The news of George Zimmerman’s acquittal on all charges related to the death of Trayvon Martin bubbled through the sultry summer air. Millions were angry and took to venting themselves on social media, but thankfully not with violence in the streets. Millions were angry at those who were angry, generally claiming that racism works both ways.
There were so many things that fed into how it all went down on Trayvon’s last night on earth. Florida’s horrible gun laws certainly made conviction nearly impossible. They were born of a cultural PTSD endemic in a land wracked by violence that crackles with fight-or-flight adrenaline at the first sign of trouble – a biochemical instinct that sometimes becomes addictive. I’m also sure that once the Sanford cops learned Trayvon was from Miami they were ready to assume the worst about him. But all of that only amplifies and distorts the core problem, that of White Privilege.
White Privilege is generally little more than the benefit of the doubt. But when the volume is turned up and the noise is deafening, only baser senses remain. The simple benefit of the doubt often adrenalizes into violent, destructive action.