Letters to the Editor 8-1-13


To the Editor:

I have never written a letter to the editor before, but just had to point out something about Mike Cooney’s “A Stone’s Throw” in last week’s (July 25th) paper. I agree with him about being sick and tired of the over-reporting of the Zimmerman/Martin fiasco. It’s a case that should never have become a national news item in the first place. I also agree with Mr. Cooney’s comments about the President inserting himself into the case. It is beyond absurd for the President of the United States of America to issue the kinds of divisive comments he’s made on more than one occasion in relation to this case.

However, I was very disappointed to see that Mr. Cooney opted to put forth the same incorrect narrative that the rest of the main stream media has chosen to disseminate. Simply put, it is a blatant lie that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law played any role at all in the Zimmerman/Martin case. It was never invoked by Zimmerman. It is the media, politicians, and race activists like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Jr., et al who have taken this law and tried to blame it for Trayvon Martin’s death. Knowing this one fact turns Mr. Cooney’s entire article on its ear.

The second reality is that race played no role in the crime itself and was only invoked after the fact by those wanting to use it to whip easily baited emotions into a frenzy. The hypothetical “if their roles were reversed” ploy is nothing more than another effort to play on those same emotions. The evidence was very clear in this case. Martin was in no way the innocent little boy he was portrayed as and Zimmerman is not the racist cop-wannabe that he has been labeled as. He didn’t hunt or chase Martin down and execute him. He did not go out hunting for a black child to kill. He didn’t even ignore “orders” from the police to stop following Martin.

The physical confrontation was initiated by Martin. Tragically, Martin decided, via his own act of profiling, that Zimmerman was not only a threat, but one that needed to be beaten into submission. So the 6′ 2″, 175-pound “boy” attacked the smaller Zimmerman and apparently easily gained the upper hand. As witnesses stated, he straddled Zimmerman and beat him, then began slamming his head into the pavement. Can anyone out there honestly say that if they were in that same situation, they would not be afraid for their life? Zimmerman fired a single shot that killed Martin, not because he was rejoicing in his right to “stand his ground,” but because he was afraid that if he didn’t, he would not survive.

We are all entitled to our opinions, whether in relation to race or guns or whatever else. What we are not entitled to, or at least should not be entitled to, is the deliberate manipulation of facts to support those opinions. It is horrifying to see the blatant bias of the media wherein they willfully refuse to maintain the integrity that the institution once held. It is beyond tragic that we can no longer rely upon reporters and news outlets to provide us with the truth instead of their own personal views.

I realize Mr. Cooney’s articles are opinion pieces, but I would still like to see some journalistic integrity from him. I would hope that he would at least be accurate in what he writes instead of buying into the bill of goods being sold by those with a clear political agenda.

Jennifer Levell

Tapps Ridge Road