Well, it looks like Americans have already forgotten about the NSA shoving the Fourth Amendment into a blender. Why? Because they are too busy arguing or even fighting over a relatively insignificant trial that was chock full of enough reasonable doubt to drive a truck through.
Although Saturday's verdict was (in my opinion) pretty darned predictable, in its wake some Americans on both "sides" have gone absolutely insane! Most recently, a woman allegedly attacked a 73-year-old musician after he dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin.
Yup, according to Mercury News, "43-year-old Dinalynn Andrews Potter of Barstow, apparently yelled 'it's all your fault' before shoving 73-year-old Lester Chambers" down in a fit of rage after he apparently did — literally — nothing more than express his sympathy towards Martin by dedicating a song to him.
"She had a crazed look in her eye," Kurt Kangas, a friend of Chambers and eyewitness, said. "I saw the devil there."
Police said people on stage immediately subdued the woman after she leapt onto the stage and attacked the singer. While a police investigation is ongoing, family members believe the attack stemmed from Chambers' mention of Martin and was motivated by race. As such, they are pressing police to file hate crime charges.
Andrews Potter is white and the singer is black.
Chambers' injuries were apparently grave enough that he was taken to the hospital and must now use a cane. His son said Chambers had a "bruised rib muscle and nerve damage and ... is sore all over."
This incident brings a few things to mind. First, it's interesting that though calls against violence were largely directed at the anti-Zimmerman crowd before the verdict, so far the only true violence I have heard of — aside from some riots in Oakland — came from this Zimmerman supporter.
Second, this incident truly reveals that Americans need to calm the heck down! Any competent lawyer could have predicted this verdict halfway through the trial when the prosecution's witnesses were helping the defense more than the prosecution. Seriously. That's why the prosecution was desperate enough to try and pin Zimmerman with third-degree murder predicated on — wait for it — child abuse.
Third, this incident and other emotional outbursts prove why we need our justice system. A courtroom provides a sanctuary, incubated from the public passions, where reason rather than emotion can win the day. While many Americans presumed Zimmerman's guilt, and others bought into the stereotype that Martin must have been "up to no good," the jury upheld their solemn duty — which includes a "presumption of innocence" and strong bias in favor of the defendant — and acquitted him. No amount of outraged, irrational appeals to emotion from either side could affect their verdict as they sat isolated in a courtroom, and that's the way it should be.
I would end this by imploring everyone to pay attention to the NSA leaks, but it seems to me that criminal trials are truly the new "bread and circuses." So while we should be talking about the shattering of the Fourth Amendment, I'm sure the airwaves will soon be full of Aaron Hernandez tidbits instead as Americans clamor for their fill of scandal and anger-fueled "news."
What a shame.