This post will be substantially shorter than usual. The reason is that I think concise is needed at this time of widespread anger and division over George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin’s supporters need to face the fact that from a legal perspective, the acquittal was correct. The prosecution quite simply did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Zimmerman who instigated the entire fight. All they managed to establish was that Zimmerman exited his car when told not to, which is suspicious, to be sure. But they could not prove that the physical altercation was his doing, or even how closely he followed Martin. The burden of proof was on them, and they did not meet it. Hence the acquittal was correct.
It’s also time that those on the other side of the issue realize that racism remains a real issue. There is a reason that the issue of Zimmerman possibly profiling Martin seems to resonate so much with blacks: because so many of them know what this is like. Being followed by police officers, security guards, neighborhood watches, and jumpy citizens is a regular occurrence for many black males. The black community continues to face discrimination in the legal, social, and economic realms, and for them this issue strikes an emotional chord. While this case, objectively speaking, does not necessarily serve as a superb illustration, it CAN be used as an opportunity to bring light to the issue.
Only when people learn to see why the other side might see things the way they do, can real progress be made on these issues. I can only hope that this case may be instrumental in guiding along the healing process in our country’s ugly legacy of racism. God have mercy on us.