A jury of whose peers? Trayvon Martin, racism and the U.S. (in)justice system

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You're probably sitting there wondering "What could possibly be funny about the tragic wrongful death of a young black man whose only crime was being outside at night in Florida?" First of all, congratulations; by merely entertaining this thought, you’ve passed the world’s easiest psychopath test.

Secondly, the joke was literally under our noses the entire time. Anyone who's not a complete airhead understood that there were two people on trial here -- the Hispanic George Zimmerman, and the moral character of a dead Black kid, yet this trial could not have been whiter had it been a Kellogg's commercial in Alabama. As the punchline to this farce of a judicial process, I present Exhibit A -- the jury.

The Jury

Let's meet our stars, identified by what can only be described as Supar Sekret Americanski Terror Proof NSA Code:

- B-37: A middle-aged white woman, husband is an attorney. She used to have concealed weapons permit, but let it lapse. Her husband also has one. That’s just one person, I'm sure that won't play into any bias AT ALL.

- B-51: A retired white woman from Oviedo who has a dog and 20-year-old cat, unmarried and has no kids. Given that her cat is older than Trayvon, her idea of Youth Culture probably involves bell bottom jeans.

- E-6: A young white mother who used this case as an example to her two adolescent children, warning them to not go out at night. You know, because it's the victim's fault for getting shot by a psycho with delusions of grandeur. Oh, and her husband is also a gun owner.

- B-76: A white, middle-aged woman, married 30 years and rescues "a lot of pets." I suppose every jury needs the requisite Cat Lady.

- E-40: A white woman in her 60s who lived in Iowa at the time of the shooting. Iowa was the first state to vote Obama in 2008, a factoid the defense presented while laughing uncontrollably (probably).

- B-29: A nurse on an Alzheimer's ward who is Black or Hispanic, has several children, is married and lived in Chicago at the time of shooting. She said she doesn't watch the news, preferring reality television

But those are just words, tools that even the Bee Gees deemed insufficient totake your heart away, so let's break down the numbers: in a case involving several controversial tenets of American life such as racial equality, gun control and Skittles vs M&Ms, the jury's profile was as follows:

- 33 per cent of the jury had guns in the household;

- 50 per cent of the jury resided out-of-state at the time of the killing;

- 83 per cent of the jury was white;

- 100 per cent of the jury was female.

To summarize, this case rested upon the judgment of a gun-toting, fear-mongering, victim-blaming, out-of-town jury, where the closest thing to a "peer" of George Zimmerman (or Trayvon Martin) was a reality TV junkie. Oh, and did I mention that THE COURT DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER THE ETHNIC JUROR WAS HISPANIC OR BLACK? Let me repeat -- a government entity presiding over a case soaked with racial tension, with a jury demonstrating more than a shade of right-wing preferences, did not know the race of the only non-caucasian member of the jury. That is unless the court has moved so far beyond racism that they cannot identify ethnicities anymore.

Between the law, the court, the jury and the state of race relations in the U.S., Trayvon stood no chance. This entire case is like Inception for racism; the more you peel off, the more you find.


Danish Anwar is not at all a terrorist or a communist.

rabble.ca is a co-promotional partner with riotwire, Canada's new hub for political satire, where this article was originally published. 

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