George Zimmerman is under arrest. Finally. Whatever happens next should have begun five weeks ago on the day he was brought in after fatally shooting an unarmed teenager, to be released without charge instead, a grotesque corruption of the judicial process that cries for a separate investigation. It brings to mind the routine judicial miscarriages of justice in China. Sudan, Uzbekistan, and other corrupt countries where laws do not apply to those with connections. Whether Zimmerman’s father, a retired judge, whether State Attorney, Norman R. Wolfinger, who is reported to have ordered him released, whether the police chief, Bill Lee, who took a leave of absence, are implicated will, one expects, be considered by special prosecutor, Angela Corey. The nationwide publicity the case is receiving is condemned by those who say it impedes the judicial process. But without the outcry, Zimmerman would still be armed and dangerous and stalking the neighborhood. Whatever happens next, it is clear that there’s something rotten in Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman’s words to the police dispatcher, “He’s looks like he’s up to no good, or on drugs, or something,” will certainly be offered as evidence. Even if the darkness and rain allowed him to see that Trayvon Martin was black and wore a hoodie (which is a good rain hat), how could he know that he was “up to no good?’ How could he conclude that he was “on drugs?” Only if he assumed that all tall skinny figures wearing hoodies are up to no good and on drugs, an assumption that reveals a dangerously warped mind. One expects all of this to be brought out in the trial.
Meanwhile, a poisonous miasma of hate rises as the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reilly try to distract from the national revulsion the killing generated with some sort of political camouflage. It is impossible to detect a grain of sense in their rantings. Political discourse no longer exists on the Radical Right. One waits, ever hopeful, for the Reasonable Right to speak up. The longer it holds silence, the less hope remains for our two-party system.