I found myself on a college campus this past week. I was there to take an exam for my profession, and I have to admit; I felt a bit giddy being back in an academic environment.
I took a short break from my test and was eating in the cafeteria, looking around at all the young students, curious about what they were learning. Fortunately, the group at the next table were speaking loud enough for me to listen. Some would call it “eavesdropping”, but writers simply consider it research. I leaned in when I heard one young man say, “You know about the Zimmerman case, right?”
The other man answered that he did not, so the first young man gave a very brief recap. “Well it happened a long time ago. . .”
(What? Long time ago? I guess in a very youthful timeline five years is an eternity? It was 2012 when George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed seventeen-year-old hoodie-wearing Trayvon Martin.)
The nuances of the case were not explained between these two college coeds. “He thought he had a gun,” said the first guy.
“No, man! Zimmerman was a racist. Anyway, you have know about this case. It’s really important.”
(And this is where I really leaned in, anxious to hear an intellectual conversation. Hey, I work with twelve-year-old kids all day and what can I say? I was hungry to hear to college students break it down.)
“It’s really important that you know about the case, because South Park did a parody on the whole Zimmerman thing,” the guy said, pulling out his phone to show his friend.
(Wow. That is not where I thought this was going. )