Let’s Really Talk About The Zimmerman Verdict

The latest jury verdict, regarding a case of murder in the United States that has generated national (and thanks to widely accessible information – international) interest is making headlines – George Zimmerman is not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, it was self-defense. This Huffington Post article sums up what you need to know – and now George Zimmerman joins the ranks of O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony of having gotten away with it, or so the public feel.

Let’s stop being politically correct shall we, and really look at the issues here. Zimmerman is white, Martin was black. According to the case the defense built up, Zimmerman followed Martin because he looked threatening, he was black, they suggested even if he didn’t attack Zimmerman (no one saw this but okay let’s ignore this) he would have attacked someone, someday because he tweeted profanities. Apparently we now need to watch out what we Tweet as YOUNG kids. Okay then. I myself have tweeted "So-and-So driving me up the wall, really wish I had something sharp on me". But I'm not going to actually going to go around and KILL someone.

What happened to innocent until proved guilty? Oh sorry that was just for white Zimmerman. Not for dead, black Martin, who had no one but a frightened friend who speaks English as a second language to speak up for him. I don’t know about you, but it all seems mighty uneven to me.

Then we look at Zimmerman. He has a police record already – one for domestic violence, and another for assault. His cousin “accused members of Zimmerman's family, including his Peruvian-born mother, of being proudly racist against African Americans, and recalled a number of examples of perceived bigotry”, oh and he OWNED A GUN. Martin was unarmed. To me it is purely baffling that people in the States can just stroll around with their guns, no problem. Know what we are called when we do that here? Either a member of the armed forces or a TERRORIST.

Now America has the principle of double jeopardy – which means once a verdict has been passed regarding a crime, you cannot be tried for the crime again. So effectively Zimmerman walks away a free man. Perhaps he was shooting in self-defense – who knows? But the clear racial profiling of Trayvon Martin, undeniably influences the heart of this case (even if the background information was ruled to be inadmissible in court, we must remember in the case of jury trials – EVERYTHING influences). This post switches the roles - what if Martin had been white and Zimmerman black - and raises some very uncomfortable truths.

It also reminded us, like O.J. Simpson – of some very ugly truths about racial beliefs and assumptions in predominantly white areas of America. And this is not limited to them by any means. In India had it been a poor slum dweller, versus a upper class business man – same thing. Australia – Aborigine or Lebanese versus a white? Sri Lanka upper middle class Colombo 7-ite verses a village man? Doesn't take much to guess who is at a major advantage here. Expect it would be very strange if they had a gun, and didn't live in America.

In other unrelated news (not really) a black mom, also in Florida has just been given 20 years for firing warning shots. Oh yes.

Justice is for everyone? If your circumstances are white, oh I mean right, or you can afford it ala Mr. Simpson.


T said…
As much as it pains me, I tend to agree with this article http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/law-and-justice-and-george-zimmerman/277772/
"Trials like the one we've all just witnessed in Florida can therefore never fully answer the larger societal questions they pose. They can never act as moral surrogates to resolve the national debates they trigger"

The trial wasn't about what's fair in the larger scheme of things; it was about making a judgement with the evidence present. To hope that it would be influenced by a debate on race or by protests would not make it a fair trial, legally.

The problem of course, lies in Florida's laws, and that's where the debate on race privilege and reform should focus. The stand your ground law, as articulated by this article, is horrifying. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/nra-alec-stand-your-ground

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