By James Fitzmaurice
I am hoping that the tragedy of the Trayvon Martin incident and all of the ensuing drama will become a teachable moment for all of us and also a call to reflect on our own reactions to the story.
On social media, thousands of people were posting the message, “Justice for Trayvon”, with an account of what allegedly happen on that night. The thing that struck me most about the ubiquitous postings was that in order to repost “Justice for Trayvon”, one must accept the premise that justice will NOT be served.
In my schools and at home we learned not to pre- judge anyone because of skin color, race or creed. The lesson was simple enough; but that was before a new language was introduced to deal with our differences and with it a philosophy that has undermined race relations and pitted all types of “groups” against others, despite the indisputable fact that the intention was to overcome our differences and to learn to get along. If you are under 40 years old you have never known any different.
My questions are: Why did so many people automatically jump to the conclusion that justice cannot be served? Why did the media use old pictures instead of more recent and accurate pictures? Why did the New York Times refer to Mr. Zimmerman as a “white” Hispanic? Why is it that the Attorney General has no interest in the New Black Panther party placing a bounty on the head of a private citizen? Why did the president think that his comments regarding the matter were appropriate? Why did Trayvon’s mom use the plural (they) instead of the singular (he) when speaking of her son’s shooting? Why did Spike Lee tweet the (wrong) address of the Zimmerman family? Please notice that I have not included the more incendiary comments and charges. Where does one learn this behavior? Could it be the same place they learn that Black children learn differently than White children, and that all “cultures”, instead of all “Individuals” are equal? Is it the same place where they learn about victimhood, institutional racism and group identity politics?
Multiculturalism is a philosophy that pretends to be a uniting system of tolerance and diversity. In actual practice it is exactly the opposite. The insidious genius of Multiculturalism is in placing some “groups” in a position where they are forced to accept the original sin of past deeds and prejudices’ of unrelated ancestors and similar “colored” people, while forgiving others from being personally responsible for their own actions due to injustices of the past. It also asks decent and fair minded people to defend themselves against unwarranted charges of racism by proving that they are not racist.
The philosophy of multiculturalism actually is a very divisive form of tribalism and collectivism. Multiculturalism separates us into opposing camps and it threatens to Balkanize our country. True diversity and tolerance comes from equal opportunity, economic freedom, and the rule of law.
We must wake up and realize that we are a country of “Individuals” (not groups) from many backgrounds, with certain inalienable rights that are protected by our laws and the Constitution.
It may be that the desire for instant retribution is responsible for the unseemly reactions by some to the slow process of obtaining the facts in the case, processing them and presenting them to a Grand Jury, but the behavior exhibited by far too many, looks a lot more like prejudice than “Justice”.
James Fitzmaurice is an artist living in Rumson, NJ