Sunday, July 14, 2013

Travyon Martin Would be Alive if George Zimmerman Followed the Wisdom of the "Parable of the Good Samaritan"

There are so many hurt feelings about the George Zimmerman "not guilty" verdict in his murdering of Trayvon Martin. Not surprisingly, the empathy of many on the Right who have embraced George Zimmerman as a hero, and he who wields the gun in defense of "innocents" i.e. white people like them, are more concerned about how Zimmerman will "heal" as opposed to the harm he has done to others.

Again, white racism demonstrates its power to make the unethical into the righteous and wicked deeds into those which are just. White racism is a sickness. The Ann Coulters and Fox News types who dance on the grave of Trayvon Martin are proof of its mania.

I am not a religious person. I am also not what one would consider a traditional "Christian." But, I try to take wisdom from wherever I can find it. Moreover, a good story that has been around for thousands of years in various forms is one that I try to reflect and meditate on.

Much of the dismay towards the jury's decision in the George Zimmerman murder case is rooted in the shock of how a man can disobey police instructions, stalk another person with a gun, kill them, lie about the events that took place, plead self-defense, and then walk free.

As summed up by so many folks, "if he had just stayed in his truck none of this would have happened."

I agree.

Other observers have offered up another question and scenario that we should consider as well: what if George Zimmerman, instead of assuming a black person was an imminent threat who should be confronted with lethal force for the "crime" of being in Zimmerman's self-appointed kingdom without "permission", simply introduced himself, and offered Trayvon a ride home so he wouldn't have to walk in the rain?

Zimmerman's bigotry and ego would have still motivated his actions. But maybe a small amount of empathy and humanity would have encouraged Zimmerman to see this black stranger as someone like him, with rights, freedoms, and liberties that should be respected. And such a small gesture could have perhaps dissuaded him getting out of his truck, with a bullet in the chamber, ready--or perhaps wanting to--shoot down in cold blood a young black man.

Remember that Travyon Martin was not a human being to George Zimmerman in that moment of decision to harass, pursue, threaten, and stalk. He was one of those "fucking punks" that "always gets away." Trayvon was an empty vessel full of all of the stereotypes and racism about and towards black people that Zimmerman had learned in his home, from his parents, the mass media, and American culture at large. In much the same way that militaries talk about "targets" and "collateral" damage in order to create emotional distance for facilitating the act of killing, Zimmerman did the same thing.

It is easier to kill those nebulous blacks, especially black men, when they are reduced to being "thugs" or "niggers" or "coons" or "bucks" or "boys" or "Uncles". One can kill a "black thug" much easier and with greater calm (see Zimmerman's cold demeanor in court and his utter lack of remorse during his interview with Sean Hannity), than if said person had a name, be it Trayvon, Jerome, Michael, James, Jonathan, or Jermaine.

Ultimately, for all of their empty yammering about "Jesus" and America being a "Christian" nation, wouldn't it be great if the White Right, as well as George Zimmerman, actually took some advice from the Bible and tried to live the best of its truths?

If George Zimmerman--and Conservatives more generally--read the Parable of the Good Samaritan and applied it to Trayvon Martin, how different would events now be?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Travyon would be alive; Zimmerman would still be a nobody with a cop fetish. Maybe it was "God's will" as Zimmerman divined it to kill another human being so that he could fulfill a fantasy? Zimmerman will have to take that up with whatever and whoever is running the afterlife: I would think that such an entity, if IT exists, would have many questions about George Zimmerman's actions on the night he shot and killed Travyon Martin.


Vic78 said...

You know they don't give a damn about Jesus. He's just a tool to make money and beat people they don't like over the head. Look at their leaders. Bill O' Reilly, Newt Gingrich, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, and many more tell you a lot about the right wing character. Their leaders are a reflection of them. The last thing they're going to do is be a Good Samaritan. Their record is one of undermining Samaritan types. Sometimes they kill them.

Most of them haven't even read their bibles. Their "Christian" faith is just for membership status since saying "white and proud" is pretty tacky. They have to have something to feel good about. When the non religious start asserting themselves more it'll be over for them.

What's really funny is they believe that Jesus is going to snatch them up and take them away from this world that they fucked up. They believe they're the good ones. If you're interested in grafting, you couldn't find a better group of suckers anywhere in the world.

chauncey devega said...

