Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against George Zimmerman for his shooting of Trayvon Martin, what has happened already is enough to turn the stomach of anyone who believes in either truth or justice.
An amazing proportion of the media has given us a painful demonstration of the thinking -- and lack of thinking -- that prevailed back in the days of the old Jim Crow South, where complexion counted more than facts in determining how people were treated.
Let us talk sense, like adults. Nothing that is done to George Zimmerman -- justly or unjustly -- will unlynch a single black man who was tortured and killed in the Jim Crow South for a crime he didn't commit.
Letting hoodlums get away with hoodlumism today does not undo a single injustice of the past. It is not even a favor to the hoodlums, for many of whom hoodlumism is just the first step on a path that leads to the penitentiary, and maybe to the execution chamber.
Winston Churchill said, "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." He wasn't talking about racial issues, but what he said applies especially where race is involved.
Hatred of "other" is rooted in the belief that the "other", whoever they may be, are receiving privileges not available to another group. It is this belief, that advantages are being denied some while being created for others, that breeds hatred and despair. This belief will always be with us, fueled by either fear or envy, for hard work will put food on the table of nearly everyone; it will not make everyone rich.
But when we, as a society, respond to this belief by actually creating privilege and advantage for one group over another, prejudice and hatred become institutionalized. It does no one any good to try to right the wrongs of a previous generation. They are dead. Justice is only for the living. And justice is an individual thing.