Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Race, Protests, and Justice.

I am so saddened by the death of Trayvon and all the victims of gun violence in our country. I wasn't there and I certainly was not in the mind of the shooter, so I can't say whether, or to what extent, prejudice factored into it. But here is a sobering thought, neither can any of the protesters!
What can I say with some surety? No matter what legal results come to pass, this young man’s life was tragically obliterated and nothing will fill the void in the hearts of his family. And, in my considered opinion, “race” (in the way Americans have come to envision it in our public discourse) muddles rather than clarifies the issues.
Gun violence and the proliferation of guns in our society are essential discussions. This can not be overstated. Here is the tricky bit. Beyond the guns, we need to have a national class on class. Anyone who doubts this should ask around in poor white or hispanic neighborhoods in Florida. Do you think those folks feel they are looked at or treated so much better than black people?
Most thinking people would agree that prejudice is a continuing factor in our society and especially in our criminal justice system. The problem is, sifting out the facts in a particular incident is rather trickier than invoking a sweeping societal judgment. And it should be.

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