Zimmerman trial exposed racism
To the editor:
Pretend you are a law-abiding citizen, minding your own business, walking on private property, and a man with a gun accosts you. A fight ensues and you are killed, deprived of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without due process. Your killer is found innocent.
Young black males have told me that they get suspicious, hostile, and fearful glances from many whites. Throughout most of American history, black males in the states of the old Confederacy would lower their heads, avoid eye contact, and speak softly when addressed by a white man. Should they resume that behavior?
The legal reality of the George Zimmerman trial is over. Even the astute editorial page writers of the Wall Street Journal stated that the there was no prosecution eyewitness to dispute Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. The fallacy of that is that in most killings there is no prosecution eyewitness. Convictions derive from relevant circumstantial evidence.
Historically, we will never know what was said between Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman. I suspect that Zimmerman said something disrespectful to Martin, triggering the fight. Martin noticed the gun and in self-defense used his fists. The principle, that if you are losing a fight you instigated, you have the right to kill your adversary is one that I can’t accept.
Prior to this verdict, I thought that America had made enormous progress in racial relations. My opinion has changed. Americans still have latent racism and sexism. The constant reference of the all-female jury and that five of them are mothers reflects stereotypes. Does being a mother means you are not susceptible to racism?
Should we free Khalid Sheikh Mohammed because no one actually saw him draw up plans for 9/11? Perhaps the real heroes of United Flight 93 were the four hijackers who acted in “self-defense” against a howling mob of passengers?