George Zimmerman made headlines when he saved a family from a burning truck, but now the grateful family has been caught in the political crossfire.
Mark and Dana Michelle Gerstle have told friends and family they do not want to talk about the event because they do not want to portray as Zimmerman as a hero. Considering the widespread hate that Trayvon Martin supporters have for Zimmerman, the Gerstles fear that promoting Zimmerman’s image will make them targets.
“They are very grateful to Zimmerman for what he did, but they do not want to get involved," said an unnamed friend of the Gerstles. "There is so much hatred directed toward him they have got to think about their own family. There are a lot of crazies out there. If they say anything in support of him, it could backfire.”
The Gerstles’ fear is understandable. There have been several racially and politically motivated attacks against whites and Hispanics since the trial started. Also, the Black Panthers movement has placed a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s head.
For the meantime, the Gerstles will likely remain silent about the incident to stay out of the news.
“[Mr. Gerstle] is a very quiet man and will not like having his name mentioned all over the press," said a neighbor to the Gerstles. "I am sure he is very grateful to Zimmerman, but he is not the type you will see on a chat show talking about what happened.”
What do you think about the Gerstles’ strategy? Are they being practical for keeping their mouth shut about the ordeal? Or do you think that they are being ungrateful to the person who saved them at a time when Zimmerman could use some public support?