Now I can change my Facebook profile picture

My Facebook profile picture since March 23 has been this:

Deb FB profile pic in hoodie - March 23, 2012

(Note that this “hoodie” — we just called them sweatshirts when I was a kid, or hooded sweatshirts — is from the Women’s Rabbinic Network conference in 2001.)

As of today, I’ve switched it back to something else.  George Zimmerman is being “welcomed” to the Seminole County Intake Center.  If I were him I’d be terrified, and I am sad to see this.  His life has changed irrevocably, and I don’t wish him ill.

But I am still glad that he has been charged and arrested.  That is what the hoodies and marches and petitions have been all about.  Not a conviction or punishment, but a call for the system to be working properly.

The speakers and commentators tonight have impressed me greatly.  Angela Corey, the Florida prosecutor who brought the charges.  She spoke clearly, to the point, powerfully, and intelligently.  It cannot be easy to be a woman in her job, and she walked the line between tough and sensitive with a skill I have rarely seen.  But the thing that impressed me the most was that she spoke simply and truthfully, refusing straight-out to answer questions that she should not answer, putting no one down, making no predictions.  I suppose it’s ok for a public servant to begin a private meeting with bereaved parents with prayer; it makes my church-state-sense a bit queasy, but I suppose no harm done and comfort perhaps brought.

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.  Dignity.  No anger.  Specifically, Tracy Martin said that they do not feel anger at George Zimmerman.  That is an amazing thing to say.  I would be furious.  They spoke of gratitude, and they spoke with sadness. Gratitude that the justice system has gotten un-gummed and is moving again.  Gratitude for the outpouring of support from around the country.  Their on-line petition showed that a lot of people were noticing, and I cannot believe that it was irrelevant.  As one of the commentators said, that pressure wasn’t what resulted in charges being brought, nor should it be.  But the pressure got the powers that be to take a second and clearer look, and that in turn resulted in the merits of the case commending themselves to the special prosecutor.

George Zimmerman’s (new as of today) lawyer Mark O’Mara on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”  Honest, fair, clear, to the point, sensitive, and intelligent.  And classy: he began his first appearance (I didn’t see it, but he spoke of it when asked) by offering his condolences to Trayvon Martin’s family.  The lawyer for one of the members of that family said it made her proud to be a lawyer.  It’s so simple; but so rarely done.  Nobody is disputing the fact that an unarmed child died (though show me the 17 year old who wouldn’t hate to be called a child!).

The three commentators on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”  Three black faces and three measured, thoughtful responses.  Their faces are becoming familiar to me from appearances on MSNBC, but names don’t stick in my head; O’Donnell’s blog doesn’t mention them, so I can’t look up who they were.  One was from Another, a man from Washington DC with locks, spoke words that Jews could really identify with, historically.  I paraphrase:  This restores your faith in your country.  It restores your sense of belonging.  It deletes that sense of powerlessness that was hanging over you while it looked like someone was going to get away with murder (metaphorically speaking, at least), again.  You come out of this feeling like a full human being again — not because you weren’t one, but it felt like you were being treated as if you weren’t, as if you and yours didn’t count for as much as other human beings.  He spoke of restoring your manhood, as a black man.

So I’ve changed my Facebook picture back.  Nothing will bring Trayvon Martin back to life, but what’s happening is finally what should be happening, and it only took 45 days.  Justice had to be on bed rest for a while, but she has not miscarried.