Not about race
Regarding "Verdict emotional for black community" (Nation & World, July 14): Tampa city Councilman Frank Reddick's comments about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial were irresponsible, racist and unjust. Why doesn't he just stick to what he was elected to do and let the judicial system do what it was created to do? Reddick slapped our judicial system right in the face. And what about the six female jurors who sat for weeks hearing testimony and deliberating for two days before deciding the verdict? This isn't about race, but his comments sure are.
Ricky L. Tucker
Answering a question
One of the articles on the Zimmerman verdict in the Tribune had a subtitle, "What do I tell my sons"? I think I have an answer. Tell them the system worked. Tell them that the state charged the defendant with a very serious crime and presented all the facts supporting those charges to a jury of citizens from the local community. Tell them the defendant had the opportunity to present the facts supporting his contention that no crime had been committed. And after all the facts were heard, the jury cleared the accused.
Tell them when people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton come to Sanford, they are not necessarily there with their best interest in mind, that they really just want to get their picture on the news. Tell them it's probably best not to smoke pot because it can affect their judgement and possibly lead to wrong decisions. Tell them to watch out who they pick a fight with, and better still, it's probably not a good idea to settle differences by fighting. Tell them to direct all that anger and aggression toward bettering themselves at school, that with a good education the sky's the limit on what they can do. Tell them that this country offers boundless opportunity for those who work hard and obey the laws. And then give them a big hug!
John H. Boyet
TampaNo equal justice
There is not equal justice in this country, and I say so as a white man who felt O.J. Simpson was guilty. Now we have every Barney Fife in the country feeling validated about the killing of an innocent boy walking the street at night unarmed. Would any of this be happening had Trayvon Martin survived? George Zimmerman eliminated the key witness. Sobering isn't it?
Fear and perceptions
I grew up in Tampa and graduated from Hillsborough High School in the early 1970s. HHS was a naturally integrated high school. I am Hispanic. Every day I had classes with whites, Hispanics and black kids. I really never thought twice about who was sitting in class. I have tried to remember when I first started to become hyper-vigilant around black males I didn't know. I believe it was after the whole saggy pants, "bad-ass" image became a stereotype. I read every day about the sickening crime rates in urban cities like Chicago. This reinforces fear. When I see black males dressed in the stereotypical thug or urban style, I become hyper-vigilant (profile?). I hate it; however, it is human nature. I don't consider myself racist, but maybe some blacks would. I must admit I don't feel fear when I see black guys dressed in other styles.
I would like to be educated on how to work on changing my perception. Any ideas?
Case not proved
In the American press George Zimmerman was guilty; to most TV commentators he was guilty. Jesse Jackson said so. Al Sharpton said so. Most of those gathered outside the courthouse in Sanford had already convicted Zimmerman of something, and the Justice Department is contemplating filing federal civil rights charges. Why have a jury? Why not just a lynch mob?
If Zimmerman had been convicted, would those who say the justice system is broken draw the same conclusion? It wasn't long ago when O.J. Simpson was on trial for murder. The verdict left the majority of African-Americans rejoicing and the majority of white Americans stunned with disbelief.
Fast forward to the Zimmerman trial. The prosecution didn't prove its case.
The Tribune editorial of July 15, "The Trayvon Martin verdict," says it best: "Yet the fact remains: A teenager is dead for no good reason. Zimmerman may not have committed a crime, but he caused a tragedy."
Tampa'Out of line'
Regarding "The Trayvon Martin verdict:" Again, your paper is so biased. Zimmerman's life will never be the same. It is a tragedy for both Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin's family. He was the only one volunteering for the neighborhood watch that evening. Your audacity to insinuate reckless behavior is out of line, and you should abide by the verdict from Zimmerman's peers.
'How can I help you?'
You missed the point in your Trayvon Martin verdict conclusion, as have most other politically correct conclusions I have read and heard. The pivotal question is: At the critical point of visual and verbal contact between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, why did that "confrontation" devolve so quickly into a sucker punch and ground and pound?
The answer is that the media manipulates news toward controversy, sports glorify fighting and retaliation, and thinking takes a back seat to testosterone reactions.
Perhaps when two strangers meet they should each assume that the other is armed, smile at each other and ask, "How can I help you?"
New Port Richey