Charles Blow on the Trayvon Martin Case – Another Important Moment for America!

Dear Commons Community,

Charles Blow has a fine column in today’s New York Times commenting on the Trayvon Martin case.  He expresses concern that  it may produce another O.J. Simpson moment in America.   Blacks and whites will line up on one side or another.  He references a recent Gallop poll  detailing divergent racial views of the Martin case.

“The USA Today/Gallup poll found that most blacks believe that George Zimmerman, the Hispanic man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, in what he claims was an act of self-defense, is definitely guilty of a crime. It also found that nearly three-fourths of blacks believe that racial bias was a major factor in the shooting, and the events that led up to it, and that Zimmerman would have been arrested if he had shot a white person.  On all these measures, nonblacks were more reticent. Only 11 percent believed that Zimmerman was definitely guilty, while most said that the case was unclear or they had no opinion. Only about a third believed that racial bias was a factor or that Zimmerman would have been arrested if the person he shot was white.”

Blow holds out hope that this case need not be racially divisive:

“The Martin case… holds the potential to be a high point [for America]. There is nobility in the advocacy for truth and justice for a dead child who would still be alive if Zimmerman had not pursued him. While opinions shouldn’t get ahead of the facts — and we must all remember that what is right and what is legal don’t always dovetail — public pressure for a thorough investigation and fair dealings in this case needn’t and mustn’t be defined as a black issue. It’s a universally human issue.”

On this holy and religious weekend for many of us, I say “Amen”.





  1. Erik,

    The Huffington Post today is reporting that an arrest of Zimmerman may be imminent. See below.


    Hiuffington Post:

    The special prosecutor investigating the killing of Trayvon Martin has decided not to convene a grand jury in the case.

    Now, the decision to file charges against George Zimmerman, 28, who told police he shot Martin, 17, in self-defense during an altercation in late February, will be totally in the hands of State Attorney Angela B. Corey.

    The former state prosecutor on the case, Norman Wolfinger, announced in mid-March that a grand jury would be called to help determine whether Zimmerman would face any charges in Martin’s death. But as public pressure mounted about the case, Wolfinger recused himself from the case, saying that he was stepping away “in the interest of the public safety of the citizens of Seminole County and to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

    Gov. Rick Scott appointed Corey, a prosecutor in the Jacksonville area, to replace Wolfinger on the investigation.

    “The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case,” State Attorney Corey’s office said in a statement, according to CNN. The grand jury had been scheduled to convene on Tuesday. “At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office.”

    Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Martin’s family, called the move is a hopeful sign that Zimmerman could soon be charged.

    “I think it signals that an arrest could be forthcoming,” said Jackson. “I don’t have any indication; that is just my opinion, but there is enough evidence in this case for an arrest, and a jury should be the one to decide his fate.”|main5|dl1|sec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D150341

  2. What’s crazy is during this entire time since Trayvon’s killing, there’s been no restrictions placed on Zimmerman.
    Why should he wait around for the government to decide whether to charge him with Murder and he face a possible life sentence.
    His parents have the means and so Zimmerman might have left for “vacation” to a place like Equatorial Guinea where they speak Spanish, have beautiful beaches, and NO Extradition Treaty with the US.
    If it was your life, would you prefer a jail cell or a tropical paradise?
    No one has seen George Zimmerman in ages. I’m beginning to doubt he’s still in the US.