I try to not write about what everyone else is writing about, and I don’t know any more about the Trayvon Martin shooting death case than most folks do.
I do know this, though.
I weigh about 180 pounds, and if a 17-year-old boy who weighs 70 pounds attacks me, I’m going to kick his aspiration all over town, even if he gets the drop on me.
And I am 53 years old. George Zimmerman is 28 and considers himself an anti-crime vigilante, a Charles-Bronson-in-the-movies type. I don’t. Yet Zimmerman insists the 140-pound Martin attacked him and was beating the living daylights out of his 250-pound self, which meant he had to shoot Trayvon in self-defense.
I know something about broken noses.
Zimmerman claims to have had his nose broken in the brawl with Trayvon. Having had my nose broken a few times, I can tell you a person suffering the injury does not look like Zimmerman did, nor act like he did, upon arriving at the Sanford, Fla., Police Department about a half hour after having his nose allegedly broken.
A broken nose feels like a huge, aching hole in the middle of your face, and I say this as a guy with a pretty high pain tolerance. Generally a broken nose bleeds profusely, usually with the blood oozing right down your face and onto your shirt. Then it swells so much your eyes nearly close. You tend to breathe out of your mouth, as you have no other choice.
Zimmerman didn’t appear to have such swelling or blood on his person when he arrived at the police station. He didn’t seem to be in much pain, nor did he appear to be breathing out of his mouth.
I know how it feels to have your own aspiration kicked, as it has happened to me a time or two.
It’s brutal. The loser of a street brawl feels defeated, whipped, whupped, beaten to hell, humiliated. The loser doesn’t walk into a police station the way Zimmerman did, in what might be described, charitably, as a spritely manner. The loser walks in with his tail between his legs.
I know something about having some big brute follow you in a truck. At first you keep walking, hoping he will go away. If he doesn’t, you speed up. And if he speeds up, too, you may have no choice but to face him down, because essentially you’re cornered.
Facing him down is what I did. I was fortunate to be walking a no-nonsense 85-pound dog who loved me, or things might have gotten ugly. I might have been in a brutal brawl with a bigger man. I might have been shot.
I know something about the media, having been connected to it in one way or another for more than 30 years.
I think it is sad that two of our leading national news channels are taking sides in this case before all the facts are known, that one news operation is vilifying the dead boy and trying to justify what the shooter did while the rival news operation is trying to vilify the shooter and make the victim into a hero.
We don’t know who did what yet. Yes, there needs to be a better investigation than what there was early on by the local authorities, but taking sides so early in the matter only stratifies an already too-stratified nation.
I don’t know much about the Trayvon Martin case beyond all of that … other than that it makes me feel horrible for our wonderful country.
Bret Kofford teaches writing at
San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus. His opinions don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SDSU or its employees. Kofford can be reached at Kofford@roadrunner.com
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