George Zimmerman swoops back into the spotlight, this time saving the day. He and another good Samaritan arrived on the scene of an accident just in time to help rescue two adults and two children trapped inside their burning vehicle that had turned over.
My very first thought was, "OK, how can the media turn this into an issue about race?"
Well, it didn't take long. Within hours of the news breaking, The Great White Media had tracked down the single-most important detail of this story about life and death.
"Crash Victims Were White," declared the headline on the TMZ website. Somehow, it mattered to The Great White Media that the victims were not black.
Why, you ask? Well, it is because The Great White Media is absolutely obsessed with race. That is partly because they themselves are an almost exclusively white club and the strangeness of other races confuses them and intrigues them. Also, they struggle with anything more complex than that which is skin deep.
Take the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of Mr. Zimmerman. It is a heart-breaking story. But that is not enough. It must be twisted into a story about a white man's gun violence against a profiled black teen. That is why the media had to declare that Mr. Zimmerman, whose mother is Hispanic, is actually a "white Hispanic."
Nothing entertains The Great White Media like the blood of a black teen shed at the hands of a "white" man.
That is why they were so delighted to see their "white" villain re-emerge from hiding. Even better, Mr. Zimmerman was reprising his role as "wannabe cop" and became a "wannabe EMT."
Nothing brought more mockery and scorn from The Great White Media than their notion that Mr. Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop" who joined the neighborhood patrol and kept close tabs on things going on around his house and those of his neighbors.
Anywhere in America, this would be called a "good neighbor." To The Great White Media, this is called a "racist, profiling, hate-filled white Hispanic." Dialing 911 is the most heroic thing they would ever do.
Even level-headed liberals lamented that Mr. Zimmerman was somehow thrust to the level of hero after the tragic struggle in which an unarmed, black teen was killed.
Mr. Zimmerman was not elevated to hero for shooting a kid. Every decent parent in America agonized over that. What was heroic was that before he ever encountered Trayvon in the darkness, Mr. Zimmerman voluntarily patrolled his neighborhood in an effort to keep his family and neighbors safe from crime. There are few higher callings than that.
It is the same high calling that spurs Americans to stop when they see a family trapped in a vehicle, overturned and in flames, and race into danger to help save two children and two adults.
We are reminded this week that America is not, thank God, an aristocracy. We are a nation of Samaritans — all of us lowly and scorned in some kind of way. But so often, our hearts are good and we seek to help our fellow man.
Except for The Great White Media. They are obsessed with race and they would rather call 911 and sit back to watch you burn in your overturned vehicle.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @charleshurt.