Not a just system

Despite the fact Trayvon Martin is dead, and George Zimmerman stalked Martin, Martin is the one judged to be responsible for his own death. And Zimmerman, based on his observed reaction when the verdict was read, expected it.

Sadly, so did I.

What crystalized my thoughts, apart from 71 years of observing, and experiencing at second hand, U.S. racial relations from the side of the minorities, was a comment (which I can’t quote exactly) by Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history and director of the Institute for African American Studies at University of Connecticut, on MSNBC just prior to the verdict. He said black people learn to expect the worst outcome from the legal system. And as civil rights attorney Maya Wiley said, “[Our] justice system is not a just system.” The system is stacked in favor of whites, or more properly, non-blacks.

All this boils down to the fact the person on trial really was Trayvon Martin. And he was judged guilty posthumously and in absentia, not represented by counsel. The prosecution let the defense get away with it by limiting the range of discussion to the scuffle and the shot, not including Zimmerman’s precipitating actions. And no consideration of whether Martin had the right to stand his ground. Was that because he didn’t have a gun to stand his ground with?

We need to move back from every-person-a-vigilante. Let’s stop enabling everyone’s living in a castle wherever they go, and return our gun laws to some form of sanity

Dick Paddock
Chapel Hill
Treasurer, Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN)