• What Does It Take To Achieve Justice?

    As I've probably mentioned earlier on, I haven't kept a close eye on the Zimmerman trial, primarily for my sanity's sake. More to the point, I stayed away from the live feeds, the rapid-fire blog posts and the constant stories and opinion pieces that flood in hour after hour. I stayed away because the more I heard and saw what was going on, the more apparent the outcome's becoming. It's like seeing a train creep silently upon an unknowing and unwitting pedestrian - you know what's coming and there's nothing you can do or say to stop it, except hope and pray for a last-minute miracle.

    Maybe I should have more faith, but having faith in a justice system largely geared towards systemic injustice is rather difficult. Using history as a guide, you can see the same thing play out over and over again with depressing regularity. The only difference is the audience. Whereas a local audience and a simple (and possibly biased) blurb in the local papers sufficed, there's now an entire nation and quite possibly a global audience watching, and for good reason.

    The outcome of this case will reverberate throughout the entire nation. It'll prove whether there's actually some semblance of justice in this troubled land of ours or if the same old song will play once more. It'll show that a young man's life doesn't have to be forfeit just because someone deemed him a threat to be rid of. Or it'll confirm that someone's life is always subject to the whims of others based on their appearance or others' perceptions of them and others like them. It could prove to be either a chilling turning point in this nation's history or it could be a small glimmer of hope and some form of justice for a grieving mother and family.

    A story like the one unfolding in Sanford, Florida is one that grates on the soul. It's a stress that only a person whose been in the victim's shoes can understand, in my humble opinion. To keep a laser-targeted focus on this story would be to expend all of my own mental and spiritual energies and then some. It would mean being thoroughly ensconced in an awe-inspiring envelope of anger and hatred that takes one's mind to some tremendously dangerous and downright evil places. It's a feeling that often finds its way out through a variety of destructive and counter-productive outlets.

    It's a feeling that the likes of Sean Hannity are vaguely aware of. However, they hope to capitalize on those feelings and turn them into examples, indictments and warnings. Such things wouldn't exist if the capacity for justice wasn't limited by the malice and anger of those who'd rather see their fellow men and women burn in the flames of their own impotent anger just because. Just because their parents and society taught them to fear and loathe them. Just because they're a convenient scapegoat to blame when things get rough. Just because a certain segment of people would rather see them return to their original condition to enrich their own coffers.

    Just because they're the "other." The assigned punching bags. The load. The people who are relied on for so much yet blamed for many ills.

    There's a story playing out in a Sanford, Florida courtroom and it's a story we've seen and heard countless times. The only question is whether the ending will be the same or if six women will manage to deviate from the storyline and deliver a much different conclusion.