It's easy to be outraged -- it's harder to make a difference

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For the past seven years my women’s club has been sponsoring and playing host to free daylong camps for girls ages 11-18. We play host to them in Thomson, Aiken and Augusta. The camps are called Camp Be Your Best, because our hope and goal is to show and inspire girls to be the best they can be.

We do this by having a series of interactive workshops with women facilitators who share information that girls can apply to everyday life, such as money management, self-esteem and etiquette.

ON JULY 13 we played host to a camp in Aiken and, despite the rain, we had a packed house and a very successful day. Girls can register for the Augusta camp, planned for July 27, by calling Charlotte Hill at (706) 267-6712 or Karen Lewis at (706) 627-0697.

The camps generally are about nine hours long, so although I was happy about its success, I was tired. When I got home, I quickly took Denzel (my spoiled Maltese) out for a walk, showered, put on my PJs and went to bed.

I slept soundly and rather peacefully. I slept so soundly, in fact, when I woke up it was almost 10 a.m. I’d missed church and missed calling my mom, who by that time was on her way to church.

I jumped out of the bed and ran downstairs to fix myself a cup of coffee, and turned on the TV. I sat down on the couch and watched CNN reporting that George Zimmerman had been acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

In case you happened to have missed it, Zimmerman, 28, was the Florida man involved in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin. In Florida, they have a law called the Stand Your Ground Law that states, according to Wikipedia, “a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first.” Zimmerman’s attorneys used this law for his defense.

I’m sure I was not alone in being surprised and dismayed about the verdict, but I continued to watch. I started to flip through channels and it was everywhere – commentaries, rallies, a few riots and lots of people praying.

I THEN TURNED to my computer because I was curious to see the reactions of people on social media. Did this terrible tragedy at least have people talking and communicating about what they could do to help or make a difference?

As expected, there were very heated exchanges between people about who was right and whether justice was served. There were many exchanges between black and white people, Christians and atheists, and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds about whether this was injustice and or even racist. I saw people discussing the Stand Your Ground Law and whether it’s an unjust law.

Many people were angry. Many people were hurt. Some were lashing out and others were calling for peace and prayer. However, the majority of the people seemed outraged. I wondered, with all the pain and hurt and outrage, how many of the 54,000 tweeters and the hundreds of thousands of Facebook posters actually would do something to create a change.

It’s easy to be outraged. It’s much harder to commit yourself to making a difference.

How many of the outraged are registered to vote so that they can help affect any law they feel is unjust? How many volunteer and/or donate money for programs to help in the positive development of teenage boys such as Martin?

The trial of Zimmerman and its outcome probably will be debated for months and maybe years to come. But one can only hope that out of tragedy something positive can happen.

Perhaps the people who feel so passionately about this case will commit to doing something to make things better. I hope that out of all of this, there will emerge people who are moved enough to do something instead of merely being outraged.

IF YOU WANT to do something, there are a number of organizations that could use your help and support. Here are few that I know of that serve children, but there are many others. The Augusta Partnership for Children is a good resource to help you find one.

• Augusta Partnership for Children, 353 Telfair St, Augusta GA 30901; (706) 721-1040

• 100 Black Men of Augusta;

Herb O’Conner, president; 211 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite C/C-2, Augusta, GA 30907

• Positive Boys, Positive Men; Coach Neely Lovett; (706) 664-5455.

(The writer is an on-air personality with radio station WKSP-FM (96.3), and a columnist for The Augusta Chronicle’s Applause section. She can be reached at cherbest@963kissfm.com.)

Comments (15) Add comment
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Fundamental_Arminian
1849
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 07/21/13 - 04:18 am
20
0
"Stand your ground" not invoked in Zimmerman's defense

    In case you happened to have missed it, Zimmerman, 28, was the Florida man involved in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin. In Florida, they have a law called the Stand Your Ground Law that states, according to Wikipedia, “a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first.” Zimmerman’s attorneys used this law for his defense (Cher Best).

