Make Zimmerman Pay

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Radley Balko lines up a grip of lawyers who note that there's very little in Angela Corey's affidavit that would justify a second degree murder charge. He concludes:

The anger and outrage about how black people are treated in the criminal justice system is well-founded, well-supported, and consistent with my own experience reporting on these issues (although I think the common denominator is increasingly more poor than black). And there appears to be some of that history in Sanford as well, particularly in the way police investigate crimes--including this one. I've read in several places the proposition that if the races had been reversed that night in Sanford, Trayvon Martin would have spent the last month awaiting his murder trial from a jail cell. I think there's plenty of history to support that sentiment. But we can't hang all of the inequities of the criminal justice system on George Zimmerman. He deserves to be tried only on the facts specific to his case. Even gung-ho, wannabe cops deserve due process, and a fair crack at justice.
I generally agree with this. It's sort of sad watching this case float out into the world. I'm seeing less discussions of the merits or demerits of Stand Your Ground, and more discussion about the merits and demerits of Al Sharpton. The rather incredible fuck-up by NBC in editing Zimmerman's tape, the tweeting out of Zimmerman's (erroneous) address, the relevance of hoodies, the publishing of fake Trayvon Martin photos, the hacking of his e-mail by white supremacists, Derbyshire's racist lampooning "The Talk" etc.

We began outraged at the investigation, and deeply troubled by Stand Your Ground. Now we're off on these meta-outrages. I never thought the point was to "Make Zimmerman Pay." Is that where we're going?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/04/make-zimmerman-pay/255972/