Blithe Spirit

Depends what you mean by wrong.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen raised shrieks from the left and some muffled applause from the right with what everyone tells me was an exceptionally audacious and hard-hitting column. Was it, though?

“I don’t like what George Zimmerman did,” Cohen starts off. Why not? What Zimmerman did was defend himself against a violent criminal (taking assault and battery to be violent crimes, which I believe is the common understanding) who had attacked him [as the jury decided on evidence]. What about that don’t you like, Mr. Cohen?

In the next paragraph: “What Zimmerman did was wrong.” Why was it wrong? The police initially, and the court system eventually, determined that Zimmerman performed an act of justifiable homicide. That might be regrettable, but it’s not wrong in any system of values known to me.

If he was justified, it wasn’t wrong.


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