Monday, July 15, 2013
On Zimmerman and Martin
I've been thinking on the Zimmerman verdict since it was announced Saturday evening. And I'm of two minds about it: 1). I am not surprised because the standard for acquittal--merely proving that Zimmerman feared for his life--was very low. I think the all-female jury probably empathized with being fearful of a young black man in a hoodie at night, especially if there was a physical altercation (momentarily forgetting that Zimmerman had a gun and thus theoretically the upper hand.) And that's all that had to happen for Zimmerman to get off, according to Florida law. 2). I do not believe justice was served. I am opposed to the stand-your-grand pro-gun laws of Florida and 19 other states, laws which often side with the person carrying the gun regardless of who initiates the trouble, especially if the shooter is white and the shot person is black. Might does not make right. Period. I am glad there have not been many dangerous and destructive riots; I am hopeful that the Justice Department will consider possible hate crime charges. Race was mainly left out of the jury trial, but in our not "post-racial" America, it has to be considered. That said, the jury has spoken; the verdict stands. I hope Zimmerman's life is not taken by a similar vigilante. And again, let's try to break the stranglehold the gun lobby has on our laws and lives.