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Global Grind

Global Grind

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Published by rzimmermanjr

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Published by: rzimmermanjr on Dec 01, 2012
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12/27/2012

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November 30, 2012
 –
Lake Mary, Florida
FROM THE DESK OF ROBERT ZIMMERMAN JR
 An open Letter to Michael Skolnik, Editor-In-Chief: Global Grind 
Michael, Thank you for reaching out and providing your email address. I am delighted to post this message publicly inthe interest of transparency and I must start by making clear that I am publishing this letter solely as a concerned Americanand not in my capacity as a representative of my family
 –
The Zimmermans. I want to begin by sharing how proud I am to bean American and how grateful I am of the many rights and freedoms that we are afforded as Americans. Among these is ourfreedom of speech. It is a right central to the idea that a society in which its people can converse and express themselvesopenly is the very cornerstone of a truly free and enduring republic. If we are empowered by our freedom of speech by themany who sacrificed in order to secure it for us
 –
we should be wise with our use of that power. I have every intention of respecting and defending any
fellow American’s right to speak openly. I have learned throughout this ordeal that the words
we choose can and should wield influence to the people who hear them. It is why I strive to be responsible with my wordsand understand that we are all accountable for our words
 –
especially when they harm others or incite harm to others. Weare the example for the generations to come, as those who came before us and founded our country were to us. In theirquest to form a more perfect union, our founders gave us a plan and left the work of fulfilling that vision to their children, and
their children’s children. Today, we wonder why there is a bullying
epidemic affecting the lives of schoolchildren. We havecoined the term cyber-bully and allot resources to combat the inherent degradation to
our country’s future
that occurs whena child is singled-out and harassed because they are different. There is debate and disagreement as to the cause of thisepidemic and what the best path forward for our children may be. We teach the younger ones that our diversity is ourgreatest source of strength, and that it is in fact a great testament to our national unity. I would suggest that sometimes,children learn to lash-out with cruel words laced with reckless indifference because they learn it from us
 –
adults.In the beginning of this tragedy, I noticed that the narrative being promoted by a select few relied on three words togive traction to their
story: “white”, “black” and “gated community”. Wo
rds have power. It was clear that the race-card deck-shufflers were going to rely on the unfortunate reality that there is still racial polarization in our country and that exploiting itby using a few choice words would prove to be their golden ticket to vast rewards that lie far outside the scope and spirit of  justice.
As others chimed in and could not resist sharing in the work of expanding the terms of “white” to “white
vigilante
” or
 to
“white armed racist” they quickly set their sights on the word “black”, and we saw it metamorphose into
terms like
“un
-
armed black”, “hunted
-down black child
, etc. There was now a movement that had gained enough traction to interject thenotion that you and others did that somehow an operator-solicited description of 
a person’s attire who happened to be
wearing a hoodie was the
icing-on-the-cake
irrefutable proof that the person who gave that description must be a racist -Period. Despite there being no evidentiary basis to suggest that a hoodie was what made my brother suspicious, the race-card had been tossed on the table and rebuttal would not be tolerated nor would the result of an official investigation be
relevant or applicable here… someone had been declared a racist and that was al
l that many needed to hear
 –
missionaccomplished, for the time being.George had been keenly aware of the devastating effects of racial disparity as it relates to
African American’
s accessto justice. That is why when there was irrefutable video documentation of an assault perpetrated on a black homeless man,
by a police officer’s son –
he wrote letters, petitioned his government, handed out flyers at black churches in Sanford, FL (thathe penned), and did all he could as a concerned American to combat the seemingly un-equal access to justice by a black man.Even when he reached out to the local chapter of the NAACP and was told that there were no resources that could be sparedto help Sherman Ware, he was not discouraged. My brother had a philosophy of giving back to his community and countryand another way the opportunity to serve the less-fortunate manifested in his life was by serving, with his wife, as a mentor totwo children who happened to be black, whose father was serving a life-sentence in prison. When resources from thegovernment had expired and the funding for the mentoring program was cut
 –
again, George was not discouraged. Hecontinued to mentor the children because he insisted they needed love, the knowledge that they were valuable, and theassurance that they were not alone.
It was by simultaneously combating the blatant disregard for a black homeless man’s fate
and then reaching into the future by helping two black children achieve some semblance of sure-footing in life that George didhis part to combat the unfortunate condition of racial polarization in America. If a few of us are a little more like George, wecan hope to one day defeat it. That is, if those who profit from its existence will allow us to do so.As time passed, many more mistruths had found fertile ground in which to thrive. That unfortunate night of February 26, 2012 - despite any report to the contrary, George co-operated fully with law enforcement from the moment theyarrived on the scene. He was not told by the police
as Al Sharpton would have us believe to “go home –
 
take a shower”
. He
did not shoot anyone in the “back of the head in self 
-
defense” as Jesse Jackson would report at a Baptist church.

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