Tuesday, 23 July 2013

America goes back half a century

On the day George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, young black men of all classes, professions and character were forcefully disabused of the luxury of denial. They were reminded, once again, that it doesn’t matter if they walk fast or slow, fight back or run, if they are guilty of a crime or not, in the eyes of the law they can be shot down in the street and no one will be held accountable.

Don’t underestimate the strength of this desire to believe that the world is just. It is so strong it cannot coexist with the blatant evidence of injustice presented by Zimmerman’s acquittal. The reality, which is there for all to see, must be somehow deflected, mitigated or denied. And the starker the example of injustice, the stronger is this desire to deny it.

Of course it is rather difficult for me to throw stones without hitting some British glass!

The attempt to smear black victims of crime is not unfamiliar. There is evidence to suggest it happened in the cases of black British men including Stephen Lawrence. These cases differ in many specifics, after all these men were all different people with different lifestyles and back stories and characters. It is not the families’ campaigns for justice which seek to erode the distinctions. It is a legal system which believes that all black men are criminals and that the killing of a black criminal is always justifiable.

No matter which way you look at this situation, it is not good...

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