The judicially sanctioned murder of Trayvon Martin has affected me more powerfully than I had anticipated. There was nothing unusual or unexpected about this outrage. It is of a piece with the last four hundred years of Colonial and American history. But it has left me deeply depressed. I am self-aware enough to understand that the depression is the effect of a rage that can find no appropriate expression. The Florida law was written to enable such acts of violence, and it has been successful. Martin's mother is religious, and was quoted as saying that in this darkest hour she called upon the Lord. I genuinely hope that she can find some sort of solace in her faith, for the nation in which she lives has betrayed her.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman's gun will be returned to him. He would have suffered more severe punishment if he had run over a white person's dog.
I cannot myself truly comprehend the courage it has taken generations of Black men and women to continue their struggle for equality of treatment in the face of the never ending succession of lynchings, murders, and oppressions inflicted on them by the decent, upstanding members of our civil society.