Wrong! Zimmerman's attorneys did not invoke the "stand your ground" defense. I understand, though, that someone who trusts CNN could be confused about the facts. And why refute a lie that's useful for fund-raising?

agustinian
718
Points
agustinian 07/21/13 - 07:22 am
9
2
What does this make Jesse Jackson?

Here is a quote from Jesse Jackson, from a few years ago:

“There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

Black on Black crime is the worst scourge on the Black community. It's not even close. 90% of the Black murders in this country are committed by other Blacks. So go ahead, be outraged by the verdict in this case, which you have some justification for. But if you want to make a big difference on needless deaths of Black male youths, I would start with cracking down on the gang culture, children raised in single or no parent households, and keeping kids in school. Protesting Zimmerman is diverting energy away from the real culprits in the case of needless Black deaths in the US.

ymnbde
10016
Points
ymnbde 07/21/13 - 07:24 am
11
2
who "stands ground" for the truth?

cause this column didn't do it
Al Sharpton and the media don't do it
Zimmerman and Martin simply reaped what Al Sharpton sowed.
when Mr Sharpton loves young black men
more than he hates white people
things will begin to heal
when white liberals don't use Mr Sharpton
to keep their 13% in line
things will begin to heal
are all the other murdered young black men not worthy of "outrage"?
that, truly, is outrageous
you want to make a difference?
start by standing ground for the truth

prov227
3245
Points
prov227 07/21/13 - 08:18 am
9
0
While the article has a noble finish ...

I'm concerned about the author's inference that "... However, the majority of the people seemed outraged. I wondered, with all the pain and hurt and outrage, how many of the 54,000 tweeters and the hundreds of thousands of Facebook posters actually would do something to create a change. ..." 54,000 "tweeters" out of 300 million people in this country hardly expresses the majority, nor does hundreds of thousands of Facebook posters. Maybe the author needs to be more specific in who the "majority" are.

I'm saddened by the local incident of another 17 year old "child" shooting and killing one and wounding another at a "house party". House parties aren't what they used to be. Where is the author's comment and outrage (a word that is used all too often and is becoming trite - we need more than raw emotion) over this local incident. Where are the professionally scripted signs and gatherings? Will the victim, (a 19 year old) get "justice".

The author does touch some good points overall, despite misunderstanding the "stand your ground" non-usage in the trial (or accepting someone's misinformation on CNN). But misinformation is how "outrage" becomes mob justice.

deestafford
28681
Points
deestafford 07/21/13 - 08:30 am
11
4
Ma'am, With all due respect

The only thing you got correct in your discussion about the Zimmerman-Martin incident is that Zimmerman shot Martin. From then on everything you state is incorrect. I encourage you to read today's comments in the letters to the editor on this subject.

I hope for the sake of the girls to whom you are so graciously and unselfishly giving your time that you are more accurate in the things you are teaching them.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 10:12 am
0
0
Blind leading the blind. Snake oil salesman making a buck.
Unpublished

Blind leading the blind. Snake oil salesman making a buck.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 10:14 am
0
0
Next course will be, Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution
Unpublished

Next course will be, Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 10:15 am
0
0
Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until you good is better.
Unpublished

and you better best. Huuuuummm. Huuuumm.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 07/21/13 - 10:16 am
0
0
"Mentoring for Mediocre Results" is another book/course.
Unpublished

"Mentoring for Mediocre Results" is another book/course.

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 07/21/13 - 01:47 pm
1
7
Good Information

Thanks for the references. In reference to Stand Your Ground. No, Zimmerman's attorneys did not invoke the Stand your Ground Law, if they had, they would have lost and they were evidently prudent enough to know this.

However, the jurors did employ Stand your Ground principles in reaching their conclusion, and that is what adds somewhat of a bizzar element in the eyes of many.

Ardith
7
Points
Ardith 07/21/13 - 01:54 pm
5
2
Check your facts

As a columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, I would assume that you would check your facts before you write. When you wrote that Zimmerman's lawyers used the Stand Your Ground Law as his defense, you lied. Please apologize to your readers, and set the record straight. Augusta Chronicle Editors also need to apologize for allowing this. I am outraged!

