Tuesday, March 27, 2012

American Parables (Tuesday LINKS)

I'm really not a fan of hyper-focused National news.  In most cases, it gets me angry.  How many more "the-husband-did-it" stories do we need to distract us from peak oil, National debt, and a potential war of tremendous scope developing in the Middle East?

But for some reason, the Trayvon Martin case feels different.  At least to me.  It's something about a parable.  I certainly would never say that to devalue Trayvon's life or trivialize his death, but there is certainly a reason why his murder is on CNN while another young man will die in Baltimore tonight with far less attention.  I recently heard this case described as "America's Problems All Wrapped in One": Race, Gun Control, the Housing Market, Crime.  But again, that seems far too close to triviality. 

What does Trayvon Martin's death mean?  It is surely more than protests of hooded sweatshirts and Skittles.  It must be more than scab-picking fury.  In the short term, it requires the arrest of George Zimmerman, but doesn't that set the Country up for disappointment?  Will arrest, arraignment, prosecution, conviction, and jail satisfy this movement?  Isn't it ridiculous to even think that will work?

American Parables are these hyper-focused National stories that define a certain time.  This is precisely where we are in terms of race.  Excluding the speculation as to whether Zimmerman used a racial slur, this was not an outwardly racist crime, but there is a fair presumption amongst many following this case that this killing was racially motivated all the same.  We are not defined by this murder as much as we are the suspicion that created it.  The unfamiliarity and presumptions.  The illogical distrust and hate.  The distance.

It will be interesting to watch this story progress.  It has the capability of polarizing and insulating.  It also has the capability of attacking that "suspicion" and "distance" to find out why it's there.  This probably won't happen through CNN.  We'll all have to get hyper-focused back to our own world and apply the parable to the lives we live.


If you never click on another one of my links, please let this piece by David Simon on the "Stand Your Ground" law be the last link you click.  It does a handy job of wrapping up the strongest arguments against these types of laws, particularly the dangerous society they create.  (Hat Tip: Hayduke's Ghost's Facebook page)

Thanks also to JT for this very interesting study regarding Generation Y's rejection of "their parent's homes" in favor of dense urban environments.  It was one of two instances yesterday where someone described Columbia as needing to "Build or die."  I can't see that making it on any campaign posters, but the message is very direct.

Lindsey McPherson goes on a road trip with the HoCo GOP to Washington, DC, noting that this crew once again gained notoriety for their "Liberals -- Who the HELL do you think you are?" banner.  One participant noted that we shouldn't be compelled to buy health insurance.  We should be able to decide on our own...like car insurance.

(Dear Explore Howard: I can't see your page stats, but it would be great if you could make Lindsey's Political Notebook a little more prominent on your website.  It is my favorite thing to read and I often lose track of it once it becomes buried in the "Politics" section.  Sincerely, TC)

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Duane writes about the efforts of the Friends of Bridge Columbia to get funding in Ken Ulman's budget for engineering studies.  I've certainly been meaning to write more about this, but appreciate Duane posting Mr. Tocco's letter.

That's all for today.  Have a great Tuesday doing what you love!