We as American Brothers and Sisters Are Better Than This. Much

I have always had an affinity for civil servants.  Growing up, I wanted to be a fire fighter like my father and uncles and grandfather.  To help people while wearing a cool uniform and riding in cool vehicles was very attractive to me.  Although I took the fire fighter test (to see if I could do it), I never actual did the job.  Broadcasting came a calling.  But, my level of respect for those who put on police and fire uniforms, no matter their race or ethnicity, has only grown.  To make the decision to fight crime or fight fires is potentially heroic.  From case to case, fire to fire, these brave souls don’t know if they’ll make it home at the end of their shifts.  It’s something most of us will never face in our work.

Do my feelings on the job they do affect my ability to see when someone in uniform does wrong?  Not even a little.  Was there a history of unequal treatment of minorities, especially Black Americans, in our country?  Yes.  Has that practice been absolutely, 100 percent eradicated?  No.  Is it world’s apart from the way it used to be?  Without doubt.  What I don’t understand is the outcry for revenge coming from some in our country.  I squarely blame this on race-agitators like Al Sharpton, AG Eric Holder and even our president.

Before I continue, it’s important you know (and you already do if you listen to my show) that I believe George Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck that night.  Had Trayvon Martin NOT circled back to the truck and attacked Zimmerman he would be alive today.   Michael Brown should have made the decision NOT to strong-armed rob a store then pick a fight with a cop INSIDE of his police SUV.  Had he done that, he would be alive today.  And, I think the way Eric Garner was taken down was unnecessary and crossed the line.  Had that hold not been used, I believe he would be alive today.  The races of those involved nor my race play a role in my feelings on these cases.  Sadly, I can’t say the same for the men I mentioned above.

On Trayvon Martin, the president said if he’d had a son, he would look like Trayvon.  He never said that if he had a neighbor, he would look like George.  On Michael Brown, the president sent three representatives to his funeral and talked about the distrust communities of color have of the police.  The top cop — chief law enforcement officer in the USA, Eric Holder, actually echoed that.  He said that he too in his life has had a distrust of law enforcement.  He never said he understood what officers like Darren Wilson faced everyday nor that he was waiting until all of the evidence was in to decide his opinion on the case.

Al Sharpton has shown up and race-agitated every situation where he felt he’d get his face on television.  He’s offered no solutions and, in fact, has been extremely one-sided in his desire to rile up those in communities affected by these stories.  I have yet to hear any of these “leaders” talk about how we’re ALL American brothers and sisters or how we need to work together to make this a better land for all.  Their focus, sadly, is always only on making up for past ills or pushing the flawed idea that we’re still in the 1960s and that all authority and Whites in America somehow feel superior.

Fast forward to today.  Two NYPD officers were ambushed and executed in Bed-Sty/Brooklyn.  It is being reported that the shooter, a Black man, had posted on his Instagram account that he was going to put some “pigs in a blanket.”  He also added hashtags #RIPEricGarner and #RIPMikeBrown obviously to give a reason for the “pigs” comment.  After the killing of the two officers, both Americans — one of Asian the other of Latino descent, it’s reported the murderer took his own life.

Sick people do sick things.  The vast majority of us will never ever understand what makes a person who would do such a dastardly thing tick.  What sickens and saddens me to my soul is the reaction of others to what happened.  Almost immediately, there was what appeared to be sarcastic joy over the deaths of these two men who were simply on the job trying to protect a neighborhood.  The social media glee and celebrations show there’s an underbelly in our great land of people who don’t want  to make things better — they simply see us as an us vs them country where one is to mourn every person racially like them and wish death on everyone else.  This is an issue in which this administration had the unique ability to affect positive change.  The choice was made not to.

Fortunately, those making celebratory posts about the executions of two law enforcement officers are on the fringe and do not represent the good people of all races in this, the greatest, land.  These fringe racists and race-baiters will never change no matter how much one tries to reason with them.  The rest of us CAN, however, make a great difference.

