In attempt to show leadership and that he means business with his leadershipness, Gov Rick Scott has officially issued a statewide call for a "day of prayer for unity in Florida" for this coming Sunday, because when faced with tough decisions, leaders need to step up and arbitrarily proclaim things like this.
Scott's decree came hours after he met with the Dream Defenders, an organization that has bused in hundreds of young people to stage a sit-in protest in his office until the governor calls a special session with the legislature to address the controversial "stand your ground" law.
But, instead of doing that, Scott released his decree where he says the word "WHEREAS" a lot and calls for the people of Florida to do something that literally no one will do come Sunday.
Scott met with the group after returning to the Capitol Thursday night. He said he'd be open to listening to whatever ideas they had about the "stand your ground" issue.
But Scott has refused to call the special session, and instead has gone with what amounts to Jerry Seinfeld saying that a black and white cookie will cure all race relations in this country.
Dream Defenders are asking Scott and the Florida legislature to simply address "stand your ground" law, spurred by last week's George Zimmerman verdict.
And it might behoove Scott and the lawmakers to at least look into it, seeing how research continues to show that that states with a stand your ground law have more homicides than states without them.
At the very least, the law has proven to be insanely unpredictable, with no real way of totally interpreting the law in any given case.
Moreover and, more importantly, among defendants who killed a black person, 73 percent weren't charged. Among those who killed whites, the number dropped to 59 percent, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
So "stand your ground" seems to have helped more whites than blacks, but declaring a day of prayer is totally going to change that and even things out!
The National Bureau of Economic Research analysis of death certificates before and after stand your ground laws were passed in different states, reveals that states that adopted the law ended up with a higher homicide rate.
So, at the very least, if Scott is afraid to turn this into a "black and white" thing (TOO! LATE!), he should at least consider the fact that people of all races and creeds are dying a lot because of the law.
Dream Defenders are angry about the Zimmerman verdict, and understandably so.
And maybe abolishing the law would be a tangled mess.
But Scott should at least look into addressing it in some way.
Instead, he makes a proclamation that we will go out on a limb right now and boldly predict WILL HAVE ZERO IMPACT ON THIS WHOLE THING.
Call us skeptical.
Here is Scott's proclamation for the "Statewide Day of Prayer for Unity in Florida":
WHEREAS, the people of Florida are strong and optimistic people who band together in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS, Florida has faced many challenges before - including natural disasters - with a spirit of unity and perseverance; and
WHEREAS, the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a tragedy; and the Martin family, the family of George Zimmerman, and all those affected by Trayvon's death remain in our thoughts and prayers; and
WHEREAS, emotions are running high as we continue to grieve the loss of Trayvon and the toll that the tragic events surrounding his death have taken on the community of Sanford, Florida, and other communities across our state; and
WHEREAS, tragic events compel us to a time of deep reflection and prayer to find strength and peace in uncertainty; and
WHEREAS, Floridians are unified in not only their resilience, but also in being a people of great humility, kindness, and compassion;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare Sunday, July 21, 2013, as a STATEWIDE DAY OF PRAYER FOR UNITY IN FLORIDA.
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