I agree. Christian Dominionism is a way for the corporateocracy to fleece fools. If you haven't do read Kevin Phillips' book from a few years back called American Theocracy.

Shady Grady said...

If a person is going to be treated as a criminal regardless of whether they are one or not, regardless of whether they are armed or not, the only solution is for more black people to start carrying guns to defend themselves. Because although skittles, cell phones, and wallets are seen as dangerous weapons by white racists, they do not in fact provide the ability to defend.

galleymac said...

Or we can vote with our feet.

After the death of Stephen Lawrence, the UK was *ashamed* and took steps to improve. No place is perfect, but still.

I know I sound defeatist. I'll buck up soon.

Play Righter said...

CDV: A year ago, you were guilty of similar crimes to those you attribute to Zimmerman: You stalked someone (with words), you "offed" them, you lied about the events, you plead "self defense" -- and then you walked free. Then, as now, you claim omniscience -- that you somehow know more about the working of the mind of someone else than that person and the evidence could ever demonstrate.

You called someone a complete idiot (and worse) for claiming that facts counted in this case -- and that 2nd degree murder was overcharging Zimmerman. While your parable above is nice, you fail to admit that George Zimmerman acted as the Good Samaritan in his neighborhood, watching out and caring for others.

Now that the jury has proven your year old charges false, are you going to offer an apology? Or should the victim of your hateful attacks demand "No Justice -- No Peace"?

Vic78 said...

I'll look into it.

Elly said...

We lived in Sacramento, CA for about 15 years. For roughly 5 of those years, we lived just a few blocks away from a mega-church: the Capital Christian Center. We used to refer to it as the "Capitalist Christian Center," due to the number of expensive cars clogging the road before/after Sunday services.

So much for Jesus' admonition: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Vic78 is entirely correct: "Jesus" means nothing to these people. The Bible is useful only as a source of "clobber verses" that can be used to legitimize cruelty and oppression.

And grifting... back when the Moral Majority was a "thing," the hubby (John) and I used to watch Jerry Falwell's "Old Time Gospel Hour" for the lulz. But it was also fascinating - in a creepy way - to watch Falwell work viewers for $$$. At one point, John and his buddy, Bob, pranked me by calling the show's hotline to sign me up to receive a "free" pro-life pin. The combination of a male voice on the line + an unfamiliar first name (my full name is oddly difficult for some people to process) ensured that a distinctively misspelled name was entered into their "sucker" database. This allowed me to accurately assess how rapidly and efficiently my "name" got distributed throughout the hardcore, right-wing funding network. Over the next 4 - 5 months, I received hundreds of "personalized" direct mail pieces from a range of different hardcore right-wing/Christianist orgs, all of which contained dark, fear-inducing predictions of social and/or political doom... unless I sent money. And more money.

And - if Rick Perlstein can be believed ( ) - nothing has changed. He calls it a "theology of fear" - and it fits.

Learning is Eternal said...

I tell people (in general) Christianity is/was another form of slavery Africans, FN people of mexico, south am. were subjugated to in accord w/the colonial, grand imperial scheme. Did I lie Chauncey? And if not why do they continue to follow? My respect for the basic rights for human life was not taught @church. I simply walked outside & saw the blatant disregard for it. We were in the wrong compared to Trayvon. Christians like patriotic ameriKKKlansmen are hypocritical in their words, beliefs & actions. I'm delighted to know De Vega you didn't go through life to the present thinking LOGICALLY to throw it out the window on talking snakes, 40 day floods written, revised & re-written by a homo bri' ish king, king James version... *drops mic sexy chocolate style & leaves bldg*

Michael Paul Goldenberg said...

Another very well-done column on the Zimmerman verdict.

George Smith said...

"[White] racism demonstrates its power to make the unethical into the righteous and wicked deeds into those which are just." I won't post a link to what Ted Nugent wrote about this today but it aligns perfectly with that statement. It's unbridled malice is remarkable to even the most hardened but totally unsurprising.

chauncey devega said...

Do share the link. Nugent is an ideal typical case.

George Smith said...

The unbridled malice of this is remarkable, even to the hardened I suspect.

George Smith said...

I repeat myself, apologies. That "essay" is shocking every time I read it which is now too many.

Paul Sunstone said...

Nothing I've read about the Zimmerman case better illustrates the fact of his racism than the simple question you've asked in this post, "What if Zimmerman had played the Good Samaritan?" Brilliant.