The trial of George Zimmerman over the death of Trayvon Martin gripped a nation. Gripped it so tightly, in fact, that more important matters have been forgotten. Like the most important trial of our time.
The much-touted significance of the Zimmerman trial is actually nonexistent. Race war? Completely fabricated. Zimmerman, a non-white with a record of friendship with the African-American community, showed no indication of racial bias during the incident. Gun rights and stand-your-ground laws? Irrelevant. Zimmerman’s prone position preventing retreat made stand-your-ground inapplicable, and if there exists a more appropriate case for using a firearm in self-defense than having your skull pounded into the pavement, I have yet to see it. The main points of controversy, and therefore the reasons for the public to care at all, were purely hype.
Meanwhile, Bradley Manning still stands trial. While the immediate case to be decided is the fate of this young man, the real question riding on this is government abuse. Was Manning in the right by exposing deep, dark, dirty secrets of the federal government? Or is the government accountable to no one? This is the great question of our time.
Meanwhile, the world obsesses over Trayvon Martin. Sad? Yes. Detrimental? Absolutely. Coincidence? I think not.