southtownstar
HISTORIC 
Weather Updates

Forum: A case we can’t escape

Updated: September 26, 2013 6:44AM



As reflected by the commentary in the SouthtownStar’s Speak Out and Insight sections , the Trayvon Martin shooting and trial of George Zimmerman continue to grip us. The recent column by St. Xavier University professor Jacqueline Battalora (“Zimmerman verdict aligned with U.S. racial history”) gave us a disturbing history lesson.

I wasn’t aware of the origin of the “white advantage” and how far back it went or how much it entailed. It’s interesting how our different backgrounds through experience, education, etc., shape our perspective of the Zimmerman trial. Battalora’s mention of the “normal” color of panty hose and bandages being geared toward whites never occurred to me.

The article of clothing that comes to my mind regarding the Florida shooting case is the hoodie. I live close enough to Chicago that it’s common to hear gunfire coming from the city. My police scanner picks up numerous calls that describe suspects as “black males wearing hoodies.”

Unfortunately, Martin fit such a description. The hoodie didn’t help matters. Despite marches and demands for changes in laws, young black males will continue to be stereotyped. Wearing a hoodie only adds to the thug image, and should not be encouraged for their own safety.

President Barack Obama said he hoped the Martin/Zimmerman case would encourage discussions of race relations in the U.S. But it appears that Zimmerman will be continually prosecuted in the media. Although acquitted by a jury, is George Zimmerman really a free man?

Michelle Ryan

Calumet Park

Hope for Jackson Jr.’s future

I’m a 69-year-old, white Vietnam veteran, married 42 years and broke most of my life, so I am not one to identify with Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife.

However, though I have had my misgivings about his father, I have to commend Jackson Jr. for standing up and taking responsibility for what he has done. I also believe that he has great potential for good, that he has talent and abilities that can benefit the city, state and nation.

He deserves his punishment, but I hope he can someday put this behind him and find a place in our society where we can benefit from his abilities. To Jackson Jr. I would say, “Don’t become the crook that so many people think you are, become the man that you can be.”

James M. Mulhearn

Chicago

Telling silence

Three teenage boys have been charged in Oklahoma in the Aug. 16 killing of an Australian university student “for the fun of it” and to overcome boredom, according to prosecutors.

I haven’t heard one word from President Obama, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Oprah Winfrey about this case. What’s wrong, cat got your tongue?

All of you were so vocal during the George Zimmerman self-defense case. Where are you in commenting on this Oklahoma case?

James Crotty

Tinley Park



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.