The more I've learned about this case in the past days, the more I've come to support the jurors final verdict. Basically, we shouldn't prosecute
people on so many "ifs". Speculation should not justify prosecution - and since the evidence was lacking for prosecution, the non-guilty verdict seems
HOWEVER, there is a necessary qualification that has to be acknowledged. So many people here have really begun to nauseate me with their ignorance and
dismissal of racism against blacks in America. To pretend that the system is completely "fair", that unconscious biases don't influence our thinking
(a scientifically proven cognitive fact) or that a history of racism in America doesn't affect police officers judgement of who to suspect and who to
ignore, is indefensible. It is immature. It shows a complete ignorance of cognitive sciences (a large reason why laymen aren't very good at coming to
rational decisions) - which is to say, that we are being constantly influenced by what psychologists call "primers", and these primers oftentimes
reflect facts of a nations historical experience, whether they're understood or not by the people engaging in these behaviors.
So, while the verdict conforms to what we should expect from a justice system, that doesn't mean Trayvon Martin wasn't profiled (regardless of
whatever story Zimmerman's laywers created to deflect those accusations), and it certainly doesn't mean African Americans don't have reason to suspect
that he was
Qualifiers are important. They keep us from being overly impassioned and subconsciously affected by personal biases. Only someone who is aware - who
honestly questions his own assumptions and sees the issue from a larger perspective is able to speak from this "middle" of the path perspective, and
come to qualify his position.
And, of course, there are those political opportunists whose only concern isn't reason but their own partisan agendas: whether that be to demonize the
system as viciously prejudicial against blacks, or to treat African Americans as essentially insane - without any basis at all for what they see as
The verdict was correct because this is how the law should work, PERIOD. If something cannot be proven beyond a doubt
, then that's it. If this
had been a white person, and not Trayvon Martin, the verdict would likely have been the same. Conversely, the system is not consciously prejudicial.
It's not exactly easy or obvious to clean the closet of our subconscious biases. They cling because we come from a culture which has affected us in
this way; the cure, is to become conscious
of these prejudices. But I don't think changing how we try a case i.e making assumption after
assumption that that MUST have been the reason George Zimmerman approached Trayvon, is fair and justified.
Also, for those who support Trayvon Martin, it should really be acknowledged how "down the wrong path" he really was. I just finished watching a CNN
special with Anderson Cooper which, despite its sometimes edifying points, completely and deliberately ignored the thuggery of Trayvon Martins
character. It doesn't seem to matter that his character (i.e guns, gang signs, etc) correlated with potentially suspicious behavior. Trayvon was not
the poster picture of innocence that he is being made out to be by the media, so in this sense, I find yet another depressing example of power
politics. One side is willing to skew the facts to discredit the other side. By doing so, we get no where. We can't improve ourselves or the situation
we find ourselves in if we aren't being honest about our motives.
edit on 16-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)