to allow suburban vigilante justice in the guise of neighborhood watch. And as more evidence comes out about what might have happened on that fateful night, more questions are raised. Finally, what about Wrigley, the company that makes Skittles? That's complicated. Sales are up, but for all the wrong reasons.

As if the Martin story wasn't complicated enough, this was also the week of health care. Ironic, no?

Enough words have been senselessly killed since Monday in an effort to describe, analyze, parse, interpret, divine, enunciate, explicate and pontificate on what exactly the justices meant, when it's fairly clear that the conservatives would rather make love to a broccoli stalk than rule the law to be constitutional.

And the broccoli bit is the heart of the problem. Is it just me or did anyone else get the sense that Antonin Scalia didn't merely complain about having a 2,700 page law to leaf through, he never actually read any of the briefs related to it? How else to explain his repetition of the broccoli conundrum that was standard fare in the mainstream press for the past 6 months? Or his mis-citation of the Cornhusker Kickback, which was troubling enough for a man of his intellect?  I thought the justices were supposed to focus on the law, not repeat the  talking points that radiate from all corners of the Cable News/Twitter/Blogosphere Axis.

At least we'll know the outcome of the health care law at the end of June. After that, President Obama and Mitt Romney can adjust their campaigns and move forward with their lives.

Trayvon Martin's parents might not get that kind of closure for many months after that. And they'll always have more questions than answers.

Justice indeed.

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  1. Great Blog! I found you through twitter... thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for the post. I'm glad you like it.

  3. I disagree with some of what you have said as the "stand your ground law" is not in play here. But as always, I enjoy reading your thoughts, comments and ideas! God Bless you!

  4. I thought it was. Isn't that what Mr. Zimmerman is claiming as his reason for the shooting?