There once was an an America
where we tried to do better; we still can

Joseph Crachiola’s reaction to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial is one I wish I had.

Crachiola, who used to live in the Detroit area, shared on Facebook a picture he took almost 40 years before that was published in The Macomb Daily. Macomb is a county east of Wayne, which houses Detroit, but the children in the photo could have been from lots of places in 1973.

I’m grateful for the photo and the moment to reflect on my own life. I wondered whether there ever was a time when race didn’t matter. I wondered whether that time would come in my lifetime. Maybe not.

But for just this moment, I can look at this photo and be reminded that there once was an America that was

… was trying to erase racism rather than market it.

… was trying to make the pursuit of happiness an equal occupation for all rather than closing the doors on some.

… was trying to raise children to not hate.

I wish for an America that can be. And in that America, the children look just like this, just like they did, in 1973.

Trayvon Martin victim of George Zimmerman,
lousy prosecution – and Juror B37?

I thought the problem with the Trayvon Martin trial was with the prosecutors – until I heard from a juror.

Tracy Connor and Andrew Rafferty reported for NBC that Juror B37, the one that was going to write a book — and quickly changed her mind when she rejoined the world after the trial — told CNN that only three of six jurors thought Zimmerman should be acquitted. But they eventually all came to believe that he feared for his life.

That the man with the gun who followed the kid with Skittles was afraid.

So apparently, everybody is on the same page now. George Zimmerman was out on patrol when he saw a kid who looked suspicious because – and here is where Zimmerman, the jury and much of America differ – he was walking while black, he was cutting through buildings or he was casing homes.

Juror B37, in her big interview, said she felt Zimmerman “was well-intentioned but became overzealous because of a string of break-ins in his Sanford, Fla. neighborhood.” She also said Zimmerman shouldn’t have gotten out of the car.

But since he did get out of the car and confront Trayvon Martin and did get into a fight with him that he says he began losing, it was all right for him to take out his a black Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol and fire into his chest, killing him.

It was the dummy that did it for me during the trial.

As I watched grown men straddle a dummy – why didn’t they use each other? – it became clear in my mind that something was wrong. Zimmerman is having his head allegedly pounded on concrete, but he’s not using his hands to try and stop it, he’s just lying there like a dummy until he reaches under Trayvon Martin’s legs to pull his gun out of a holster and fire at him.

Juror B37 said Zimmerman “shouldn’t have gotten out of that car” during his phone call with a police dispatcher. But since he did and he was losing the fight, well, he had to defend himself.

Poor George.

Now someone needs to investigate Juror  B37 – just to make sure she doesn’t know Zimmerman.  And the rest of the jurors, those who initially voted for Zimmerman to be indicted for manslaughter?  I’d love to hear what change their minds.