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 07/21/13 - 03:32 pm
2
1
Kindness

Correction is always beautiful, noble, and strenghtening when it is done with kindness, and a progressive mind will always accept it with stride.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/21/13 - 07:04 pm
5
0
"However, the jurors did
Unpublished

"However, the jurors did employ Stand your Ground principles in reaching their conclusion,"
validPoint, so you could read the jurors' minds that must be great. The case was self defense which is different from 'stand your ground'. Twisting the facts does not make it true. The case never should have come to trial.

KSL
134450
Points
KSL 07/21/13 - 11:05 pm
2
0
Brings up the guerrilla, is

Brings up the guerrilla, is your organization really able to educate these girls correctly,and in their best interests?

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 07/22/13 - 08:12 am
1
0
Three Hours

Radio announcers work three hours a day. So when they have to put in a nine hour day at a camp, they get really tired.

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 07/22/13 - 05:01 pm
3
0
"The trial of Zimmerman and its outcome

probably will be debated for months and maybe years to come. But one can only hope that out of tragedy something positive can happen."

.
A month at the most, maybe. Years??? Out of the question. When things cool down and people reflect, the truth will be SO obvious.

Only one law was broken that night. One man hid in ambush and attacked another.

Without emotion and prejudice to guide you, nothing else can be made of the facts. Nothing!!

Trayvon Martin died because he couldn't control his unfounded rage.

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 07/22/13 - 05:52 pm
2
0
"Many people were angry. Many people were

hurt. Some were lashing out and others were calling for peace and prayer. However, the majority of the people seemed outraged."

.
Yeah - I was outraged that there was even a trail in a case that was so obviously self-defense. Never should have seen the inside of a courtroom. The only reason it did was because of the phony race issue.

The day will come when "content of character" and not "color of skin" will be the criteria by which we are judged. The way things are going, most of us will not live long enough to see that day.

In the meantime, the rule is going to remain that if you are white, you are assumed to be guilty.

.
Thanks Chronicle for a poorly written and severely biased column.

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 07/22/13 - 05:58 pm
3
0
"In Florida, they have a law called the Stand

Your Ground Law (redundant) that states, according to Wikipedia, “a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first.” Zimmerman’s attorneys used this law for his defense."

.
As pointed out in the first response to this amateurish stab at journalism, neither Zimmerman nor his lawyers argued Stand Your Ground.

Even if they had, how does one retreat, while someone is sitting on your chest, pounding your head?

Just wondering.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 07/23/13 - 08:37 pm
0
1
Darby

"How does one retreat, while someone is sitting on your chest, pounding your head?" Great question! It begs the better question, "How does one reach behind his back and retrieve a gun from an internal holster, while someone is sitting on your chest, pounding your head?" The answer to both questions is, "They can't."

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 07/23/13 - 11:20 pm
2
0
@ mrenee2003 "How does one reach behind

his back and retrieve a gun from an internal holster, while someone is sitting on your chest, pounding your head?" The answer to both questions is, "They can't."

.
You assume facts not in evidence. His weapon was not "behind his back" it was on his right hip. If you've ever watched (or been involved in) a wrestling match you'd know just how easy it is to rock left or right with someone on your chest.

Obviously the jury saw just how it was done. I'm going out on a limb here and assume you were not on the jury.

It's SO much easier to rock to the left and raise your hip an inch or two than to decide, "What the heck, I'm just gonna get up now and walk away."

Emotion is such a poor substitute for logic and established fact. You want so badly for the thug Trayvon to be the innocent babe in the woods that he never was and never would be.

You want him to be a budding Martin Luther King. Others see him more like a potential Mumia Abu-Jamal.

OzBama said that Trayvon could have been him 38 years ago. As much as I dislike the current POTUS, I have a lot of trouble seeing him waiting in ambush to sucker punch a neighborhood watchman.

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