David Simon, writer-creator of HBO's The Wire and Treme, says he "can't look an African-American parent in the eye" following Saturday's not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial.
After a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, outrage spread on social media and Simon took to his personal blog, The Audacity of Despair, writing: "I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American."
"If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford," he wrote. "Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own."
Simon joins those who denounce the killing of Martin as racial profiling and Florida's "stand your ground" laws -- which allows for self-defense in the face of unlawful threats -- as applicable only to white people. "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 said.
Days after posting his reaction, Simon continues to respond to commenters on his site. On Monday, a reader left this comment: "Did he have to start beating Zimmerman…no. What a reasonable person does is just continue to walk away and go about [sic] there business."
Simon responded: "One man had a gun. He used it against an unarmed man. He had, just prior, expressed his frustration with criminals and then he took the life of someone who was not engaged in criminal activity. Why do you feel the need to mitigate these fundamentals?"