The Zimmerman Trial: How Both Sides Are Incredibly Wrong and Right at the Same Time

There are many things to discuss about the Zimmerman trial. I could go on for hours. But there’s really nothing else to argue. All the arguments and evidence has been placed forth. George Zimmerman went from a man who freely killed a young man to having to justify it in a court of law. We should consider this the objective and the best way in which justice is given to everyone involved, which is all you can ask. And while the not-guilty verdict is to understandably aggravate certain African American communities, it is important to note a few things about this entire process.

The reaction of some African American communities throughout and after the trial proves the defense’s point about a “smear” campaign on George Zimmerman in the growing stages of the conflict, leading to an unnerving dismissal of African American jurors and ridicule of the prosecution’s witnesses.

This case is a double-edged sword. If this case makes it to trial without the publicity, George Zimmerman is likely incarcerated. The publicity of the case was certain to provide him with better legal counsel compared to if the case lacked profile.  The publicity of the situation also led to a dismissal of several black jurors, many of whom were already familiar with the case that the defense was able to successfully argue is to the unfair detriment of Zimmerman. If we gave Zimmerman an average legal counsel and some more diversity in the jury—as most trials will have—and the facts and evidence is likely enough to at least convict him of manslaughter.

On one side we can argue the media assault led by black community activists on the case created a dichotomy in the case that was simplified to the following: Prove Zimmerman to be a racist, he’s guilty. The discourse driving the entire situation required the Prosecution to prove a mindset that, in this case, was just (and I mean JUST) ambiguous enough to fall short of a clear racial prejudice against Trayvon Martin.

But to those that dare to castigate African Americans because some refused to believe in any of Zimmerman’s innocence, place yourselves in the context. To an entire demographic of people whose sons, fathers, uncles, cousins and husbands who have fallen prey to some variety of racial profiling for generations, it is more than a coincidence that a man sees a black teenager, is on record of following that teenager, and said teenager ends up killed—directly or indirectly—as a result of that man’s suspicion. It follows a narrative of an unnervingly familiar, subtle (and some not-so-subtle), and daunting experiences that makes us scream “guilty!” really without needing the facts. It helped we had some for this situation.

Psychologically speaking, for black people—for myself— this trial was about much more than just George Zimmerman. It was about speaking out against racial profiling, the abuse of domestic authorities falling on the backs of blacks, and the vilification of all African American male bodies. And pay attention, those most emotionally invested in the case have had those experiences. Talk with them if you have not. Like most things relevant in today’s news cycle, they often have to do with more than the subjects than it does with how our personal narrative connects to it. Zimmerman’s defense team knew this, and was right to continue to point out how the presumption of his guilt makes people forget the prosecution failed to meet their burden of proof.

On the other side, we know that none of this happens without the presumption of Zimmerman’s guilt. While it is reasonable to believe Zimmerman is jailed if things are done properly from DAY 1, making any profile for the case unnecessary, the only reason the facts are forced to bear themselves and depositions are taken is because a community of people did indeed lead a smear campaign against Zimmerman.

There I said it. We did. Acknowledge it. It was necessary.

Let this be another lesson in the Insanity of Racism: It took an entire nation of black people making Zimmerman out to be a vigilante Klan member JUST to take him to trial. Yet, it still was not enough to send him to jail.

Let this be a lesson about the blurred lines between righteousness justice.

So if you see some black folks protesting it’s because of a buildup of all those issues. It’s about so much more- not just about the results of the trial. Its less about how we feel about the trial and more about how feel in general.

Ain’t that black people in America?

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