Surprisingly enough, I first heard about the verdict on Facebook from Gail Cousins. (I went to Google News for details and they said The jury is still out, debating into the night. I went to theguardian and they said the same thing.) Gail said Zimmerman acquitted…. YUKK!! and my first reaction was to trump that with something more violent or, at least, more profane.
But it is morning, now, there is not a cloud in the sky and I feel differently. I am not sure that this is really about race, I think my – our, the country’s – reaction is about race, but I am not so sure that the verdict is. The fact that it took the cops forty-four days to arrest the killer is about race (if Trayvon had been the killer of a white dude, it would not have taken forty-four days to arrest him, if Trayvon had been the killer of a white woman, it wouldn’t have taken forty-four minutes).
I think what this is about is having a good lawyer, this is about a justice system that I want to say is broken, but – really – has never been fair enough to be unbroken. OJ got off on murder charges and, at the time, I said that It proves the LA Police Department is so inept that they can’t even frame a guilty man. He also had a great lawyer and that also showcased the power of a good lawyer over a mediocre prosecution.
I am sorry that this guy walked because my attitude has pretty much been He is guilty until proven innocent and – I suspect – that may be about race, but while the defense didn’t prove him innocent, the prosecution didn’t prove him guilty. That this guy walked is not the travesty, the travesty is that so many people – especially people of color, poor people – do not have a defense that is anywhere near as good as this killer’s.
So, on this beautiful day, I feel sad about the verdict, but I think the jury is right.