On the heels of the Zimmerman arrest, the “war on women”, and the Ted Nugent comments, 2nd– Amendment conservatives have a cause to rally behind that could proverbially kill two birds with one stone.
Through the past two months, many conservatives have either wanted to “wait for more evidence” before supporting George Zimmerman’s arrest in connection to the death of Trayvon Martin or oppose Rev. Al Sharpton’s involvement in the case. As a result, their reputations have taken a beating over the Martin tragedy in Florida. In many Americans’ minds – both correctly and inaccurately – conservatives have been cast as racists in the aftermath of February’s infamous Florida “Stand Your Ground” case.
At the same time, conservatives have been taking a ringing in the media and partisan campaign camps from the conjured-up “wars” on women (over birth control) and moms (over one pundit’s jaded remarks on live television).
Now, all of the sudden, conservatives are anti-women (despite statistics that show roughly 100% of conservatives were brought into this world by women). This flies in the face of having the last vice-presidential candidate from their party being a much-beloved woman and two of their biggest current “political rock stars” being ladies as well.
Despite how much I know from personal experience that the vast majority of conservatives are not racist and misogynistic or despite how much I say it, sometimes actions are better than words to prove this. In the case of Marissa Alexander standing her ground against domestic abuse in Florida, conservatives have a chance to prove themselves above the recent criticism. To boot, no one died, as Marissa allegedly only fired a gun into the ceiling to scare off a documented abuser after he admitted to starting yet another incident. Therefore, no one risks dishonoring the dead in their defense of Second Amendment, self-defense rights.
Marissa Alexander is a Black woman currently in jail in Florida for invoking her “Stand Your Ground” privilege to discharge a firearm while trying to escape abuse at the hands of her current husband. This occurred during an ongoing altercation that caused her to fear for her life.
This is not a Black-White issue, as the Martin case has become. Although she is Black, domestic abuse is not, nor is it a social condition that only impacts minorities or the poor. Domestic abuse cuts across socioeconomic lines to remain the “dirty little secret” costing Americans thousands of broken lives and $700 million in lost business productivity annually.
For conservatives that regularly talk about the impact of the family on America’s future and the waste of resources as we struggle to revive our economy, the Alexander case highlights much of what we stand for.
For weeks, many conservatives (and authorities in Sanford) granted Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt and the right of “innocent until proven guilty” in a manner that Alexander, a battered woman that ended up in the hospital after enduring one episode of abuse, never was. For conservatives that regularly talk about the colorless beauty of American justice, this is a case that will highlight how much we care for justice across demographics.
It rings true in a case where the aggressor of violence admits to prompting the conditions that led to Alexander’s need to “Stand (Her) Ground,” particularly as a past victim.
I believe that my conservative brethren will rise to the occasion. I challenge them to do so. As I mentioned not too long ago, all of the complaining about the erroneous actions from the “progressive left” concerning “race-baiting” in the Trayvon Martin case should be replaced with one simple, collective decision: conservatives must be involved in these types of social issues. This case is a good one to get involved with.
Why is this case so important for conservatives?
Anyone that claims to be a staunch conservative but misses the point of why this case holds the potential to be utterly important nationally (in contrast to the Martin-Zimmerman case) invalidates their arguments on the American family, on American justice, and on moving towards being a color-blind society. Anyone that has a true understanding of the horrors (e.g., beatings, emotional blackmail, rape, torture) that victims – especially female victims – of domestic violence endure would surely embrace the invocation of “Stand Your Ground” in the Alexander case.
They would understand the importance of allowing a young mother to have the right to protect herself and her children from harm, as has been the case in other cases. As Christian conservatives, they would speak directly to the importance of having the right to break free of generational curses that strangle generations after suffering through physical, emotional, and sexual abuse within a broken family. They would say that it takes courage to break that cycle by any means necessary. Thus, the grossly inconsistent application of this law “Stand Your Ground” law would resonate upon engaging these two high-profile cases in the Sunshine State. It appears 2nd Amendment supporters should call for justice for Alexander.
Any conservative the extols the tenets of American equality based on God-given rights across gender and cultural differences should have a problem with a case where a Black mother with a history of getting beaten could not garner the same “innocence until proven guilty” protections that a single “White Hispanic” man did at the feet of a dead teenager.
If we conservatives are not willing or able to speak up on behalf of a victim of multiple crimes that enacted one of our basic pillars – self-defense of self and family through the 2nd Amendment – then we are truly baseless in many of our collective complaints about the Martin case and elsewhere.
Good conservatives throughout the nation often look for instances to prove their moral character. I believe most conservatives are good and moral. In the People of Florida v. Alexander case, there is now a chance to prove our values to others as well – a chance that has been signed, sealed, and delivered by the folks that brought you “Stand Your Ground” and the 2nd Amendment.
LENNY MCALLISTER is a senior contributor to Politic 365 that can be found every Saturday with Democratic pundit Maria Cardona on “CNN Saturday Morning” at 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central / 7:30 Pacific.) He is regularly featured on CNN’s “Early Start” weekdays 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM Eastern and CNN Newsroom at 12:30 PM Eastern. Hear “The McAllister Minute” on the American Urban Radio Network each week and catch the radio show “Get Right with Lenny McAllister” live on LMGILIVE.com at 11 AM Eastern weekdays and re-broadcast on Politic 365.