We MUST get to a place where we actually see individual stories and situations for what they really are.  We MUST stop making any assumptions based on race, ethnicity or gender.  We MUST get to a place in our land where we see those involved as Americans first and weigh the evidence and information presented.  Our history is just that, history.  If someone is being mistreated because of some sort of prejudice or bigotry, let’s notice it and make it part of the issue.  But, we MUST get to a place where we do NOT assume that first then hear the details later.  Our president, attorney general, this administration, Al Sharpton, the New Black Panther party and others subscribing to the same outlook have hurt this process when they were all in a great position to help.

Is it too late?  No.  The president and AG and Sharpton, et al should hit the public airwaves immediately to tell us how they mourn this loss of life.  The president should send White House representatives to their funerals.  The AG should be there in person and implore people to NOT target police and Sharpton should organize a march in NYC in outrage over the senseless killing of these men in blue.  Don’t hold your breath.

Rest in peace officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.  I pray for your souls and for your families.

 

Pags

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Threats, Persecution and Potential Prosecution Over Religious Beliefs

It seems every day there’s another story about gay marriage.  States are being forced to allow and recognize the marriages of two men or two women.  The courts that are calling state bans on such unions unconstitutional are pointing to the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution as the reason why these state laws are out of line.  The 14th Amendment was added to the supreme law of the land to ensure freed slaves were equally protected in our country by all laws.  It has been interpreted as a protection for everyone – with which I agree.

To that end, the states wisely didn’t ban gay marriage, they simply said marriage is between one man and one woman.  This simple difference is why the claims these laws violate the Constitution are dead wrong.  Think about it.  Do these laws address the idea of love at all?  No.  Do these laws address which gender those who desire to marry are attracted to or prefer to sleep with?  Nope.  Therefore, can any man marry any woman in those states?  Yes.  Any man, no matter his preferences, can marry a woman.  And vice versa.  But, what if he didn’t want to?  Then, DON’T!  Therefore, these laws DO, in fact, offer equal protections as required by the 14th Amendment.  That doesn’t mean you must marry a woman if you’re a man or vice versa.  But, you are certainly allowed to.

This is an opinion on the clearly written 14th Amendment and the clearly written marriage laws in some states.  You might feel I’m wrong and feel gays should marry.  You’re allowed.  But, I understand English and find the 14th Amendment easy to understand.  I also understand the clearly written laws in these states.  This needs to be heard and ruled on by the Supreme Court of the United States.  If they’re ruling by the letter of the law and on what’s written clearly, the state laws should be held as legal.

Having said that, it’s en vogue for state and appellate courts to deem these state laws unconstitutional.  Gays are allowed to marry in a growing number of states.  Forgetting the cogent argument I made above as to why there’s nothing illegal about state laws defining marriage, and allowing for the fact that gay marriage is increasingly legal, is the result what we really want America to be?  Do we really want individuals in our great land to be forced into taking part in things with which they don’t religiously or morally agree?  Also, if you’re gay, why on Earth would you want people like that to be forced to take part in this, your special day?  You wouldn’t.

Case in point, an Oregon bakery whose owners decided not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple has been ordered to bake the cake.  I believe the owners have every right to refuse to take part in a ceremony they deem a sin according to their religion.  The 1st Amendment would seem to agree with me.  A court ruling saying one must bake a cake in such a circumstance is a clear infringement of their ability to worship as they see fit without government persecution or prosecution.   The bakery has been forced to close its store front and the owners have moved the operation into their home.  (http://reason.com/blog/2013/09/03/bakery-that-refused-to-make-gay-wedding)  The overriding question I have in cases like this, why on Earth would gays desire to have this bakery make the cake for their happy day?  It’s not about the quality of the cake or that this baker does something no one else does.  When I got married, had there been a bakery that made it clear they hated or didn’t want to make cakes for those of Italian heritage.  I would never have considered suing them in an attempt to for them to make my cake.  I would tell them, “you just lost a lot of money,” before going down the street to give my money to someone else.  This is about forcing ones beliefs on others.  This is about trying to force this country, which is overwhelmingly filled with people whose religious beliefs see homosexuality as a sin, to accept gay marriage as somehow normal and exactly the same as traditional marriage.  No matter what the courts decide, that’s not going to happen.

