The sheeple are clamoring for the arrest of Zimmerman. People don’t understand that an arrest is merely a detention, and Zimmerman was indeed detained at the scene. If charges are brought, he will be served a notice to appear. The cops know where Zimmerman is, and he seems to present a low flight risk. A “perp walk” serves Big Media and the public’s thirst for vengeance. It is not a requirement of justice.
Martin’s family is upset that some factions are out to destroy the boy’s reputation. Martin already made his reputation. He was the person blowing up twitter under the handle NO_LIMIT_NIGGA. He was the person found with a collection of suspicious—if not incriminating—evidence in his backpack. The boy’s reputation is not what his momma thought of him, it is what his friends thought of him. And how he saw himself.
The widely distributed photos of Trayvon are from years ago. He looked like an angel and an athlete. More recent pics show him in full embrace of the thug life. Something about the culture and subculture in which he lived transformed an angel into thug in a few years. It is difficult not to suggest there is a deep pathology in that subculture.
Making Martin the face of systemic racism is not just stretching the available facts, it demeans both his individual personhood and the essential ideal of justice:
By leaning on persecution as the appeasement to our need for justice, we favor imprisonment and punishment all too often and see the needless imprisonment of men and women at everyone’s cost. And it prevents those guilty the ability to try and right the wrongs they’ve caused.
All this gets ignored, though, when we confuse the notion of justice with revenge; when we believe that Zimmerman’s payback is in some way a remedy; when we mistakingly assume that Trayvon is somehow not worthwhile—or that racism isn’t a crucial issue—unless we punish Zimmerman.
The many thousands wearing hoodies of solidarity are a momentary exercise in social signaling, not a transformational social movement. Its about displaying the proper symbol at the proper time as a member of the hip and righteous class. Their cries for justice are cries of wolf. The Powers That Be know by now that this, too, will fade and blow away. The factions which derive energy from racial victimization are both pawns and puppetmasters.
Some fragment of the Trayvon Hoodie Squad will realize that afternoon protests have accomplished nothing for almost four decades. There is genuine anger, whether or not it is misdirected. The rage and disjointed logic of the New Black Panthers will find new adherents and enablers. A Brief Period of Violent Upheaval is looming closer.