Rufus Friday posted this link on his Facebook page just a few minutes ago. Rufus is one of my “trusted sources” so I clicked it open, not sure what I might find.
Rufus is a former Rockford Register Star circulation director and is now president and publisher of the Lexington (KY) Herald Leader. We’ve kept in touch over the past decade or two and cross paths when we can.
Since Rufus and I are occasionally on different political pages, I wasn’t sure what I might find. This was worth the reading and sharing.
And, so I share with this question: Could a white writer ask these same questions about Trayvon Martin?
I know the answer. No. Not without taking a lot of grief from those who have already decided Martin was profiled and killed for his skin color and from those who’ve determined George Zimmerman’s getting a raw deal.
I am appalled by the Stand Your Ground Act that allows residents in 21 states to use deadly force if they feel they are in imminent danger. I believe what happened between Zimmerman and Martin is a tragedy that never needed to happen, that could have been avoided. And, I believe the tragedy was made in a stew of anger, distrust, fear, ignorance and, yes, likely with a handful of racial profiling.
Martin’s dying and Zimmerman’s killing of him leave both families in tatters. They have polarized the country’s discussions yet again. If you’re not “for” Martin, you must be a racist. If you’re not “for” Zimmerman, you must be a bleeding heart liberal and anti-gun nut.
Every march, every candle-lighting, every justice committee begins with the proverbial heart in the right place. Perhaps it’s time to get our heads in the game, too. Perhaps it’s time to have these heart-breakingly hard conversations. This I know. Until we can ask, discuss and answer the questions raised by Dr. Williams in his column, we can never consider ourselves a healthy community.
(Dr. Walter E. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of ‘Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?’ and ‘Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.’)