Court orders, threats, fines and forcing people out of business are horrendous.  But, now we’re seeing the next level of lunacy.  How about this: you’re a Christian minister who performs marriages.  You have chosen to only marry Christian men and women.  For some reason, a gay couple are insisting you marry them as well.  And when you refuse, you’re fined and threated with arrest.  You heard me right, do it or go to jail!  (http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/city-threatens-to-arrest-ministers-who-refuse-to-perform-same-sex-weddings.html)  Is this the America you know and love?  Why wouldn’t a gay couple want to be married by a minister who accepts their union?  They would, of course.  Unless they’re just activists trying to make a point by forcing their own beliefs on others.

Before you agree or disagree with me, consider this.  Would it be okay to force a Jewish baker to make an, “I love Hitler” cake?  Would it be okay to force a Muslim caterer to serve food at your next pig roast?  Would it be okay to force a Christian baker to bake a cake which had “If You Don’t Love Satan You Should Be Killed!” written on it?  Would it be okay to force a Black photographer to shoot pictures and video at the next KKK gathering?  In this country, our freedom and liberties are protected FROM the government.  We are allowed to disagree.  We are allowed to believe in and follow whatever God or gods we’d like as long as that doesn’t cause physical or tangible harm to others.  Thus, we can’t scream “Fire!!” in a crowded theater.  That could cause panic and potentially injury as people run out.  Remember, this is not about having the right to not serve gays.  That would be wrong.  Your sexual preference or orientation should never stop you from getting some food, or watching a movie, or getting a job.  The reason why these rulings are wrong is because of the forced participation of business owners in a ceremony or event their religion tells them is a sin.  There’s a huge difference.

There is no harm in allowing the Muslim or Jewish caterers to only serve foods specific to their religions.  You want different foods?  Go to a business who can cater to your needs.  You want someone to photograph or bake a cake for your wedding and you’re gay?  There are plenty who would love to.  Get one of them.  You want someone to memorialize your Klan rally?  I’ll bet there are some idiots out there who would jump at the chance.  Stop this ridiculous pattern of forcing what you believe on me while telling me my beliefs don’t matter.  Enough now.

 

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This Is Why Being “Moderate” and “Middle-of-the-Road” Is A Position Doomed To Failure — Reagan Quotes — Part 2

 

Pastel Reagan

It’s an interesting complaint from the, so-called, “moderate” Republicans.  It’s why I’m not a Republican, rather a Conservative.  “Democrat” and “Republican” are parties.  Liberal and Conservative are ways of life.  I’m often faced with the notion that the GOP should be more accepting – more open – more middle-of-the-road.  It’s perplexing to me really.

This quote from Ronald Reagan is direct and clear.  Pick a side.  Stand firm.  Don’t waiver — but, do it with a smile and a welcoming nature.  Here’s a classic example of what I mean.

I don’t generally do the topic of abortion on my shows unless the news of the day dictates it.  I think it’s a cop-out topic utilized by lazy hosts.  “Abortion, for or against?  Call 1-800-Blah Blah.”  What I learned is, for the most part, I’m never going to change your mind and you’re not gonna change mine.  I am vehemently against abortion as a form of birth control.  The only time I’m okay with the idea of aborting a child is when the mother’s life is truly at risk.  I think if someone told me I had the choice between living or dying or my child living or dying — I would choose to let my child live.  But, when there’s a risk of me dying — I should get to make the choice.  Otherwise, no abortion.  When this topic needs to be broached, I’ll always get a call from someone who says something to the effect of, “Pags, you and I agree on 99 percent of the issues, BUT — I am completely against abortion but FOR the woman having the right to choose.”  Huh?  Say what?  That’s actually not possible.  

