The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 30, 2013

Politics and race: Hype vs fact

In today's fast-paced world, most folks get their news from 10-second sound bites. These hyped bites are designed to grab our attention and solicit a certain emotion. The last three elections have generated some of the worst hype and hate speech ever heard, and divided the nation along political and racial lines. Hype sells.

James Carville, a Democratic strategist, once said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste," and the Trayvon Martin shooting and George Zimmerman verdict are prime examples. The left is circling the wagons ahead of the 2014 elections, gathering in their black flock, warning them Martin was profiled as a black then murdered. The right says Zimmerman used self-defense to keep from being killed by a man who could have easily walked 100 feet to his destination, but chose to hide in the shadows and attack. The fact is, only two people know exactly what happened that night; one is dead, the other alive and exonerated of all fault by a jury of his peers. But the end result is not satisfactory for some. A sane person would expect calm in the aftermath, but why let a crisis go to waste.

There were recently two letters on the same page of this paper regarding the shooting and verdict. One by Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and political commentator. Krauthammer methodically and factually showed the Zimmerman verdict to be proper, with no racial bias, with no evidence of racial profiling by Zimmerman or racism by the jury, and encouraged calm. The other, by Gary Fincke, was a biased, inflammatory, race-baiting, opinionated diatribe that showed contempt for the judicial system and those that disagree with his views. Fincke, in his beginning paragraph, states that he knows very little about the shooting or trial, but goes on to expound in length about both, assuring us the trial was a sham, the verdict flawed, Zimmerman and the jury racist, and it's basically open season on blacks by whites.

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