I hope that discourse on the results of the trial of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin broadens beyond the AP story in Tuesday’s Enterprise, which detailed the policing of public protests that followed the verdict but refrained from enlightening the public about the basis for the protests.
With a black man as president, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent majority opinion neutralizing a key part of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, we are led to believe by conservative pundits that we are in a post-racial era and that the voting rights of racial minorities no longer require protection.
Never mind suppression of the black vote in several states during the recent U.S. elections. Race, we are told, shouldn’t enter into the discussions, whether in college admissions, access to polling booths or in the courtroom — we are better off being colorblind.
Back to the Zimmerman verdict: Professor Marjorie Cohn of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, who followed the trial proceedings, believes that the judge and the prosecution both committed errors that resulted in a flawed verdict. A principal error was sanitizing the trial of any discussion of race. The judge made a determination apriori that race would be a forbidden topic within the trial. So while profiling of criminals could be discussed, “racial profiling” could not. This ruling was made even though Zimmerman’s cousin, when interviewed after the shooting, stated: “George (Zimmerman) does not like black people.”
If someone missed the MWB incident in West Davis (Mowing While Black) not long ago and no longer believes that white privilege and racial prejudice still exist, s/he might want to view a film clip reminiscent of “Candid Camera.” Three actors in turn pretend to steal a bicycle — first a young white man, followed by a young black man and then by a young white woman. The response of the bystanders should leave no doubt: http://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/white-guy-black-guy-pretty-girl.