Think about it, as a conservative guy, I’m firm in my beliefs.  I’m completely against gay marriage, period.  I’m completely for the death penalty, period.  I’m completely for lower taxes, period.  I’m completely against large, over-controlling-over-powering government — and I’m against abortion.  Those are bold, solid, bright positions.  There’s no “but, ifs” there.  To say you’re against abortion but, for the right for a woman to choose — you’re saying you’re for abortion.  That usually leads to an exclamation, “No way!  Not true! Don’t put words in my mouth!”  Think about it.  What are the choices involved in the right to choose?  You can choose to NOT abort or to ABORT.  For you to say you think a woman should have that right, you’re saying you support those who choose to kill the baby.  That’s a bold statement — but, at least you know where I stand.  You cannot have it both ways.

Similarly, if you say, “I’m completely against higher taxes, unless it goes to pay for more food for the hungry.”  Umm, what?  That means you’re not completely against higher taxes.  I am completely against higher taxes.  As I write this, I’m actively railing against a nearly half-billion dollar bond issue in my local school district.  I’m a firm believer that if there’s a need, a community will rise up and find a way to fulfill it.  I don’t trust nor want government to administer to all of our needs.  I think it takes our incentive away to go out and get it ourselves.  If there’s a shortfall in how much food is available for the hungry, donate to the food bank.  If there aren’t enough beds for the homeless, donate money or a bed to the local shelter.  If there isn’t enough money at the local school to house the children, ask the parents to step up and foot the bill for a portable or two.  This is how it used to be.  Today, we sit back and watch the government siphon more and more of our money in the form of taxes and watch them build palaces to education and give every child a laptop or iPad.  I’m against that.  And, am not afraid to say it.  Even in the face of the chants, “it’s for the children.”  

Case and point: recently Senator Ted Cruz of Texas spoke for nearly 22 hours on the Senate floor to raise awareness of the problems with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  It was a way for him to fulfill a promise he’d made to the voters of Texas should he win the election.  He did, and followed through.  He took a stand.  Whether you agree with him or not – that’s what he did.  He boldly stood there in the face of the majority in that house who called him “radical, extreme, extremist,” and more.  But, he didn’t waiver.  Some did, however.

It was expected that those from the opposing party and even the media would excoriate Cruz for this brash act.  How dare he?  He’s grandstanding!  He’s doing it for attention.  He let that all roll off of his back.  But, what may have not been expected is how his colleagues — fellow Republicans would flock to the other side with the opposing view.  Long-seated Arizona Senator John McCain even went as far as to call what Cruz did “insulting.”  He took Cruz out of context and let him have it.  What McCain and others did in not only NOT supporting Cruz but, coming out against him, is set the party — and the values we thought it held —  back generations.  We need a return to real beliefs, real backbone, and less compromise.

Before you walk away from this thinking I’m intolerant or insensitive, I’m not.  I don’t want people to be persecuted nor prosecuted for having a different value system than I.  I just don’t want them setting policy.  The Conservative sensibility is the most like our value system.  And, it’s incredibly welcoming, tolerant, accepting and firm.  If you don’t get how all of that can coexist — then you need to reexamine why you’re so wishy washy on your own beliefs.

Thoughts?

 

Pags

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I Will Be In Again Tomorrow On WHAS/Louisville

Looking forward to sitting in again tomorrow on WHAS in Louisville tomorrow.  We will certainly talk about the move the Obama administration is expected to do — bring in tech experts to try to fix the brand new — yet antiquated — Obamacare servers.  Some reports say the site is based on 10 year old technology.  It would be crazy to do the right thing.. I don’t know, maybe what the House suggested in its compromise?  Delay the launch for a year?  Naaa — that’s silly.  Plenty of other stories to cover including whether Creationism should be taught in schools.

Be there!  Pags

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Reagan Quotes And How They Still Apply Today In The USA — First In A Series

Reagan Quotes Pags 1

It dawned on me that my four children aged 4, 13, 21 and 22 — as wonderful as they are and as much as they know how I feel about freedom and liberty and as much as they get the concept of smaller government = a freer people — they don’t know much about former president Ronald Reagan.  Frankly, they hear the power brokers on both sides of the aisle constantly comparing themselves to him more than any other president this nation has ever had.  Think about it, when’s the last time you heard some politician say, “I’m going to do what Grover Cleveland did if you vote for me?”  There’s good reason why they choose to (usually ridiculously) compare themselves to Reagan.  He was a great president with a simple, “Government is a necessary evil, but is certainly not your friend,” sensibility.

