George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and still remains free, has launched his own website, to give "the facts" and solicit donations. I won't link directly to the site; it's easy enough to find if you're so inclined. The site features this image:
The image is of a vandalized wall at Ohio State University's black cultural center. Zimmerman accompanies it with a note reading:
"A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed" - Henrik, IbsenJudd at Think Progress notes that the other image on the site, of a hand-written protest sign reading "Justice for Zimmerman," is "from a rally held by Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones."
This page is dedicated to persons whom have displayed their support of Justice for All.
Well, I'm certainly convinced.
The rest of the site is self-pitying garbage, as the only suffering Zimmerman cares about is his own: "On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life."
Boo fucking hoo. The profundity of my contempt for this guy is truly cavernous. The passive voice, the lack of accountability, the aggressive gall of complaining about how his life has changed after taking someone else's away altogether. Seethe.
Even if the killing of Trayvon Martin went down exactly as George Zimmerman has claimed (and I do not believe that it did), this is a wildly unacceptable attitude. To be indignant about public scrutiny after killing another person, even if it's in self-defense, is absurd. And it doesn't jibe with the image we're meant to have of Zimmerman, per his lawyers and father—that of a man with deep remorse over being obliged to take a regrettable action.
He sounds instead like a petulant jerk whose only regret is that not everyone is buying the bullshit story he's peddling, especially after he thought he'd already gotten away with it.
And he may still.
Other recommended reading:
Associated Press: Special Prosecutor Won't Take Trayvon Martin Death to Florida Grand Jury, Still Investigating.
A grand jury will not look into the Trayvon Martin case, a special prosecutor said Monday, leaving the decision of whether to charge the teen's shooter in her hands alone and eliminating the possibility of a first-degree murder charge.Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post—America Loves a Vigilante. Until We Meet One.
That prosecutor, Angela Corey, said her decision had no bearing on whether she would file charges against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has said he shot the unarmed black teen in self-defense. Corey could still decide to charge him with a serious felony such as manslaughter, which can carry a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted.
It's easy to understand the enduring appeal of the vigilante archetype, whose hard-charging moral certainty jibes perfectly with this country's sense of exceptionalism, not to mention the narrative constraints of a 90-minute action movie. It's far more difficult to reconcile complicated reality with the simplistic, comforting fictions we crave.Please feel welcome and encouraged to leave other links and recommendations in comments.
After all, contradictions don’t have easy character arcs. Mutual comprehension doesn't lend itself to ballistic showdowns. Self-examination and second thoughts are notoriously un-telegenic. But as audiences look forward to another summer of vigilante derring-do, whether by way of Bruce Wayne or Ben Stiller, they may want to take a moment to remember George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, and ask whether some of the stories we keep telling ourselves can ever really have a happy ending.