The recent Backpage Editorial had disaster written all over it [“The Stalking Precedent,” July 24]. Using speculations as facts is always dangerous when expressing opinions, and as an editor for your paper, you should know that. The writer had an ulterior motive for his letter having nothing to do with the Zimmerman case. He admitted as much in the letter, yet he ignores what he himself wrote. I want to break down Kyle Braselton’s letter into the two components he improperly tried fitting together as one.
Certain rights in this country cannot be revoked on whims. Regardless of anyone’s opinion, if George Zimmerman was on a community watch program, something most people in his community probably knew, then he had every right to follow someone if he believed that person was “a person of interest.” Yes, he likely should have stopped following Trayvon Martin when told by 911 (my opinion, not a fact). However, it was not illegal to do so. There may have been something immoral about it, just as Zimmerman not telling Martin he was carrying a gun probably was (again, my opinion). If Martin had known that, things may have happened differently. We do not know exactly what happened. We do not know that Martin was or was not a punk or an asshole. We do not know for certain that Zimmerman “created” the situation or if he was a “wannabe cop.” Speculation had no place in the courtroom, and the writer should have at least acknowledged his words were speculation. He typed them as more than that.
Regardless of my opinions above, there is no right to strike another person first. Period. Stereotyping, or using a profile on someone is nothing new, and most people probably do it. There is even a show on television, “Criminal Minds,” which shows how the FBI uses profiling to catch people. This is not racism. If Zimmerman was doing it, then only someone with a political agenda would call it racial. I doubt most people understand what true racism is. My opinion, based solely on more than 50 years of lifetime experiences, says that blacks are as much racial as any other group.
Braselton’s true motive is the one sentence that is paragraph seven: “I’m sick of people getting away with endangering the lives of others.” He was referring to drivers on the highway. His “mockery of the justice system” (close of paragraph four), is one of the most inane remarks a person could make. We live in an immoral society; people break rules because they want to. His traffic situations (yes, likely the Zimmerman case, too) are full of examples where people get away with stuff all the time because few people get caught. Braselton packs a gun and drives a big truck? Do I need to be afraid of everyone driving a big truck? Will I obey every traffic rule because I am afraid he will shoot me? I just created my own “template” of Braselton.
People tend to forget that Zimmerman is not Caucasian. The jurors were made aware of that, and one of them was Hispanic, too. Maybe Braselton forgot? He thinks it's OK to hit another person first, because he might be afraid the other person is following him? Hitler thought it was OK to hit first, too, and Martin was not an innocent child. Neither of those is my opinion.
It's interesting that both our immoral society and racism have something in common. Neither will change in the near future for the same reason. Morality and racism are taught, or perhaps occur because not taught, at home by parents. Government does not govern morality; the people do — or do not. The same goes with racism.
Zimmerman was acquitted because there were not enough facts to prove the case. That is a fact. I believe the prosecution knew this already. There were no other lesser charges to be made; it was an all-or-nothing case. Emotions do not win cases (I don’t care what's on television or in movies); facts win cases. One could say that Zimmerman was lucky, but one could also say that things happened we do not know and could not prove.
Tell Braselton to move to a more rural area. The city is a jungle, and some parts are worse than others. Not a racial or profiled statement — observation. Odds are, I get no reply and certainly not printed.