Reality Check: Readers Responses James Campion April 23, 2012 Columns The following is just a flavor of the overwhelming response to LOOK AWAY DIXIE LAND – Issue: 3/28/12 and in particular the Trayvon Martin shooting, Florida politics, Southern culture, the media firestorm, and the defense of George Zimmerman. Mr. Campion, Your calculated obliteration of the South may have tickled the elitist-driven hatred of your hero, the mean-spirited, foul-mouthed Henry Louis Mencken and today’s northeast journalistic establishment, but it comes off as petty, arrogant and horribly divisive. Where culture fits into this terrible tragedy for Florida and America in general is up for debate, but to make this a regional attack and bring up Medgar Evers and the burning of black churches in Mississippi was wholly irresponsible and the type of ill-reason that has more or less fueled the media-driven insanity going on right now. This is the lynch mob, sir. The trial by hearsay and innuendo that has already hung Mr. Zimmerman, who may or may not be guilty of cold-blooded murder vs. self-defense that is, (at least you got this part right, although I disagree with your assessment) within his rights on the Stand Your Ground law. You and your ilk should be ashamed. —E. Dunn Wow. Holy crap that was a whiz-bang, kill-hell, shit-me-not column to beat all columns. You are the ballsiest mother whipping up a frenzy in the editorial world right now. I don’t know whether to throw up or applaud. I, like yourself it seems, am fairly horrified by the actions of most of humanity around the world, and know full well what the South has represented in the far-reaching violent American culture for more than two centuries, but this is the most black and white of your sentiments, almost alarmingly so. I enjoy the JC that hits and runs without getting his hands dirty. Son, you are covered with the stuff; please pick whatever stuff you’d like to be covered with. But to be sure you have voiced an interesting strike across the bow. As Rick Santorum would say, “Game on! —Wayne K. K. Once again, James, you have taken a difficult and divisive event and cut it down to its most nerving nub; the law, my friends, that’s what should be on trial, and the culture of violence that has led to that law! My God, can you imagine, as you did so brilliantly in your list of times and places had you had a gun and the complete right to use it based on a “feel” of being threatened the carnage that would have ensued, if this was the law of the land? So what if George Zimmerman was getting his ass kicked; first of all, he asked for it by following and in a way harassing this poor kid. Then as he is being pummeled he shoots the kid dead? And then the police are prevented from doing proper police work for over a month and it wouldn’t have even come to light if not for black activists. And now they are forced to pick up the pieces with no forensic evidence and barely any eyewitness accounts, many of them reportedly contradicting the others, as is usually the case in these things. This unbelievable naïve and dangerous law should be on trial, and with the exception of a few commentators and the odd lawyer interviewed about the case, this has hardly come up outside of the Reality Check universe. —Sharon Mondo You have made the point. What is George Zimmerman guilty of if it is legal to kill someone based on your own, right at the moment (professional police officer trained in these situations be damned) understanding of a situation? Especially, you might add, a situation in which you may be threatened and then get to act out as judge, jury and executioner in that one vital moment when any human being—Southern, Northern, American or otherwise would act irrationally. Jeb Bush and the Florida congress is guilty for allowing its citizenry to carry out personal justice and put the onus on them at the time of intense emotional rancor. What’s next, back to lynching? New Salem witch hunts? Murdering more family planning doctors? What a mess. —sky789blabber Imagine if they had that law in N.J.? It would look like Bull Run around here. —Kevin McCormick I used to enjoy your articles; I actually thought you were a true gonzo journalist. Reading this article makes me lose much respect for you. Now don’t misunderstand me, I don’t like the bigot norms of the South and I think what happened is a terrible tragedy. What disturbs me is that you are using this tragedy to bash a law. Just the kind of BS you would expect from a liberal, using a tragedy to promote your political agenda. This tragedy is not because of a law—just because people have guns does, or the right to shoot each other doesn’t mean they have to. This tragedy is a social one; lack of communication between citizens has lead to people not knowing their neighbors and treating everyone like a hostile stranger. Even your so-called liberals act like the black community doesn’t exist until a tragedy like this happens. Just because you attend a couple charities in the so-called ghetto does not make you hip or down. Americans need to really get out there and meet there neighbors. Get to know them for the people they are, not what the media portrays, and maybe a tragedy like this could have been avoided. So next time you sit down and go to write a Reality Check do me a favor—reach up with your left hand, unclench your fist and let go of Nancy Pelosi’s nut sac! —Bobby Devor James, This one is tough because I do support the second Amendment and I do support the right for civilians to arm themselves provided they meet all requirements in skill and sanity to carry a loaded firearm. I also support the “Stand Your Ground” law BUUUUUUUUT if you stand your ground and cap an unarmed teenager, your ass is going to the pokey. End of story. If the only thing that kid was carrying was a bag of Skittles and you find that threatening then at the minimum, you lose your weapons permit. If you cap that kid then you lose your freedom as well and become an inmate. We need to punish this guy but we cannot use it as a lever to help separate us from another constitutionally protected right. Punish the individual, not society as a whole. —Bill Roberts Only in Florida; home of the hanging chad. —Stella James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus and Midnight For Cinderella. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.