On Tuesday, Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson told MSNBC’s Martin Bashir that he believes, if the racial distinctions were reversed in the case against George Zimmerman for the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin, the public’s reaction to the cases would be dramatically different. He added that the “George Zimmermans of the world continue to get away” with “the killing of our children” without facing justice.
Dyson began by lamenting the course of court proceedings in which, he said, Martin was “dying again the death of a thousand qualifications, which is what our legal system is about.”
“I don’t have much faith in the processes here, because it doesn’t really speak — they don’t really speak to the issues that are being raised here,” he continued.
Dyson said that, if Zimmerman is acquitted of murder charges, “then the children of poor and people of color in this country do not have the same quality of justice as given to those who are able to muster up resources and defend themselves against such a charge.”
Dyson said that Zimmerman was only arrested and charged in the first due to the public “outcry,” leaving him with little hope that a jury would find him guilty. “Part of the moral victory was getting him into the courtroom to be subject to criminal proceedings to begin with,” Dyson added.
“You seem to be expressing some of the weight of history when you describe this particular case,” Bashir prodded.
Dyson cited the upcoming film Fruitvale Station which dramatizes a similar event in which a young black man was killed by an overzealous security officer over a misunderstanding.
“Time and again, for one reason or another, young black people lose their lives and it is seen as the necessary condition for the justice system to prevail,” Dyson insisted.
He asked if the victim in this case were white, or if Zimmerman were black, “would we see the same outcome?”
“The unfortunate and tragic reality is that our children of color pay the price for the contradictions in a justice system,” he declared. “And the George Zimmermans of the world continue to get away, if it is true, with the killing of our children without necessarily facing the kind of consequences that a justice system would demand.”
Watch the clip below via MSNBC:
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