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home : columnists : columnists December 17, 2014

7/17/2014 2:00:00 AM
All my imagination?
By Tibor R. Machan

Over these last few days I have sat reading and listening to many comments about the Zimmerman episode but could only shake my head mostly in disbelief--has the country gone crazy?

And then today a friend from way back--we served in the US Air Force together some 50 years ago--sent me the following which I believe is exactly on the money. So I asked his permission to share it and here it is:

"I guess that it's my old age. I am imagining that most, if not all, commentary in the media, particularly the President, report and react to the Zimmerman-Martin trial as if Zimmerman had seen an unknown young "unarmed" black, not white, teenager, in his neighborhood, walked up to him without provocation, shot him dead, and a white jury said he was not guilty of any crime.

"The jury mistakenly took the allegations that a young black, not white, unarmed teenager was drawing blood from Zimmerman by bashing his head against the concrete while Zimmerman yelled for help, as fact, when, of course, those allegations were made by white people so they must have been lies, therefore, we won't mention them in our rants about injustice and the necessity to break-in and rob stores to retaliate for a prejudicial system.

"No,. . . as the President points out, black people are not "naive" about statistics showing the extraordinary preponderance of young black men committing a full range of crimes including murder well above the percent of their population numbers compared with white peers. Is a better word "denial"?

"To remove the fear many whites demonstrate when in the presence of young black men in circumstances specified by the President, they are going to have to earn the removal of that fear by a statistical change in behavior. No amount of "education" or any other fix will ever remove it.

"But, not to worry, this is all happening in my imagination."

Tibor Machan is a professor of business ethics and Western Civilization of Chapman University in Orange, Calif. E-mail him at

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