The Zimmerman Verdict: The Media Reacts

On Saturday, George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of murdering 17-year-old student Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

After the verdict was announced, the outrage felt around the country was demonstrated through social media and primarily peaceful protests.

The media also responded in full. Here's a roundup of some of the must-reads and must-sees you may have missed:

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates' piece for The Atlantic, "Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice," is a must-read. Coates writes why the not guilty verdict was legally correct, and also problematic: "Under Florida law, George Zimmerman had no responsibility to—at any point— retreat..But if you are simply focusing on what happened in the court-room, then you have been head-faked by history and bought into a idea of fairness which can not possibly exist. The injustice was authored by a country which has taken as its policy, for the lionshare of its history, to erect a pariah class. The killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is not an error in programming. It is the correct result of forces we set in motion years ago and have done very little to arrest."
  • Check out this clip of protestors shutting down a major highway in Los Angeles.
  • Buzzfeed published the accounts of two sisters who were Zimmerman supporters in Florida. Amy Waz, one of the sisters, is quoted in the post referring to the Martin supporters who had gathered outside the courtroom as "disrespectful wild animals."
  • ThinkProgress wrote about the reactions different black athletes had to the verdict, and what their responses signify about race and class in the United States. It is a sobering read. "These are men and women who have supposedly reached the pinnacle of mainstream society: they are rich, they are famous, they endorse every day products aimed at both black America and white America...But at the end of the day, they are still black, and the entire Trayvon Martin episode proved to them—and should prove to us—that they haven’t been truly accepted at all."
  • Watch Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's brother, speak with Piers Morgan on CNN. "There are people who would want to take the law into their own hands, as they perceive it, or, you know, be vigilantes in some sense," Zimmerman said. Wow.
  • David Simon, the creator of "The Wire," took to his blog this weekend to express fury over the verdict: "You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead,” he wrote. In addition to his initial post, Simon took the time to address each and every commenter that either challenged his argument, or defended the jury’s decision.
  • The New York Times succinct editorial on the verdict ends on this chilling note: "In the end, what is most frightening is that there are so many people with guns who are like George Zimmerman. Fear and racism may never be fully eliminated by legislative or judicial order, but neither should our laws allow and even facilitate their most deadly expression. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed boy walking home from the convenience store. If only Florida could give him back his life as easily as it is giving back George Zimmerman’s gun."
  • And finally, this woman reminds young white activists that we are not all Trayvon Martin.

(Image via the Baltimore Sun Darkroom)