What I say here might sound controversial (but nowhere near as controversial as stuff I may say later), but I hope you can get past emotions and see what I am actually trying to say.I recommend you read my last post on the Zimmerman Trial before reading this one.
What our justice system decided was that Zimmerman was innocent: of all charges. You can protest it all you want, but that was the verdict the jury decided. The jury that sat there for weeks on end, and debated for hours on end, and arrived at a conclusion, unanimously. Death threats do nothing. Torturing a man for the rest of his life – a man who has been declared free by the people who really know what happened – is horrendous. We can protest the verdict all we want, but we cannot change it. To take justice into our own hands is like giving a gun to a child: crazy.
Just as I sympathize with the family of Trayvon Martin, who has handled this situation with an incredible amount of tact and dignity, I sympathize with the family of George Zimmerman: a family that most surely thinks their relative is innocent (whether or not he is…). To torture a man for his entire life based upon your preconceptions is ludicrous. To do so is to dishonor the name of Trayvon Martin. How we act based on what has happened must be done in remembrance of who it happened to. Should we want justice, we must fight the laws that refuse to deliver it. We cannot end justice in the name of justice.
The tragic case of Trayvon Martin we’ve all heard about has spurned an extraordinary discussion on the inner racial tensions in this country. The President himself highlighted this point in his speech, but I wish he emphasized how the law played out in this case. The trial went on for over 4 weeks, and the jurors that heard it spent 14 hours discussing it behind close doors…who else has spent that much time with it? Every one of the jurors came back with the same decision: innocence for Zimmerman. There simply wasn’t enough evidence, and I liked how one person I heard said it: every witness to the case is either dead or biased. That in itself also highlights something that no one seems to be talking about: the failures of the American court system. Granted, I’m no lawyer, and one of the prosecutors of the case in a press conference admitted the mistakes of our system, but defend it as the best in the world. I think I could agree with that. How to fix a system where so much bias exists is a challenge, and I wouldn’t know where to start to accommodate for the failures of man. On an off note, the jury system is something that has also always baffled me. I certainly wouldn’t trust the justice for the death of my child to a random selections of six Americans…would you? But then again, would I trust justice to some old white guy that has never been out of a gated community in his life if I was from the hood? That’s another challenge for our system.
But back on to race: how important is it, really, to this trial? I find it difficult to believe that Zimmerman just shot Martin because he was black. Certainly, Zimmerman profiled him. He followed him, and the phone tapes show that he was an obvious racist. But what happened that night is speculative, and the thousands of protestors around this country have probably no better speculations than me. I think it much less fair to call out the jurors as racists. The prosecutors spent some serious time picking 3 of those jurors…why? Those prosecutors weren’t stupid. They had reasons. The media probably won’t just say, because when does the media ever explain things properly? That said, I don’t think protesting the trial changes anything at all. The protestors need to ask themselves: does screaming and flailing your signs around on the streets change racial tensions? There are better ways that they should involve themselves with. The justice system has decided, and there isn’t much else it can do.