Folks can say what they want about the satirical magazine, The Onion, but as has regularly been the case for more than 100 years, its writers make important timely points about our society over and over again.
As they did with a gem from yesterday: Nation Throws Hands Up, Tells Black Teenagers To Do Their Best Out There.
To keep Daily Kos on the right side of copyright law, I'll just blockquote just one part:
After neighborhood watch patrolman George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in a case where he admitted to shooting and killing unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a frustrated U.S. populace said that maybe the only thing left for black teenagers to do is hope and pray for the best.Read the whole thing, and weep yet again.
In addition, the citizenry said that it’s basically gotten to the point where African-American teens need to avoid walking alone, hanging out in groups, or even minding their own business, especially if they are planning to do any of those things in public.
I found this piece this morning, after one of the jurors in the Zimmerman trial went on CNN and, totally without realizing it, pretty much admitted that if this was truly about applying the law to the facts that she believed important, she would have had to vote to convict George Zimmerman of manslaughter because he was culpably negligent (at a minimum) in connection with Trayvon Martin's death. I won't regale folks with that, but you can find all the details in the recommended diary from yesterday written about it here.
Just to make sure that the clueless out there get it, The Onion didn't stop with this piece. It also published yesterday morning, Zimmerman Found Not Guilty, But C'mon. It is notable when one takes into account that when this was apparently published before the CNN interview and, thus, the mindset and thought processes of the jury were not publicly known:
Following two days of intense deliberations, a six-member jury determined that Zimmerman had, from a purely legal standpoint, not murdered Martin, a black teenager, in February 2012. According to jurors, Zimmerman lawfully acted in self-defense—but let’s be serious here, shall we?—when he shot Martin at point-blank range in the chest, leaving him dead within minutes.In yet another piece, The Onion takes aim at the mindset of the jurors--or at least what we thought was the mindset of the jurors before yesterday's CNN interview with the now-out-of-a-book-deal racist juror: In Our Defense, These Were Some Pretty Fucked-Up Laws And We Were Ordered To Deliberate In Accordance With Them:
“The jury acted within the letter of the law, I guess, if you want to be official about it, and acquitted Mr. Zimmerman of both second-degree murder and manslaughter charges,” said legal scholar Jeffrey Frazier about Zimmerman’s culpability in the events of February 26, 2012, which, trial or no trial, have been pretty clear all along, right? “Mr. Zimmerman did not violate any Florida state laws—although, please, give me a break—and is an innocent man, I suppose, if you’re sticking to the strict legal definition of that word.”
“And thus, this trial was properly conducted in full accordance with the U.S. justice system,” Frazier added. “For whatever that’s worth.”
It kind of leaves you wondering how anyone can be guilty of murder in this state. And actually, we were sarcastically joking about that very fact right before we entered the courtroom and delivered our final verdict.And, just to make sure we all understand where the editors of The Onion are coming from, they published a fourth piece as well: "Nation Thankful That Shellie Dean Zimmerman was Charged with Perjury at Least":
In a way, though, as much as it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach knowing this man got off scot-free after robbing the Martin family of their son, I’m actually proud that we successfully avoided the intense pressure from the public and stuck to the completely convoluted, idiotic letter of the law.
“Look, no matter how anything else turned out, Shellie Dean Zimmerman has still been charged with the offense of lying to authorities, so, justice served, right?” Maryland resident Abby Liptak told reporters on Monday. . .Liptak additionally told reporters that if Shellie Zimmerman is convicted on charges and gets even 12 or 13 months of probation, she’ll consider the Trayvon Martin case closed.Yesterday's satirical offerings were not the only ones from this beloved newsmagazine. Last week, they offered up George Zimmerman complaining that nobody had said they felt bad for the fact that he had a broken nose.
Some say that we need to laugh to keep from crying; The Onion has shown for decades through its political satire that this is indeed an important prescription. But why do I have the sinking feeling that The Onion is today (like so many including me), just crying, not laughing? Perhaps it is because they read the poignant written cry from a Black man, a non-satirist, this morning in the New York Times:
Is there anyplace safe enough, or any cargo innocent enough, for a black man in this country? Martin was where he was supposed to be — in a gated community — carrying candy and a canned drink.
The whole system failed Martin. What prevents it from failing my children, or yours?
I feel that I must tell my boys that, but I can’t. It’s stuck in my throat. It’s an impossibly heartbreaking conversation to have. So, I sit and watch in silence, and occasionally mouth the word, “breathe,” because I keep forgetting to.