Sunday, July 14, 2013

The unforgettable Trayvon Martin


         Six citizens drafted into Florida jury duty have underscored the quirkiness of a justice system that counts among its resources executions at San Quentin and forced feeding at Guantanamo. As of 2011 there were more than 2.6 million adults incarcerated in this country, and another 4.8 million on probation or parole. The Florida jury has excused George Zimmerman from being one of them.

         It was right and proper, according to the jury, for Zimmerman to stalk and then kill a 17-year-old African-American boy on his way to the nearby home of his dad.

           The jury heard all of the testimony and reviewed all of the evidence in Zimmerman’s Sanford, Florida, trial. The jury’s good faith and hard work are taken for granted. That doesn’t mean the verdict is happily accepted by everyone.

           There will be some exploitation of it by anti-white individuals, some of whom are white, all pursuing a creeping fashion of social robotics. Others will recognize that Zimmerman was prosecuted by white attorneys, working within the system of government that enabled white soldiers to fight for emancipation, white presidents to broaden and enforce civil equality laws, white judges and legislators to support—if too slowly—the ongoing extermination of official racism.

         In a world populated by humans there will still be prejudice, bigotry, favoritism and political nuttiness. But every slip backward is accompanied by two or three steps forward.

          Much of the world will see the Zimmerman verdict as one of those slips backward.

         Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

         We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

          Know who spoke those two sentences? Martin Luther King. Everyone remembers him. Now, few will forget Trayvon Martin, who like those anonymous jurors has been drafted into history.   



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