My Son Doesn't Look Anything Like Trayvon

My son doesn’t look anything like Trayvon Martin, the boy so tragically killed in Florida.  My son also doesn’t look anything like George Zimmerman, the man who shot him.

Does that mean that I shouldn’t care about either of them since they don’t look like me or my sons?  President Obama seems to suggest so.

President Obama, ostensibly commenting on the Trayvon Martin case, but actually commenting on himself, both inadvertently and advertently, said “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,”  and suggested that the entire nation needed to do some “soul searching.”

President Obama, unlike the rest of us mortals, seems to have some magic insight into the motivation and reason for this tragedy and he doesn’t like what he sees.  So the remedy he prescribes is that we, and by we I assume he means those folks that don’t look like Trayvon or Mr. Zimmerman for that matter, that we look down deep and figure out what is so wrong with us, wrong with me, that I caused two people who don’t look like me and that live 1200 miles away from me to get into an altercation leaving one of them dead.

But here is the thing.  I care about Trayvon.  I care about Trayvon even though he doesn’t look anything like me or my boys.  I care about justice and justice requires that I don’t assume that I know Mr. Zimmerman’s mind that night just because he doesn’t look like me.  Maybe he followed Trayvon because he was black and maybe he didn’t.  Maybe he caused the altercation that ended in tragedy and maybe he didn’t.  The Police didn’t think so. 

Maybe the Police in this case are complete incompetents, maybe they are racists, and maybe they’re not.  It is hard for me to judge.  It is hard to judge, not because I don’t have any relevant facts upon which to base a sound judgment, no.  By Mr. Obama’s logic, it is hard to judge the Police in this case because I don’t know if they look like me or my boys.

Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, April 17, 2014.

Recalling the Unlikely Ginsburg-Scalia Friendship

Justice Antonin Scalia’s love of debate was one of the things that drew him to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman with whom he disagreed on many things, including many aspects of the law.