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The George Zimmerman Verdict

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Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

Trayvon Martin Protest – Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

Innocent of What?

The System Failed”  chanted protesters when the Zimmerman verdict came down. My own first response was somewhat less eloquent: “Motherfucker!” I shouted to my radio at 4:30 this morning.

I tried to console myself with the thought that George Zimmerman will have to live the rest of his life with the guilt and knowledge of what he did. It’s one of the reasons I’m against the death penalty: murderers should live and suffer guilt. But we all know I’m fooling myself: sociopaths don’t experience guilt.

George Zimmerman went looking for trouble, and he found it. Or rather, caused it. Even if Trayvon did beat up on him (doubtful), it was he who was self-defending, not the sociopath who set the whole thing in motion with his paranoia and racism.

Yes, it was racism. But no, that doesn’t make Trayvon Martin a modern day Medgar Evers, as some are claiming. They’re turning the case into a civil rights tragedy, grouping it with of all those who died for the cause of freedom. Unfortunately, Trayvon was a victim, like Oscar Grant in Oakland, shot in cold blood by a cop who was jailed for a year. Or like Amadou Diallo in the Bronx, and Abner Louima in Brooklyn, and dozens of others we can name from recent times, and hundreds, thousands, throughout history.

I remember when my kids were teenagers and we had my generation’s version of The Talk: not about the birds and bees, but drugs. Now The Talk for black parents is about how to keep their kids from being killed by cops and vigilantes on the streets of Amerika. Again, I understand why black people want to turn Trayvon into a civil rights martyr, but, sadly, he was a tragic victim.

George Zimmerman’s brother wasn’t in the courtroom when the verdict was read: he was in New York preparing to speak to the media, by his own frank admission. He actually said this, said he wanted to be in New York so he could speak to the media. (Weren’t the media hovering in Sanford?)  He must be planning to launch some kind of relevant career on the back of his brother’s fame. As a politician no doubt.

How could the jury find Zimmerman innocent? Innocent of what? Why were there only six on the jury? I suspect it’s more difficult to get 12 people to agree unanimously to any verdict. And six women! Surely some of them were mothers? It’s a true heartbreak, and simply unfathomable to me.

The whole thing lends new insight to the joy that black people felt about the OJ verdict. With our allegedly enviable democracy, with all the high ideals built into the legal apparatus, will this country ever become a place of true justice?

Later the Same Day:

This verdict seems to be consuming the country as much as OJ’s did. My chosen media is KPFA, a leftish radio station in the Bay Area, where experts and non- are calling in. Naturally, this is inspiring more commentary of my own.

For instance: one caller suggested that  minority  parents not let their kids go out wearing hoodies. Jesus Christ! That is exactly like telling women not to bare their legs or show cleavage so they won’t be raped. Hell, I’ve worn a hoodie! It’s a freaking sweatshirt with a hood on it. Nobody should be shot for wearing one!

Another thing: Up above I expressed disbelief that the six-woman jury did not feel more compassion for another woman’s child. But I’d temporarily forgotten that white women, of which I am one and can shamefully attest, fear young black men on the street–and five of the six were white. I’d give anything to know how the lone black woman fared, what she thought and felt and if she was able to contribute much to the proceedings.

Demonstrations are happening all over the U.S. this day. 3:00 in Oakland. Listen to local radio or search online for information.

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9 responses »

  1. Pingback: For Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon’s Mom) | Dirty Laundry

  2. I followed this story on twitter. I was shocked at the outcome. A child is dead, I listened to the voice clip of his screaming for help. It spoke volumes. Karma is a wicked thing and justice comes to us all when we meet our maker. Take comfort in that.

  3. I hope you’re right, sunshinemac. Karma is more or less what I mean about a murderer living with the knowledge of what he did. I hope GZ suffers much.–MS

  4. Pingback: The Indictment of America: Will Trayvon’s Death Mean the Death of Dr. King’s Dream? | Nola Nation Rising

  5. I don’t understand how people can still claim racism even now after we all know Zimmerman is a minority himself. What? All minorities are against blacks? People let the media get to them so much that they then take on the opinion of the media. Look at the facts(or lack of) in the case, not some media jerk who is just trying to make a story bigger then it is! Yes, a child is dead but that does mean someone has to pay (and he was borderline child(17) but was not acting like one). The system did “NOT” fail. The jury looked at the evidence and made a decision. You may not like it, not everyone will. That doesn’t mean it is OK to riot. Taking the law into your own hands (if everyone did not like the outcome to other jury’s decisions) creates chaos. You speak of racism in this case but the President of the U.S. stuck his nose in this case. Could it have something to do with that he is black? Oh, no way!! Right. Whats the President going to say now, that the same judicial system that failed in this case is the same system he is a part of!! It is always the white guy(honkie, cracker) that is the racists not the black guy(spade, N____). Oh wait!! I can’t say that word without the world thinking I am a racist but it is OK for blacks to call whites that. What is happening to this world!! Grow up and get educated!!!!!

  6. Dear Sir: Most of what you say is a rant having nothing to do with my post. (For instance, I certainly never said it is okay to riot.) I will therefore confine my response to the ONLY thing you say that does relate to my words and opinions, i.e., “claiming” racism exists in this case.

    I believe the reason George Zimmerman identified Trayvon Martin as “suspicious” in the first place was because he did not think a young black man belonged in that particular community. This was a racist assumption; and if it was unusual for a black person to be there, that too was a manifestation of racism. And yes, a member of a minority can be racist. GZ–just like you, me, and most people I know–lives in and was likely raised in a racist culture, where it is impossible not to absorb at least some aspects of racism. It is also possible for someone from a minority group to be just as bigoted as anyone else for the usual complex reasons. Perhaps you might want to educate yourself about this well-known sociological phenomenon.

    I don’t always allow rants like yours to remain on my blog unedited, but, since in this case it represents a viewpoint held by many others, I will. Be aware, however, that if you come back with more of the same I’m apt to erase it. This is my blog, where I have every right to exclude comments that express personal insults and hostility towards me. I wouldn’t let you do it in my home, and I won’t let you do it here. That’s what your own blog is for.–MS

  7. Marcy, you are as always a breath of fresh air. Thank you, again, for calling out the truth.

  8. Lorraine, thank you for your so kind comment. I do appreciate it so much, especially since I’ve gotten several racist rants in my two other blogs about this case. — MS

  9. I watched almost every minute of the Zimmerman trial. It was so
    obvious GZ was targeting and harassing Trayvon, so obvious that GZ
    initiated a chase and that Trayvon had every reason to be afraid. The
    spawns of suburbia seemed to have no frame of reference,
    and seem to be unable to comprehend that people of color might just
    might be afraid of whites

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