States of Fear in a World of Injustice

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/27-0

Robert C. Koehler
Published on Friday, April 27, 2012 by Common Dreams

This was the headline: “Zimmerman, Martin’s parents to face off in court.”

The words, of course, merely summed up a moment in the news cycle last week. We, the news-consuming public, were primed – by CBS, but it could have been any mainstream outlet – for a tidbit of potential drama the next day in the hottest murder trial around right now. But in the process, we were also silently reminded, yet again, that everything is spectacle. At the level at which we call ourselves a nation, nothing is serious, not even matters of life and death

There’s something so painful about all this – painful beyond the horror of the crime itself, or the national murder rate. The 24-7 media trivialize the stakes and gleefully report the “courtroom drama” as a sporting event; but even more distressingly, the legal bureaucracy swings into motion without the least awareness of any value beyond its own procedures. It all happens with a certainty of purpose that generates the illusion that things are under control and social order prevails.

But none of this has anything to do with what social order actually requires when harm has occurred, which is . . . healing.

The next day, at George Zimmerman’s bond hearing, he surprised his lawyer and everyone else by addressing Trayvon Martin’s parents directly, if pathetically: “I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am, and I did not know if he was armed or not.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/27-0

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