When last we left George Zimmerman – described as an “acquitted killer” and the “most infamous resident” of the state of Florida by the New York Daily News – he was in hot water after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, who accused him of threatening her with a shotgun during a heated argument. The police seized a fearsome “arsenal” from Zimmerman’s home, helpfully illustrated by the Daily News with this entirely impartial infographic:
There was much excitement on social media from those convinced that Zimmerman got away with murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting, never mind what the law and a lengthy jury trial – slanted against Zimmerman to a significant degree by a zealous prosecutor – might have concluded. Cosmic justice was finally at hand for America’s premiere “white Hispanic!”
Only that’s not how things worked out. The dispute with Ms. Scheibe was worked out. It turns out the 9mm handgun from that “arsenal” was hers. She dropped all charges against Zimmerman, and they went to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to retrieve their guns together. Actually, according to ABC News, Zimmerman picked up his weapons first, then he accompanied his girlfriend to the sheriff’s office to get her pistol. Not that it’s anyone’s business but theirs, but the couple seems to be back together again.
Zimmerman has been doing some painting of late. He put an oil painting of the American flag rendered in shades of blue, accompanied with the words “God, One Nation, With Liberty and Justice for All,” on eBay to see how much it might fetch at auction.
The winning bid was just north of one hundred thousand dollars. His attorney said this money would be most welcome for Zimmerman, because “unfairly, he has not been gainfully employed of late and he’s utilizing his talent to make some money.”
Aside from the big-bucks art auction, there’s nothing all that unusual about this sequence of events. Domestic disputes are messy affairs, as any cop will tell you. This isn’t the first time George Zimmerman faced charges in such a dispute that were later dropped. We don’t know if that reflects on him, on the women in his life, or (most likely) both. But the point of his high-profile trial was to examine specific charges in a particular incident, not certify him as a saint.
Attorney General Eric Holder was, however, supposed to be working on certifying him as a racist. Shortly after Zimmerman’s trial concluded, the Justice Department actually announced it would be soliciting personal accounts of any racist tendencies the acquitted defendant might have ever shown in his entire life, from citizens coast to coast. How’s that coming along, Mr. Attorney General? Any status updates on the great Zimmerman “hate crimes” trial you’d like to share with us? Or was that just a feint to diffuse racialist anger, once it was no longer politically useful?
It’s interesting how so many people assume fame and notoriety will change all the rules, right up to the laws governing prosecution for murder. And of course, when it comes to something like an eBay auction for artwork, fame surely does play a role. Not to pass judgment on Mr. Zimmerman’s artistic endeavors, but celebrities create all sorts of artwork that sells for wildly inflated prices based on the fame of the artist. It doesn’t matter if the celebrity in question is beloved. Infamy is valuable, too. In a world of media saturation and online social hives, fame is a potent currency.