The ever poignant Charles Pierce writes of the verdict of the Trayvon Martin shooting, in words I could never match. But in this I disagree: the verdict was indeed about race, because everything in this country is about race when you are not a member of the one race that is, at least in the state of Florida, licensed to kill.
This was never about guns. This was never about the tragic death of a teenager walking home from the store. This was never about hoodies, or stalking, or gated communities. This was never about the law and justice. Because those not of that favored race know very well, every hour of every day, what the words “law” and “justice” really mean in this country.
This case was about fear: fear of losing power; fear of irrelevance; fear of losing the privileged status endowed by membership in that one race; fear that those gates can no longer keep those others out; fear of living in a world of true equality, where all bets are off.
For that is what race is about in this country: not the color of one’s skin, but the color of one’s fear. And what we now know, as if we really needed another lesson, is that the fear of that one, still privileged race is still more important than any concept of “law” and “justice.”
We are indeed two nations, two races. One race living in angst. All others living in perpetual fear of finding themselves on the business end of that angst, at any time, at any place, even as a carefree youth walking home from the store.