This outlook, along with his incredible ability to restore nationalism after one of the weakest American presidents ever (Jimmy Carter), proved desirous and very attractive to most Americans no matter what they’re usual preferred political leanings.  The term “Reagan Democrat” was coined as he saw great success no matter who the voter was.  President Reagan was smooth, quick, witty and, most importantly, hard not to like.  He was a calming figure no matter whether he was facing down the threat of global nuclear war or recovering from the gunshot wound of a would-be assassin.

The things he said were wonderfully appropriate in the mindset of the role government should and shouldn’t play in the lives of a free people.  With that in mind, I decided to present some of these quotes here — as part of a series.  I’m doing it for a couple of reasons:

  • to refresh you and me of what we lived through and what helped us to figure out how we felt about this country and how it’s run.
  • and, more importantly, to give us a resource we can use as a reason to sit down with our kids and talk about the greatest president in our lifetimes and certainly in the last 100 years.

The first quote I chose really fits into the times we’re in.  It’s simple:

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

First thing that jumps out is how he was railing against a “trillion-dollar debt.”  One has to wonder how he would feel about a federal debt approaching 17 trillion.  The meaning really is direct and simple.  The Federal Government doesn’t have a money confiscation problem, it has a spending problem.  You’ve heard many politicians say something to the effect of “Washington is broken.”  I disagree.  I say, “Washington is making the people broke.”

Imagine if you will, you are getting paid at work.  You make $500 a week.  However, you consistently spend $600 a week.  So, you put the other hundred over on a credit card until you max the card out.  You don’t change your spending.  In fact, you decide to start spending $1000 a week.  Now, you owe interest on the debt you were accruing every week and instead of doing what would actually work — stop spending so much — you’ve increased your spending to the point that the money you’re making barely covers the interest on the built up debt.  Then, you tell — you don’t ask — your credit card company to increase your limit there because all of this spending and paying of interest has you maxed out.  Simple question: what do you think your boss would say if you went to him with your debt and spending portfolio and requested a raise?  Mine would say, I didn’t make you spend that way.  You know how much you make.  YOU spend less.  Instead, Washington automatically increases its spending every year through what’s called “baseline budgeting.”  It’s a monetary shell-game that lets politicians claim they’re cutting the budget when it actually auto-increases yearly.

How do you solve the problem?  You stop the game of, “raising the debt ceiling is just to pay for the stuff we’ve already bought.”  That might have worked the first time.  Problem is, Washington refuses to stop buying stuff after getting the increase.  If the spending stopped or — God Forbid — were decreased, we wouldn’t have the dog-and-pony show ever two years over raising or not raising the debt limit.

The eight years Ronald Reagan was the president encompassed one of the best recoveries from recession we’ve seen in our history.  How did he make that happen?  He lowered taxes for Americans across the board and limited the government’s reach in our lives.  The blueprint exists and should be followed today.

Pags

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Do You Have Pictures YOU TOOK From The Open Carry Rally At The Alamo Today?

I was working and couldn’t attend.  Were you there?  Do you have pictures you actually took?  I’d love it if you sent them to me and I will post them on my FB page.  Either click message on the FB page or email them to me at joe@joepags.com

 

Thanks!

Pags

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Here’s a Great Write Up on How to Get Content You Want In Your News Feed!

http://www.alwaysupward.com/facebook_helpers/Get_Your_FB_Page_Posts_Back.pdf

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Testing The RSS Feed To My Facebook Page

This is ONLY a test.  300585_386771498109007_1982907482_n

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The Government Shutdown Offers Valuable Lessons About The State Of Our Nation

Yes, everyone has an opinion on just about anything.  Most have made a media-based or emotional choice as to who they blame for the government shut down.  If you want my fact-based take, you can find it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sbsINjTplw.

