One half of a middle-class white liberal couple checks his smartphone.
Matt: Hey, the verdict must be in because Twitter is blowing up. Adrian Peterson is pretty upset….uh oh. That can’t be right…..wait a minute… holy shit….
Shannon: Oh no.
Matt: Zimmerman got off.
Matt: He did. He really did.
The other half of the couple looks up the New York Times online, not because she doesn’t trust the future Hall of Fame running back for the Minnesota Vikings, but because she is so shocked she needs the Grey Lady’s corroboration.
Shannon: OH MY GOD.
The astonished couple self-medicates with the items pictured below.
Shannon: I feel sick.
Matt: Me too.
Shannon: You should see some of the posts on my Facebook wall. It’s hard enough thinking about Trayvon Martin’s mother. Reading the reactions from my friends of color is one punch to the gut after another.
Matt: I can’t imagine.
The couple pauses. They are white; they really can’t imagine.
Matt: I wonder if there will be rioting.
Shannon: Fox News hopes there will be.
Matt: Please don’t mention them right now. I already feel like throwing up.
Shannon: I know there will be more hoodie demonstrations and events that we probably should go to, but I dunno….. as middle-class white people we could wear hoodies made of bullets and cocaine and still not get shot on the streets of Florida. I’m not sure we’re the ones who should be speaking right now.
The couple pauses. They are sorry they ate all the ice cream. They wonder: is there more tequila?
Matt: If anything good comes out of this, it’s that those Stand Your Ground laws will be repealed. This case shows what a joke they are. Things have to get really bad before they get better, don’t they?
Shannon: Rodney King got the crap beaten out of him over twenty years ago–did anything change then? And what about Newtown? If anything would change the gun control debate in this country, you’d think it would be a lunatic walking into a school and murdering children! CHILDREN! But it didn’t. How can we expect anything to change now?
Matt: Newtown! Jesus! I can’t talk about this anymore. I have to read and go to sleep, sorry.
The couple stops talking about it. One half of the couple reads the book pictured below.
The other half of the couple wrings her hands and thinks about writing a blog post that will express her grief, offer a few resources for her readers, but won’t change anything.
She is awake for hours, but to her credit she does not revisit the tequila.
RESOURCES FOR HER READERS: