Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

August 14, 2013

Look at the facts of the case before making judgment

NEW YORK — Online and Facebook polling in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the February killing of Trayvon Martin reveal two clear facts about this tragic case. The first: Even as far removed as Tahlequah is from Florida, local residents are passionately divided on the issue.

They’re not the only ones. Even former Sen. Durrell Peaden, a key author of the controversial “stand your ground” law used by the defense, is surprised by how the situation transpired. Peaden believes that when Zimmerman disregarded a 911 operator’s admonishment against following Martin, he relinquished his protection under the law.

The jury did not agree, but that’s not the end of the story for Floridians, or Cherokee Countians. Perhaps surprisingly, a majority of those involved in discussion on the Press Facebook page (facebook.com/tdpress) seemed to think Zimmerman should have been guilty of some crime, even if not second-degree murder. Many were mothers, who may have been thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Anyone who has a teenager can understand how that child could easily be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and inclined to posture and bluster when challenged. Should that child, these moms wonder, pay with his life for a few moments of stupidity?

A number of people were adamant that Zimmerman did the right thing. Some, basing their opinions on the letter of the law, offered analytical comments, and suggested the law be reworked in the wake of lessons learned in the Zimmerman case. For a few commenters, however, the case seemed radically personal. Though they were quick to blame the media for imbuing the case with a racial tinge, it was obvious that they, themselves, viewed it that way.

Which brings us to the second observation about local opinion on the Zimmerman case: Many local residents aren’t familiar enough about the facts of the case to be rendering judgment on its outcome. A number of comments – both for and against Zimmerman – were based on a one-sided understanding of the details, and these almost always fell along ideological lines. What this suggests is that conservatives turned to extremely conservative sources for their slant on the case, and progressives picked up their threads from liberal outlets.

Several folks on both sides of the “political” spectrum seemed not to realize they were presenting opinion as fact. The scariest part about that is some people can no longer tell the difference.

It’s incumbent upon all of us to first seek an unbiased presentation of the news – something admittedly difficult to find in today’s world of amateur bloggers and politically-motivated websites. Then if we want to, we can look at the opinions media outlets are publishing and posting. But we’d be better informed if we look at opinions from all sides, rather than sticking with the ones with which we agree ourselves.

As for Florida’s “stand your ground” law, perhaps Gov. Rick Scott, instead of steadfastly defending his measure, should look at how other states – like Oklahoma – do business.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014

  • Mom responsible for watching kid; restaurant’s not

    If you allowed your child to drink a bottle of drain cleaner, would you feign surprise when he fell to the floor, twitching and foaming at the mouth? If you left your curling iron within reach of your baby and she pulled it off the vanity and burned her hand, would you plan revenge on the store that sold you the appliance?
    You just might, if you’re among the litigious Americans who have abdicated parental responsibility to either sloth or the hope of a better tomorrow through a cash settlement.

    March 19, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks