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A Tale of Two Trials

Zimmerman acquitted by a jury—convicted by the media.

Jul 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 43 • By CHARLOTTE ALLEN
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The narrative is that Martin was killed for “walking while black,” as Lisa Bloom put it. New York Times reporter Lizette Alvarez expressed dismay in a front-page story on July 7 that in Nelson’s courtroom “race lingers awkwardly on the sidelines, scarcely mentioned.” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson declared outright on July 15 that the Zimmerman trial was actually about the fact that “[o]ur society considers young black men to be dangerous, expendable, guilty until proven innocent.” Robinson called Martin’s punch, which apparently broke Zimmerman’s nose, “adolescent bravura.” Tim Wise, a professional in the “white privilege” and “white supremacy” industries, wrote a 2,800-word screed in the Huffington Post condemning Zimmerman as a “racist” simply for noticing Trayvon Martin’s suspicious behavior on the townhouse grounds. “[A]ny white person who wants to kill a black person can follow one, confront them, maybe even provoke them, and as soon as that black person perhaps takes a swing at them, or lunges at them, the white pursuer can pull their weapon, fire, and reasonably assume that they will get away with the act,” Wise wrote.

The Justice Department is currently investigating whether to prosecute Zimmerman for federal civil-rights violations, even though the FBI last year investigated him for racism and found none. Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey continued to call Zimmerman a “murderer” even after his acquittal, and Bernardo de la Rionda, the prosecutor who actually tried the case, implied that Zimmerman was a coward for having invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent throughout his trial; de la Rionda said he had “prayed” for Zimmerman to have the “courage” to take the stand. But all those people have no interest in the real trial of George Zimmerman that took place inside a courtroom. They care only about the other trial, a show trial that will never end.

Charlotte Allen, a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard, last wrote on Keynes and Hayek.

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