This tragic case has polarized much of America by race, age, wealth and politics. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed, 17 year old black male who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a 28 year old community watch coordinator of Latino descent. Martin, who was dressed in a hoody, was walking from a convenience store to the home of his father’s fiancé when Zimmerman, while contacting the Sanford Police Department to report suspicious behavior by Martin, began following him. Soon afterward, they engaged in a confrontation that resulted in Martin’s fatal shooting by Zimmerman.
Zimmerman told police that his shooting was in self-defense. The police took Zimmerman into custody and handcuffed him, but they did not arrest him. According to police, they found no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s assertion of self-defense. Supposedly, the lead investigator wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter, but the state attorney’s office rejected this proposal for lack of evidence.
These circumstances have led a national debate about the rights of community protection units vs. the individual. Many well-known activists have stated that the shooting was racially motivated and have demanded Zimmerman’s arrest. Here is where personal views come into play.
It is unconscionable that key national figures like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and President Obama have weighed into this debate with their pre-judgments and assertions. It is police work that must be done. An investigation must determine the facts of the case. Having uninformed national figures make snap-judgments is counter-productive to say the least, and in some cases, it is criminally irresponsible. What business does the president of our country have in making pre-judgments without the facts of the case? This is representative of the type of irresponsible leadership our president has evidenced time and time again during his first, and hopefully last, term in office.
This is a tragic case. If Zimmerman is found negligent or guilty, then so be it. Let our legal system take its course and proper punishment be administered. If not- we can do without this polarizing rhetoric.
In a world where everyone has an opinion on the internet, it is sometimes difficult to hear a voice that is clear, concise and very direct. Writing an opinion blog is cathartic at times because it allows the author to unload pent-up emotions and viewpoints that are begging to be expressed. In this venue, content is king and being topical or current is a secondary consideration.
Talk radio is rife with entertainers, but certainly not journalists or even commentators. It is important to discern this distinction. What is the purpose of a talk radio host? Is it to educate? Is it to stimulate thinking people to make more informed choices? Is it to better mankind in any way at all? The author’s assertion is that talk radio hosts are simply and completely on the air to entertain, to keep listeners engaged and to sell advertising space for their respective time-slots. They will purport ridiculous assertions in the hope of creating controversy. Their job is to get a reaction from you. The easiest reaction to elicit is anger. Have you ever noticed how many angry people populate the callers on radio talk shows?
It seems to the author that a quality radio talk show should have a higher purpose. It is an opportunity to explore and celebrate diversity. In many cases, the hosts will take cheap shots to divide a community rather than use their position to heal civil wounds. How many times have we heard racial slurs and bigotry override the common decency so desperately needed in this public forum? Time and again, local talk show hosts stoop to the lowest level to increase their ratings.
Talk show hosts on a national level are more generally more intelligent. However they use their intelligence for a more insidious purpose. They will couch their inflammatory views within the confines of respectability. They use this device to maintain an appearance of professionalism. However, the goal is still selling advertising for a specific time-slot. It matters little if the host has a conservative or liberal bent as both sides employ the same tactics. It requires a discerning listener to understand this ploy and to condition your responses to the bait the host presents.
The next time you listen to a talk show host try to determine the veracity of his or her platform. Is controversy the goal or simply a result of honest disagreement? Are the points made by the host designed to inform or inflame the listening audience? Is there an overriding agenda purported by the host at all costs, or is the host open to honest disagreement and viable alternatives? Remember- you control the dial as well as the on/off switch. The true power lies with the listener.
Welcome to the Oz Bloggers blog! I would like to state my first opinion. We are going to be the best opinion blog online. I love to talk and give my opinion. Sometimes people like it and sometimes they don’t. Most of the time they don’t even have to ask for it and I am offering it up. That is usually the point when they get annoyed by it. Regardless I thought it was time to spread my opinions outside of my inner circle. The internet has millions of people that can receive my opinion. If you like what you read or find it entertaining, please come back often. If you don’t like my opinions, no one said you had to visit my website. Either way I hope you enjoy my opinions!