Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A collection of commentary on the Zimmerman trial & Trayvon Martin

Alex Fraser's open letter to George Zimmerman
For the rest of your life you are now going to feel what its like to be a black man in America. You will feel people stare at you. Judging you for what you think are unfair reasons.

David Simon, in the Miami Herald, March 25, 2012 about the Stand Your Ground laws:
A quarter-century ago in Baltimore — a city contending with crime problems more profound than Sanford — a hard decision was made by law enforcement professionals serving a healthier, more courageous America. There and then, prosecutors looked at the case of a young man shot dead for the crime of theft, and they asserted for a society in which the taking of a human life is justifiable only in the most desperate extremity.
True, their suspect was an old man. True, he had been defending his property. And true, too, that prosecutors had no intention of seeing such a defendant incarcerated for his heedless use of lethal force, that they knew they would soon be negotiating with lawyers over a guilty plea and a term of probation for manslaughter. They didn’t want an old man in prison. But neither did they dare to send the wrong message, to suggest to all of us that there are acceptable reasons to kill, if indeed, you do not need to kill.
They charged the crime.
David Simon, on his blog:
Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies:  Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible.
The Onion:
In addition, the citizenry said that it’s basically gotten to the point where African-American teens need to avoid walking alone, hanging out in groups, or even minding their own business, especially if they are planning to do any of those things in public.
 Charles Blow, in the NYT:
In a way, the not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for his killing of Trayvon Martin was more powerful than a guilty verdict could ever have been. It was the perfect wrenching coda to a story that illustrates just how utterly and completely our system of justice — both moral and legal — failed Martin and his family. 
Eugene Robinson in the WaPo:
Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid.
Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Atlantic:
The injustice inherent in the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman was not authored by a jury given a weak case. The jury's performance may be the least disturbing aspect of this entire affair. The injustice was authored by a country which has taken as its policy, for the lionshare of its history, to erect a pariah class. The killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is not an error in programming. It is the correct result of forces we set in motion years ago and have done very little to arrest.