Originally Posted by FLMountainMan
I also think that the justice system should be questioned, and it is unfortunate that partisans of both ideologies only specifically
question it when they see fit to. Again, my only quibble was that I thought you were claiming that the inordinate amount of speculation in this case was due primarily to some sort of social dissatisfaction with the justice system. I'm an Occam's Razor sort - I think people just like to speculate about subjects with which the media bombards them.
I know I said I'd bow out of this thread, but I wanted to reply to this. My response is (predictably) vexed. My original post meant that, in this particular case, the perception of mishandling (and racism) on the part of the police helped drive the wedge between the search for facts and the assignment of culpability (trying to avoid the "T" and "J" words). I didn't necessarily mean to imply that this was accurate or correct but that even the perception has real consequences, showing the delicate balance between the populace and the police/judicial system. But I guess we've all been assigned sides here, and, I dunno, maybe I do think the suspicion is merited. Your comment opens onto the question of whether I proclaimed that this kind of suspicion is warranted *in general* or just on a case-by-case basis with evidence. And here, maybe you made an interpretive leap based on my profession and maybe my persona on SF? I dunno. (Tangential question: why is my SF persona so wedded to my professional identity? It's not like when you made your "kill hispanic whitey" joke, I was like, "Oh, what a lawyer thing to say!")
Okay, so some academic musings that will be judged as useless: I figure if there's something tragic about all of this--the incident AND the discourse about it--it's a tragedy of foregone conclusions. Everyone drawing conclusions ahead of time and hoping that the facts will eventually vindicate the conclusions. (And I really mean everyone is doing this from all sides, starting with Zimmerman's belief that Martin was suspicious based on his looks, to the belief that Zimmerman's murderous racism is a foregone conclusion, to the belief that Martin really was a thug, whatever.) I am rather taken with the fact that "foregone conclusion" is a phrase coined by Shakespeare in Othello
, and that Othello's foregone conclusion is based largely on his status as a Moor in a white culture. (Othello
is rather eerily good at depicting cultural/somatic/religious difference and its effects upon the subject.) It should make those of you who think skepticism is the better way happy that Othello's foreground conclusion is wrong, and it's based on Iago's made-up reporting of a dream that Cassio had. On the other hand, Iago really is an asshole who taps into the "racism" that exists around him.