World Net Daily has been an ardent supporter of George Zimmerman, the man who was acquitted of murdering (though he did kill) Trayvon Martin in 2012. WND’s defense of Zimmerman has been absolute, even to the extent of calling him a civil rights hero, that the case was a conspiracy, that it involved race-bating, that the Zimmermans (husband and now estranged wife) thought that “Obama [was] tapping their phones,” etc. The latest WND article is by Scott Greer, and I have mixed feelings about it: “Zimmerman ‘Has PTSD, Millions in Debt.’”
Just from the headline, the irrational, emotional part of me screams “Good!” The objective facts are he did kill a young man. The less objective facts – and what the jury did not agree with – are whether it was self-defense or not. The more objective part of me, however, is more the “live and let live” type. After all, his life has pretty much been ruined by what happened. He will forever be tied to this case and racial violence (deserved or not). His prospects of employment, of not receiving hate mail/calls, etc. are severely diminished for many years if not the rest of his life. And, a jury of his peers found him not guilty. Should he also be subjected to $2.5M of debt? Is it “good” that he now may have post-traumatic stress disorder as his penance? I see an objective argument for “no,” I see an emotional argument for “yes” as well as “no.”
He is definitely having mental health issues. He has gained 120 lbs. The author, Jack Cashill, of the book that this particular WND article is an ad for (“If I had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman”) says that he “exhibited the thousand-yard stare, the limp, unfocused glaze of a battle-weary soldier that is often a symptom of PTSD.” There was an earlier domestic issue with his now estranged wife, who claims (as broadcast in another WND story) that he “has unraveled” and “he does seem like a ticking time-bomb.” The cause celeb this week was that he was arrested for trying to strangle his now girlfriend (then girlfriend?) and released on a large $9,000 bond and required to not have access to guns as a condition of his release (I seem to also remember mention of a restraining order, but I can’t find that so maybe I just made it up).
I want to say that he’s suffered enough — or, that he’s going to continue to suffer just from what’s happened so far and that I kinda wish the media would leave him alone. With that in mind, I think that Cashill’s attempt to make him into a folk legend is fairly silly:
“If I Had A Son” tells how for the first time in the history of American jurisprudence, a state government, the U.S. Department of Justice, the White House, the major media, the entertainment industry and the vestiges of the civil rights movement conspired to put an innocent man in prison for the rest of his life.
All that stood between Zimmerman and lifetime internment were two folksy local lawyers, their aides and some very dedicated citizen journalists, most notably an unpaid handful of truth seekers at the blogging collective known as the Conservative Treehouse. “If I Had a Son” takes an inside look at this unprecedented battle formation.
It also tells the story of the six stalwart female jurors who ignored the enormous pressure mounting around them and preserved America’s belief in its judicial system.
The WND “article” (really, an ad) has 10 ratings with 2.90/5 average. It has garnered a large number of comments – 84 – relative to the number of ratings. The comments are fully in defense of Zimmerman and against the government, so I see no point in quoting them. There was one comment that was removed, and that was in response to “John”‘s (2 up, 1 down vote) “Trayvon is right where he belongs.”