Many, unfortunately, have missed the forest for the trees on this one.  There’s one inescapable truth which has emerged during the so-called government shutdown and was accentuated by the computer glitch that temporarily disrupted the ability for people to use EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards: the government is way too big and has way too much control over We The People!

Before jumping to conclusions about what I mean based on what you think my feelings are on individual politicians or parties, answer these questions out loud:

Did you know the government could pick and choose which parks would close or stay open?

Did you know the government could close the ocean to you and me?

Did you know the government could choose to keep Camp David and some Golf Courses open while denying WWII Veterans access to their own memorial?

Did you know the government could tell free, liberated Americans they could not stop their cars and take a picture of Mt. Rushmore?

Did you know the government could choose to close a website dedicated to finding lost or kidnapped kids while keeping open the website supporting the First Lady’s Pet Project?

Did you know the Executive Branch could alter a passed and signed law (the ACA) to give waivers to campaign donors and businesses it chooses?

Before the outrage exhibited by so many on social media and elsewhere, did you know so many in this land of plenty were reliant on the government to give them food through the EBT system?  

What’s my point?  Simply that government was created and allowed to exist to represent and serve you and me — not to control us.  We’ve gone from for the people and by the people to have power over and control of the people.  Are you okay with that?  How do we change it?

We, first of all demand that the Constitution is adhered to.  It’s not a guide or suggestion.  It is, in fact, the foundation of this country and outlines the freedoms and liberties we have and which are protected from overwhelming government restriction.  One amendment we should focus on is the 10th.  There is no way on planet Earth we should ever have stood by and allowed the central government the ability to administer to and have control of our parks and memorials.  The states should administer with our taxes and NEVER have the ability to shut them down.  It is stunning how much power this government has grabbed while many were focusing on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and other mindless fodder.

And, when it comes to taking care of those in need we have always done a great job from within our communities.  Even though it seems the central government is trying to put them out of business, there are still wonderful food banks and soup kitchens that exist to help those in dire need.  Instead, however, people are more and more (more today than ever in our history) taking handouts from the government.  It seems like a great deal.  You sign up for one freebie and you’re automatically good to go for a number of others.  The problem is, to get those handouts, you must give up your freedom and liberty while at the same time making it more and more compulsory for those of us who are working hard to support our own families to finance this stripping of freedom and increased allowance for central government power and control.  Do you want some evidence?  Go on Facebook or Twitter and put in #ebt and see the outrage when the cards didn’t work.  If you weren’t on the card, you would not have known there was a problem.

The American Dream is not yet dead although, now more than ever, it’s getting close to requiring life-support.  If you think the American Dream is still accessible through government handouts and increased power and control, can you name me one successful American CEO who’s on the dole?

Now is the time for us all to awaken from our slumber and say, “Enough is Enough.”  Instead of blaming this side or that for the shutdown, we must blame ourselves for giving up so much to a group of self-centered elitists (on BOTH sides of the aisle) in a small district on the East Coast.

Keep your voice loud and make sure you vote the controllers out and vote in those who will truly do the bidding of a free people.  Do not demand more from the government, demand less!  Instead of seeing this as a dark time in our history, see this as a real eye-opener which has served to make us overtly aware of our allowance of a few to control so much — and an opportunity to seize that control back.

 

pags

 

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There’s A Reason Why Lady Justice Wears A Blindfold

Before February of 2012, the vast majority of us had never heard of Trayvon Martin nor George Zimmerman. They were nothing to us. They did not occupy any part of our hearts or minds. I do not love George Zimmerman and I did not love Trayvon Martin. They were but two of millions of souls you and I will never come into contact with nor spend one moment considering in our daily lives. Then, that fateful night happened.

