The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 17, 2013

We just don’t know

NORMAN — Let’s practice saying the sentence, “We don’t know.”

We will need to say it an awful lot in the coming months, because we may have our own Trayvon Martin case brewing.

The shooting death of a young woman, Renisha McBride, has sides lining up. And after the shooter was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm on Friday, the rumbling grew louder.

But remember. We don’t know. Say it. We don’t know anything except a woman is dead and a man allegedly shot her. I write “allegedly” — even though no one apparently disputes that — because that is journalistic protocol for how you speak before a case is decided.

We would be wise to use protocol ourselves.

Because you already may have formed an opinion when you heard that a 54-year-old white man from Dearborn Heights, Mich., shot a 19-year-old black woman from Detroit when she allegedly banged on his front door in the wee hours of the morning.

But we don’t know.

You may feel certain there is no justification for such violence; the woman was just looking for help.

But we don’t know.

You may believe the woman said or did something threatening, because nobody just shoots someone for being on the porch, right?

But we don’t know.

You may argue that people get nervous with guns in their hands, and the man, Theodore Wafer, told police his 12-gauge shotgun went off by accident.

But we don’t know.

You may say, as family members of McBride have told the media, that this was about racial profiling.

But we don’t know.

You may say the way Wafer shot McBride will prove his intentions, but the family first claimed she was shot in the back of the head and the autopsy by the medical examiner’s office revealed she was shot in the face.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014