I deeply apologize to the McClain family for tweeting their address. It was a mistake. Please leave the McClain's in peace. Justice in court.
Yeah, Spike, it was a mistake. A big one.
It would seem technology has far outpaced common sense in these early years of the twenty first century. Of course that is nothing new really. The history of humankind is replete with examples of people not grasping a full understanding of the effect of new inventions upon the course of things like war, society, and now our national psyche.
What happened was documented by MSNBC blogger Helen A.S. Popkin. According to her report, some dude in L.A. named Marcus Davonne Higgins found a Sanford, Florida address for George W. Zimmerman. He reportedly tweeted it to people such as Will Smith, 50 Cent, LaBron James and Lee. Obviously he knew that all these guys had huge Twitter audiences and the word would spread like wild fire if they retweeted it. Lee was the only one to take the bait.
The first thing wrong with this picture is that, George W. Zimmerman isn't the guy who shot Trayvon Martin. That guy is George Michael Zimmerman. George W. Zimmerman is Mrs. McClain's son and had lived with his mother and step father briefly after getting out of college. The address put out by Lee is about four miles from the scene of the shooting.
The McClain's are in their 70's and Mrs. McClain has a heart condition. That condition certainly won't improve now that the couple has had to move out of their home and into hiding because of the tweet and subsequent death threats.
The second thing one has to wonder about is what Lee hoped to accomplish by posting the address. On first blush it would seem he was trying to incite some sort of vigilante reprisal. Despite the plea for "justice in court" at the end of the apology why else would you publish what you thought was the shooter's address? It probably wasn't, as the football parlay cards say, purely for entertainment purposes.
We need to be really careful right now. The Trayvon Martin tragedy must be addressed. George M. Zimmerman should be held accountable for his actions and to be quite honest some sanity needs to be restored to Florida state statutes regarding the use of firearms. Pointing a mob to a specific location where the focus of their anger may, or may not be is not going to help the situation. In fact it will only give racists everywhere in this country another excuse to believe their bull shit take on life.
Mr. Lee has 250,000 followers on Twitter. I hope all of them read the apology. Because if only 249,999 did and that one person who didn't sets a fire or shoots someone, anyone, things are going to get uglier than they all ready are. And that isn't going to do any of us any good.