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A larger issue

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The George Zimmerman trial has stirred up angry protests against our legal system.

The legal system is not perfect and needs some reform. However, these protests, viewed in a larger context, do more harm than good. The protests contribute to the polarization of a black-and-white society, and are a distraction from a more fundamental problem.

This problem is the disintegration of the African-American family and the adverse effect on young African-American males.

I watched the entire trial. The jury made the right decision. If Trayvon Martin felt threatened, he had plenty of time to leave the area. He chose to confront Zimmerman and initiate the physical attack resulting in his death. In Trayvon’s world, violence is an acceptable way to solve a problem.

During the last week of the trial, more than a dozen African-Americans were murdered by African-American males in Chicago. This “black-on-black” violence is common in urban settings. Using violence to solve problems is learned early in life. Young children learn most coping skills from their parents.

The lack of positive role models for these African-American children in their early years make them more likely to adopt negative coping skills. If these protesters want to solve the fundamental underlying issue, they will mentor or be a positive role model for an African-American child.

Martin would be alive today if he chose a more rational response to a perceived threat.

Ron Mengarelli


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