Matt HealeyFriday,19 July 2013

The Snap:

I did not follow the Zimmerman case. I was aware that it was happening, but during the hike finding out the next day’s weather is more important than the Zimmerrman case. Because of this I do not want to comment on the verdict. However I do want to comment on the reaction to the verdict.

The Download:

A purist would say that the verdict is correct. We followed the system and a jury of his peers found him not guilty. We should accept this as the correct outcome. The same way we should have accepted the OJ verdict, the verdict in the case against the cops that beat Rodney King, and the recent decisions on DOMA, Citizens United, and Bush v. Gore. I am sure there are other cases that large segments of the population think are wrong.

This is evidence of a larger problem. What we have is a loss in faith in institutions. This is not a left/right problem. Both sides have lost faith in the institutions. The left feels like the institutions are inherently abusive and discriminatory. Their evidence is the disproportionate number of arrests among minorities, the lack of equal representation of women and minorities in positions of power, in board rooms, and among senior management. From a legal perspective court decisions like the Rodney King cops, Zimmerman, and Citizens United bolster the argument. The right feels like the institutions, led by the government and lawyers, spend too much time coddling the lazy, uneducated members of society. They cite not only laws and practices that make firing minorities and women almost impossible, but also the breakdown of tradition. They talk about criminals who get let out early and court cases like OJ and DOMA. So neither side believes in the institutions that run the country. I am not sure this is a good way to operate. But I also do not know if this is new, or whether it has always been that way.

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