Race still has enormous power to divide Americans. In the Trayvon Martin case, there is deep disagreement over whether race played a role and, if it did, how it affected events from the time George Zimmerman spotted Mr. Martin on Feb. 26 of last year to Saturday’s acquittal.
No one has proved that Mr. Zimmerman targeted Mr. Martin because of race. No one has proved that Seminole County prosecutors were reluctant to charge Mr. Zimmerman because the death of a black youth by a white man was of less concern than the shooting of a white victim would have been. No one has proved that the sloppy initial police investigation resulted from disregard for a black victim. No one has shown that Florida’s misguided “stand your ground” law, which at first gave police and prosecutors cover to do nothing, is more likely to be invoked when the shooter is white and the victim is black. No one has proved that the six jurors have stereotypical views about young black males who wear hoodies.
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