George Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury of twelve people. Those twelve people are allowed to vote and drive cars and be a part of a jury.
So, you know, that was a disgusting bit of news. Florida was full of disgusting legal news, as a woman who fired warning shots to frighten off her abusive husband was sentenced to twenty years in prison for it, and not allowed to defend herself under the “Stand Your Ground” law that George Zimmerman used to defend himself.
Twenty years in prison for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Hell, if she’d shot her abusive husband in the face, I’d still want to give her an award instead of a prison sentence. Throw her a parade.
There were, apparently, some truly wretched people who set off fireworks when George Zimmerman was acquitted. Sometimes, people are the worst.
Please remember that even though Florida kind of ruins a lot of things, especially when it comes to elections and laws, there are magnificent creatures who live there and a lot of really good people who live there. These people deserve our sympathy, because Florida weather is the worst that I have ever experienced. The awful people can be fed to the local fauna, like Florida’s adorable alligators.
If you somehow don’t remember, Trayvon Martin was a teenager who, armed to the teeth with a bag of skittles, was walking through a neighborhood while wearing a hoodie. Um, I regularly walk to and from the grocery store late at night. I’m in a suburban neighborhood where most people walking anywhere are suburban moms power-walking in pairs or people walking their dogs.
The idea that the fact that I’m in a different place than he is and that I’m white are the two factors that make me unlikely to be stalked and shot by a creepy man is appalling. No one should have to live in fear that he or she might be stalked and shot for “looking suspicious.” No one should have a loved one—a minor, at that—murdered by a paranoid man and have the man get no legal penalization whatsoever. It’s an absolute nightmare.
All of this is really infuriating. I despise injustice.
I walk at night, and I am all too conscious of the fact that my male privilege is what makes me feel comfortable walking alone in the dark. I am also conscious of the fact that my white privilege is what makes me feel reasonably confident that no one is going to stalk and kill me on the off-chance that I might be some sort of criminal.
Some people are arguing that the story has nothing to do with race, which is, you know, nonsense. Even if George Zimmerman were magically blind to race but still convinced that Trayvon Martin was a threat to the neighborhood, the inexplicable verbal and financial support that he has received from lunatics around the US is clearly a product of the race of his victim.
And even if it had nothing to do with race, that does not explain the acquittal. If a white man saw a white teenager walking down a street, and so decided to stalk him from his vehicle, and then stalked him on foot and then, when confronted by the teenage boy whom he was stalking, fatally shot the boy (while he himself came away with a broken nose), I would agree that race would not be involved.
I would still believe that the murderer should not go free. Everything about this very simple case is confusing, honestly.
On the bright side, CNN published an image of the police report on the shooting of Trayvon Martin. This included George Zimmerman’s personal information. I won’t post the full version of it here, or link to it, but here is the redacted version:
If you’re like me, you’re so horrified that a man’s personal information would be leaked to the public just because he literally got away with murder. Specifically, stalking a teenage boy and then shooting him and then being acquitted. I mean, George Zimmerman’s had to endure so much because of that tiny mistake, and now his private information is public, and a simple Google search for “George Zimmerman CNN Dox” will reveal the uncensored image on the first page?
Oh no. Someone should do something.
None of that sympathy for George Zimmerman is sarcastic, obviously. Perish the thought.
George Zimmerman has supporters. And now he has been acquitted, and we have no legal means of recourse—unless you SIGN THIS PETITION. Please and thank you.
I’m going to fix myself a drink and continue fuming about injustice.
PS: Why these particular pictures? Because they convey my feelings on the subject. And because I wanted to use images like complex emoticons rather than include more pictures of a murdered teenage boy and the man who killed him.