As expected, the shocking George Zimmerman verdict sent a lot of people reeling when it was read this past weekend. Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing Florida teen Trayvon Martin, and was in fact acquitted for both counts of manslaughter and second-degree murder against him.
The decision sparked a shit-load of discourse around the country, as any situation involving a dead teenager and the man who killed him being let off scot-free should. Yes, this is how the judicial system in this country works—but, though the jury may have spoken and come to the conclusion that there was 'reasonable doubt' in the case, the verdict still says a lot about racial equality and gun control in America. Specifically, the lack thereof.
After the verdict was revealed on Saturday, The Wire creator David Simon was one of those who took to his blog immediately to share his feelings about the case and its results. If you've never seen The Wire, first of all, shame on you, and second of all, just know that Simon knows what he's talking about. It's an explosive post, and Simon really doesn't hold back: The last line is, verbatim, "Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American."
The blog post, in full:
You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead.
In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary.
If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.
Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.
You can check out the full blog post here, as well as the comments section, where Simon continues to kick ass in responses to multiple commenters.