Posted by: johnhourihan | July 14, 2013

Martin/Zimmerman verdict

The “innocent” verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case shows a lot of what is wrong with our country.
We say we have an open mind in these things. We say race doesn’t play a part in our justice system. We say justice is blind, but deep in our hearts we know that is bull shit.
All of it.
This is what really happens.
A case where a young black man is killed by a wannabe cop/neighborhood watchman is brought to court. The court chooses what is supposed to be a jury of the defendant’s peers and the trial begins. Much of the trial is seen on TV, and we watch bits and pieces of it between changing diapers, going shopping, playing games, watching NCIS, baseball or the Girl Code.
Then the jury, the people who have heard every bit of evidence available by both sides of the case, sits back and deliberates on that evidence, weighing every fact, and then coming up with a unanimous decision.
Whatever that decision is, one side is outraged.
Because we know horrible things happen in this country based solely on race.
Because we judged the defendant in any case long before we heard any of the evidence, and then, when those who heard all the facts made a decision that is not the same outcome as the one we made with just a minuscule part of the story, we are pissed.
Because we know the truth of how our world exists. We know there is racism just below the surface of even the most devout congregations. We know there is hatred both ways. We know there are both arrogant teens who bring mayhem upon themselves, and we know there are misguided young people who commit the most heinous acts based on race in the name of justice.
We superimpose that real world on these two people – George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin – and dismissing the evidence particular to this case, we put our entire country on trial.
We don’t care what the verdict of the trial is because we know the truth of the world we live in.
If you think that racism in this country is something from our past, look at the outcome of this trial.
Every time a black and a white are at odds in a courtroom in this country we put our entire country on trial, but sadly we the people do not have to abide by the outcome.
The real verdict here has nothing to do with Zimmerman or Martin. The real verdict is that this country continues to be guilty of having a serious race problem that arises every time stupidity and ignorance overtake intelligence and common sense.
And with our political call to return to the Formica 50’s that is happening all too often now.
Here in 2013 we have to remember the incredible strides we have made in civil rights, but remember that we are not yet at the finish line. The finish line is when, in  a trial such as this, we, black and white, can all feel equally confident that the outcome is not based on race.



  1. Absolutely. I found myself saddened by the trial, but honestly not surprised. I also have a hard time specifically caring if Zimmerman is punished or not. The guilty party here is our country, our society, all of us. Our acceptance of the state of our world varies person to person, but until we take real action to focus on fundamental changes, we are all part of the problem. To me, this case is another example of the ways that race and socio-economic status in our country, though often intertangled, still draw their own unique challenges, prejudices and stereotypes that prevent a truly equal playing field for all people.

  2. I remember back in the mid 60’s on Melon st. My friends and I were discussing,what if the next president was black and they ,the black people, started making the rules? The only thing I could say at 15yrs. old was I hope they are better to us then we have been to them. The discussion ended after a short pause and the wiffleball game began. I think we are still pondering that same question.

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