Anderson Cooper snagged an interview with Juror B37. If you feel like chugging down an entire bottle of Listerine or keeping your head as close to the wastebasket as possible at any point of the above interview, feel free. I can understand.
Don't want to watch? Think Progress has a rundown of the most mindblowing parts of the interview. You might want to hold on to that wastebasket.
By the way, Juror B37
- Until the State of Florida sees fit to rescind its "Stand Your Ground" laws, Stevie Wonder will no longer perform there. Or in any other state with similar laws, for that matter:
"The truth is that—for those of you who've lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world—we can't bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That's what I know we can do.
"And I know I'm not everybody, I'm just one person. I'm a human being. And for the gift that God has given me, and from whatever I mean, I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.
"Because what I do know is that people know that my heart is of love for everyone. When I say everyone I mean everyone. As I said earlier, you can't just talk about it, you have to be about it. We can make change by coming together for the spirit of unity. Not in destruction, but in the perpetuation of life itself."
Strong stands are needed in times like these. My hat goes off to Stevie.
- According to friends and family, George Zimmerman wants to go to law school. If anything, he'd be a shoo-in numerous police departments throughout Florida and the U.S. How about putting in an application to the NYPD?
- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder finally calls the "Stand Your Ground" laws into question. But not too harshly, lest he gets shat on even harder by conservatives and Zimmerman supporters:
Today – starting here and now – it’s time to commit ourselves to a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality – so we can meet division and confusion with understanding, with compassion, and ultimately with truth.
It’s time to strengthen our collective resolve to combat gun violence but also time to combat violence involving or directed toward our children – so we can prevent future tragedies. And we must confront the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs, and unfortunate stereotypes that serve too often as the basis for police action and private judgments.
Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if – and the “if” is important – no safe retreat is available.
But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely. By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety. The list of resulting tragedies is long and – unfortunately – has victimized too many who are innocent. It is our collective obligation – we must stand our ground – to ensure that our laws reduce violence, and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent.