Saletan: Almost everything I thought I knew about Zimmerman was wrong

” Don’t take this excellent and self-effacing essay from Slate’s William Saletan as an endorsement of George Zimmerman’s actions.  Instead, it’s an indictment of the sensationalist media coverage that distorted or outright manufactured narratives in the case, and of the activists on all sides of the ledger who have exploited a tragedy for political gain.  Only after informing himself by watching the actual trial, evidence, and closing arguments did Saletan have his epiphany (via Amy Alkon):

   “Trayvon Martin is dead, George Zimmerman has been acquitted, and millions of people are outraged. Some politicians are demanding a second prosecution of Zimmerman, this time for hate crimes. Others are blaming the tragedy on “Stand Your Ground” laws, which they insist must be repealed. Many who saw the case as proof of racism in the criminal justice system see the verdict as further confirmation. Everywhere you look, people feel vindicated in their bitter assumptions. They want action.

   But that’s how Martin ended up dead. It’s how Zimmerman ended up with a bulletproof vest he might have to wear for the rest of his life. It’s how activists and the media embarrassed themselves with bogus reports. The problem at the core of this case wasn’t race or guns. The problem was assumption, misperception, and overreaction. And that cycle hasn’t ended with the verdict. It has escalated.” ”

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