Many people were surprised by the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, especially those who followed the evidence closely. Some pundits are blaming the Law as it is written for this miscarriage of justice. The jury seemed to have followed the law and did what they felt was right. But we all know the real reason for this injustice: an unjust society still influenced by racial animus. Trayvon had every right to defend himself from a man who had been following him and then got out of his truck to confront him, but in this society black men have to prove they are innocent in any confrontation. No one who is honest could say that if it had been Trayvon who followed Zimmerman, got out of his SUV with a loaded gun to confront Zimmerman and eventually shot him dead would be acquitted.
The verdict is also no surprise for many women either. The Zimmerman defense was nothing more than the typical rape defense used forever to help rapists escape punishment: the victim asked for it. The defense exploited the reflexive suspicion against black men. The jury rewarded the defense: Trayvon walking in a white neighborhood and forced to defend himself asked for it.
So where do we go from here? As a father with two Bi-Racial children I know the despair that many parents are feeling today – despair and fear. Parents of black children have always been forced to train their children on how to avoid being targeted in public (e.g. never run from the police, never put your hands in your pockets when stopped by police, etc.) but this verdict in Florida and this case in particular means that it is virtually open season on their children.
God help us.