A local story became a national concern when allegations of racism and profiling were brought to the spotlight. Suddenly, the President of the United States would say something as biased as, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” This, the president of ALL of the United States stoking the already heating up flames of division in the country. Once again, when given a golden opportunity to lead, he divided. Not long afterwards, my second favorite team, the Miami Heat players took a picture with them all wearing hoodies. They were showing solidarity with the young man killed that night as if it were a foregone conclusion what had taken place.

I’d said this from the moment I read enough of the information in this case. I called for Zimmerman to be prosecuted from day one. This angered a lot of my listeners. As quickly as the president and the Heat and Sharpton and the New Black Panther Party pounced to say Martin was killed for being Black, many of my listeners were claiming Zimmerman’s innocence because he was legally carrying a gun. While the media took the side of Martin by only showing pictures of a smiling 12 year old, many were backing Zimmerman by calling Martin a “thug” or “thief.” In fact, many sent me a picture of the rap artist, “The Game” with tattooed face and neck claiming the picture was really 17-year old Martin before his death. People took sides quickly. I just wanted the facts to come out. The best way to do that? Unpopular as it was, I stood firm and pushed to have it go before a judge and decided by a jury.

I know some of you reading will say I have this perspective because I’m not Black and I enjoy some sort of “White Privilege.” Reality is, I am color blind. I always have been. I don’t have to prove that to you.. it’s how I live. I’ve looked at this case and have come to some common sense-based, logical reasonable conclusions. Both men, Martin and Zimmerman, are guilty of misidentifying the other. Martin had every right to be in that neighborhood. He had every right to buy something to drink and some candy. He had every right to wear a hoodie and talk on his cell phone. He did nothing wrong. Zimmerman had every right to be in his truck. He had every right to observe what was going on in his neighborhood. He had every right to call the police when he saw someone he didn’t recognize in his neighborhood. He had every right to get out of his truck.

Martin made the mistake of thinking Zimmerman was someone up to no good and Zimmerman made the mistake of thinking Martin was up to no good. I’m betting had Martin known Zimmerman was neighborhood watch and Zimmerman that Martin belonged there, none of this would have happened.

Nobody has argued that Zimmerman actually chased and physically caught Martin that night. NOBODY. They said he “followed” or “stalked” or “chased” but NEVER physically chased and ran down Martin. That would be ridiculous. Zimmerman 5’8″ and 200 pounds, Martin 5’11” 155-160 and a decade younger — do you really think he chased him down and physically caught him? Or is it more likely that after Zimmerman turned around and walked back to his truck, Martin came to him and wanted to know what his problem was? Did anyone in this case say anything about Zimmerman starting the physical confrontation? That’s what this case was really about. Who physically attacked whom? They were both mistaken. They both made bad decisions. But, who started the physical confrontation? If it was Zimmerman, he should have been convicted. The evidence did not bear that out. The prosecution did not make that case. The defense’s case relied on the jury believing Martin threw the first blow. It was successful in proving that.

Put the blinders on. Forget that the media calls Zimmerman a “White Hispanic” or a man who “identifies himself as Hispanic” and that calls Martin “17 year old Trayvon,” or “Black teen Trayvon,” or “little Trayvon Martin.” If it went down as the defense said it did, then the verdict is correct no matter the race of those involved.

With that said, I truly believe Zimmerman should NOT have gotten out of the truck that night. I truly believe he should have followed IN his vehicle and waited until police got there. But, as much as Martin was allowed to walk down that street, so was Zimmerman. The dispatcher is not a police officer and can suggest he not follow but, he’s not breaking the law by not listening. Zimmerman was allowed to carry a gun as provided by the Constitution. It was not a stolen gun nor was he a convicted criminal not allowed to carry.

I’m the father of four. I can’t imagine the agony Martin’s family and friends must be going through. I wish Trayvon Martin were alive today. In fact, if I had my way, I never would have heard of George Zimmerman nor Trayvon Martin. Emotions are running hot and people are screaming “Injustice.” Anyone physically attacked has the right to defend himself. Instead of further divide, why can’t the discussion going forward be about healing this country to the point that we don’t because of the color of our own skin make immediate assumptions about others because of the color of their skin — ON BOTH SIDES.

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