ZOLLER: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman — the discussion continues

I had intended for my writing to be a Zimmerman-free Zone. That changed Saturday afternoon when I filled in for Mark Arum on WSB Radio. I had a show planned out that was a Saturday-afternoon kind of show — talk about the news of the week and do something a little lighter going into Saturday night, but the callers wouldn’t have it. The phones stayed full from the time I signed on at 3:06 p.m. until we signed off at 5:58 p.m.

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With all the taped and political programming throughout the week, these listeners hadn’t had time to vent since after the verdict was read last Saturday night.

There were calls from all over the spectrum and all over Georgia. Some agreeing with the verdict and some disagreeing. We had heated conversation at some points. There were facts and aspersions being cast in all directions. One thing was for sure, people are still talking about this and — to some degree — your race will determine what you think about it.

There are three takeaways from this discussion:

First, this really isn’t a race issue. The media was first asleep at the switch and then made the wrong assumption and initial report about a “white on black” crime. That initial mistake has preceded all the bad information coming afterward. That initial mistake has fueled much of the misinformation.

Sadly, Trayvon Martin’s mother injected race into her discussion at the New York rally yesterday with Al Sharpton. She had always talked about it in terms of any child, and on Saturday she started talking in terms of race.

Second, there are some that no matter how much evidence is presented to exonerate Zimmerman, they just won’t buy it. I asked one caller that question: “Could I tell you anything that would make you think that George Zimmerman was not guilty?” She said, “No.”

Third, the president’s remarks on Friday were incendiary. I’m sure he was truthful in the personal stories he told but they were one-sided. The president asked if Trayvon Martin was armed, could he have “stood his ground” against George Zimmerman? The question he didn’t ask was, “If George Zimmerman hadn’t been armed and Trayvon Martin had beaten him to death, would he come to the White House press room and make a statement about George Zimmerman?” I think we know the answer to this.

George Zimmerman was tried by a jury of his peers by the State of Florida and they determined him to be not guilty. It’s time to continue the discussion with the facts and not all of the conjecture and false statements.

Jesse Jackson said Florida is an apartheid state. No state in America is an apartheid state, and he should be ashamed of himself for that statement. The murder of more than 30,000 Mexicans in the cross-fire of the drug war in Mexico is an apartheid state action. Stand Your Ground in Florida is not.

George Zimmerman should have stayed in his car. Trayvon Martin should have called the police instead of his friend, Rachel. Both made poor judgement calls on that night, but it wasn’t murder; it was a tragedy.

Martha Zoller is the editor in chief of ZPolitics and co-host of Zoller and Bryant’s Georgia’s Morning News.

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