On Trayvon

As usual, it has taken a non-American publication to strike a tone of balance amid all that is going on around the Trayvon Martin murder trial. The Economist offers a heartfelt editorial that should form the basis of all of our discussions of the case.

Read the whole thing, but the kicker is below:

However, on the whole, our criminal-justice system is so frightfully racist because it’stoo easy for prosecutors, not because it’s too hard. Of course, in a racist society, rules that help defendants are going to help the most privileged defendants the most, and that’s maddening. But that shouldn’t stop us from recognising that the least privileged, the most oppressed, the most discriminated against, are far and away most likely to stand accused. That’s why I suspect that a legal system making it harder for the likes of Mr Zimmerman to get away with it would be a system of even more outrageous racial inequity.

The problem here is not so much racism: it is the unfortunate relationship between privilege and justice. Neither prosperity nor power should entitle anyone to a better shake before a legal system ostensibly blind to such matters.


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