Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor/Zimmerman: July 28

Blacks stand their ground in military but not honored at home

I joined the Army a month after I turned 18 because my father and his four brothers did, as did my mom's brothers. I stood my ground for 12 years, spent four years overseas and earned four honorable discharges.

The Founding Fathers wanted all men to serve in the military but 40 years ago we ended the draft and now less than one percent of our nation serves or has served. Thirty percent of those who have are African-American.

This clearly proves that African-Americans are more patriotic than the rest of us. Yet, they are still not treated equally under the very Constitution they defend. I know this because I live in rural Kentucky with a black woman and son surrounded by miles and miles of whites.

We used to enjoy going to the county fair until three white kids called my son the "n-word" and made us cry all night.

That same year, a neighbor told me if I sold my land to a "colored person" I'd have a war with him. I told my deputy sheriff neighbor standing in the house I built what I would do if my family were ever threatened on my ground.

The idiotic "stand your ground" law was written for George Zimmerman and aimed at my 13-year-old son. Zimmerman needs to stand his ground in Afghanistan and earn the right to have a gun and learn how to use it.

The law is a cowardly, racist law passed by confederate sympathizers who, like Zimmerman, started the fight but didn't like the outcome.

Mark Benchoff


Less crime for less fear

I found the president's comments following the George Zimmerman trial to be totally inappropriate. First, his comments suggested that the trial was about race. It simply was not. Secondly, he supported the many groups who were planning to protest the following weekend. Justice was done. A terrible incident had occurred. Zimmerman was placed on trial.

Verdict: Not guilty equals justice.

Please show a picture of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin not the 12-year-old. He was a grown, muscular man who had turned into little more than a thug.

Next, consider the claim that a disproportionate number of blacks are in our prison system. Those making this claim never factor in that a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by blacks. New York's police commissioner Kelly in a Nightline interview: "The stark reality is that crime happens in communities of color." About 70 to 75 percent of the people described as committing violent crimes — assault, robbery, shootings and grand larceny — are described as being African-American.

My wife and I are both senior citizens. Once my wife entered an elevator with a black man. As the elevator descended he said to her, "Give me your money." Suddenly the door opened and she ran off.

The president should tell his fellow African-Americans to stop committing violent crime and the next generation may not be met with fear as they walk down the streets.

Ronald J. Porter


Jim Crow survives

The Trayvon Martin ordeal has taught me that the more things change the more they stay the same. You would absolutely think that Jim Crow laws would be a thing of the past. However, with the acquittal of George Zimmerman I believe we are still living in Jim Crow times.

Remember Medgar Evers, Emmett Till and countless other blacks who lost their lives unjustly, the recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action and voting rights laws?

Closer to home, blacks smoke marijuana at the same rate as whites. However blacks are eight times more likely to be arrested. Also five out of eight blacks receive felonies while whites receive felonies at a one out of 10 rate.

In addition, if a black person files a complaint against a white person an investigation results. While, if a white person files a complaint against a black person, a warrant is issued.

Ask yourself this: If the roles in the Martin/Zimmerman case were reversed, what would the verdict have been? Sure we have a two-term black president, but the more things change the more things stay the same.

Henry Bell


Trayvon started violence

The editorial, "Honoring Trayvon," was interesting. I was, however, wondering why I should be honoring Trayvon Martin when George Zimmerman was the one with the bloody face and cuts on his head. As for violence, that appears to have been initiated by Martin. Zimmerman was trying to do a job and defend himself. Martin could have stopped and talked to him.

As for racism, if there was any, it was not confined to Zimmerman. On the phone, Martin referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker" which says something about his disposition.

Racism didn't raise its ugly head until demagogues the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson came on the scene preaching their gospel of hate. It's unfortunate that Trayvon died; but whatever the circumstances, there was no reason for him to resort to violence.

Jim Johnson