St. Charles Herald-Guide

Zimmerman trial

Our View - July 24, 2013

The Florida trial of George Zimmerman got more attention from the press than almost any trial in recent memory. And its outcome certainly lends credence to the fact that people can react in various ways to acts that come about through violence.

Zimmerman was pronounced not guilty of manslaughter or second-degree murder by a six-member female jury unanimously after hearing prosecution claims that Zimmerman shot the 17-year-old Martin unnecessarily. Defense testimony claimed that Martin, who had no weapon, attacked Zimmerman and grabbed his head and banged it against a concrete walkway which was the reason for Zimmerman lifting his gun and shooting.

The "not guilty" verdict immediately became a racial issue that was promoted as such by Rev. Al Sharpton and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, who both claim to promote racial equality through their organizations.

Considering that slavery was the mainstay of life in the south less than 200 years ago and segregation against blacks became illegal less than a century ago, progress in doing away with racism has made headway in this country. Whites and blacks have joined forces in recent years to help make this a better nation for everyone and it certainly is beginning to show.

There is a lot more, however, to be done to bring equality of races where it should be and we all should work hard to make it happen. Perhaps the media can help by not referring so much to whites and blacks and other colors in their reporting of what’s going on under the rainbow. We’re all human beings and should be called that in stories without differentiations.

We have to keep in mind that many inequities in this country and the world come from racial prejudice. But in the past years, that prejudice has reduced significantly and, with help from a loving population, will continue.

The court, which appears to have acted legally in all respects during the trial, did its duty to come up with a decision of innocence for Zimmerman. Perhaps there are appeal possibilities available but we haven’t heard of any being pursued.

Since retiring from public view after the trial, Zimmerman came out of his house one day to help rescue four travellers involved in an automobile accident near his home. That could indicate where his heart really is.