March 27, 2012 10:09:54 AM
It was inevitable comparisons would be made.
After Saturday's shooting of Mississippi State student John Sanderson, reportedly by one of three black males, local and national commentators immediately began drawing comparisons with the February shooting in Florida of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager. Martin was shot by George Zimmerman, a white neighborhood watch captain.
Where's the outrage for Sanderson shown for Martin, online commentators have asked. Why isn't that same outrage being expressed over the violent death of Sanderson?
Monday's Drudge Report posed the question "Will Obama comment on the Mississippi State shooting?" and linked the question to this newspaper's report on the shooting. Online commentators on www.cdispatch.com have jumped into the fray, posting nearly 1,000 comments many of them critical of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the President, all of whom have weighed in on the shooting of 17-year-old Martin.
Matters of race bring out the worst in some of us.
Bottom line: Two kids are now dead due to gunshot wounds. Investigations continue in both instances, but reports suggest both victims were simply guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two arrests have been made in the MSU shooting, but not in Florida, a source of roiling national outrage.
Commentators are unhappy the same outrage isn't being expressed over the Sanderson shooting and say the reason it's not is because Sanderson was white. The rhetoric is not only ugly and inflammatory, it's unsettling to realize such animus exists. Circumstances are decidedly different. Arrests have been made in the MSU case, but not of Zimmerman who shot Martin in an altercation evidence suggests he provoked.
We appreciate the following online response to the online ugliness from a Daniel Martin Gray:
That's quite enough.
I am a white guy.
I grew up with people of all backgrounds.
Who the hell cares what color or ethnicity an American is?
If Trayvon was a victim, Zimmerman should be punished.
If Trayvon was an aggressor, Zimmerman was within his rights to protect his life.
Why don't we skip all the nasty racial nonsense, let the facts come out, and then decide?
And another comment from our website ...
I can't believe people are comparing this to what happened in Florida. Yes, I'm black. I'm outraged at all murders not only this one. The Florida situation should really have everyone pissed. It's the principle ...
I hate anytime race is involved, because it seems to bring out the worst in everyone. Some of the comments I've read from white people are so disappointing. Trust me, I'm just as outraged about the black kids setting the white kid on fire. In fact, even more so. It still is a different situation because they were arrested (and should fry) and not walking around free.
Again, why don't we skip the nasty racial nonsense? Both shootings were tragic. The best way to honor the lives of these two young men is to remain civil and let the legal system do its work.
1. Voice of the people: Roger Wade LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
2. Voice of the people: Jeff Turnage LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
3. Voice of the people: Berry Hinds LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
4. Our View: State flag is bad for Mississippi's brand DISPATCH EDITORIALS
5. Leonard Pitts: A speech for history NATIONAL COLUMNS