The shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida is now a full-blown, international racial incident of the type that the election of Barack Obama was supposed to defuse.
Yet even U.S. President Obama is contributing to the anger-cum-hysteria over the incident, where wannabe neighborhood vigilante, George Zimmerman, shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, whose suspicious behaviour consisted of wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of candy.
Newsman and crime pundit Geraldo Rivera is one of the few voices defending Zimmerman, a light-skinned Hispanic guy.
Geraldo thinks (and says) that because Trayvon was wearing a hoodie it gave a signal to law-abiding folks that he was sinister, suspicious, and probably dangerous, so some of the blame for his slaying was due to wearing a hoodie in the wrong area.
There may be some truth in the symbolic relevance of young black men wearing hoodies, but what Geraldo is saying, in another context that we've all endlessly heard, is that women who wear mini-skirts or dress provocatively are "asking to be raped."
This latter is no more acceptable than the hoodie being responsible for Trayvon Martin's murder.
That the shooter seems to have been exonerated, or at least not charged, is another reflection on the U.S. Justice system -- as is the zany Stand Your Ground law that infects a couple of dozen states, where its acceptable to shoot someone in self-defence if you feel threatened. Insane. But reality.
President Obama is contributing to the racial division by suggesting Trayvon could be the son he never had, thus invoking more racial anger. The Prez invited no comparison with sons he never had in the shootings of 49 people in Chicago during the St. Patrick's Day weekend, or the innocent black child caught in a crossfire in a gang fight.
But the surest evidence of racial unrest is the appearance of what could be called the "Dreadful Reverends" -- Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson at demonstrations, where their eloquence fuels racial resentment.
And, of course, something called the "new" Black Panthers putting a $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman is encouraging a lynching when, in fact, the Black Panthers couldn't give a damn about Trayvon Martin or his family which seems decent, hard working, and horribly victimized by the whole scenario.
And what about Zimmerman, the vigilante shooter?
Claims that he was attacked (bloody nose and cut head) by the unarmed kid whom he outweighed by 100 lbs, wears a bit thin when tapes of his 911 call clearly indicate that he'd been told not to pursue the young guy alone, but to wait for back up.
The impression is that Zimmerman hungered to shoot someone -- was even stalking the kid in a hoodie.
Trayvon protests are now erupting across the U.S., attracting the sort of people the Martin family seems to have insulated their son against.
Events are spiraling out of control, and who knows the eventual outcome?
What should happen is that George Zimmerman face the consequences of his act, not be hidden from view and protected by the very people who should be trying to get to the bottom of his act and ensuring that due process and responsibility prevail.
And the President should be staying aloof, and not seeming to use the incident to advance his re-election campaign.
As for Trayvon Martin and his family -- they deserve better, and are being victimized by all factions who use them for their own ambitions.