Does America need a re-do of the O.J. trial?

"There would be other useful aspects to “All Trayvon All The Time.” It would highlight the true, but pernicious, nature of racial profiling. The idea here is not that profiling happens “even” to people like, say, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Mistakes like Zimmerman’s are perpetrated against black people, period—and Trayvon’s teenaged Twitterverse braggadoccio, as I have written, shows him to have been precisely the type of normal kid who is routinely victimized by such evil. Trayvon’s case can also create racial empathy in other meaningful, if less substantial, ways. He was handsome, and even his name, a created, post-sixties one with a redolence more of The Wire than black Martha’s Vineyard, has a sound that many Americans of all walks subconsciously embrace as authentic, approachable.”

- John McWhorter, The Case for Televising the Trayvon Martin Trial: America Needs a Re-Do of the O.J. Case

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times



Lawyers withdraw after George Zimmerman allegedly goes rogue

The lawyers representing George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin but has not been arrested, on Tuesday said they have withdrawn from the case after losing contact with Zimmerman.

Attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said they were concerned that Zimmerman had telephoned the special prosecutor probing the case directly, set up a legal defense fund website and may have spoken with Fox Television commentator Sean Hannity, all without their knowledge.

“We have lost contact with him,” attorney Craig Sonner said at a press conference outside the Seminole County Courthouse.

READ MORE: Attorneys for Martin shooter Zimmerman withdraw

Zimmerman better pray he isn’t indicted. This looks worse and worse for him as each day passes.

Just how relevant is Trayvon Martin’s character?

"It turns out that Martin had smoked pot, and was fond of profanity. Predictably, and sickeningly, the right is exploiting the less-than-sterling aspects of his life to suggest they should have some bearing on how we judge George Zimmerman’s having shot him dead. In point of fact, all they prove is that he was an ordinary American teenager. The weed and the salty language are par for the course among more than a few of my favorite undergrads I teach at Columbia. Yes, Martin jauntily labeled himself with the N-word, but as endless threnodies over the past 20 years have stressed, absolutely nothing could be more typical of someone of his age and demographic."

- John McWhorter, The Haunting Ordinariness of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Photo courtesy of BET

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What a Florida Teenager’s Death Tells Us About Being Black in America

"Trayvon Martin was 17, visiting his father in Sanford, Florida. He was also black. George Zimmerman is 28, and had been a self-appointed neighborhood watchman in the area. He called in to the police that Martin was “suspicious,” upon which the police directed him to leave the rest to them. Zimmerman did not, feeling that Martin was “up to no good” or “on drugs or something.” Zimmerman was packing a handgun, and before long, Martin was dead from a gunshot wound in the chest"

-John McWhorter, What a Florida Teenagers Death Tells Us About Being Black in America