David Weigel, a Slate columnist who is known around these circles, investigates the growing racial tension in Sanford:
“Holiday lowers his voice, even though there’s not really anyone in earshot. “S—’s gonna go down if they don’t arrest that guy.” What does he mean? “Rodney King s—.” …
Holiday had been right about the tension. One of the first people I meet scans me up and down and looks at my notebook. “Write something down for me,” he says. “Get the f— out of here.” He’s an exception. The people stopping and shopping in the late afternoon are reluctant to talk, until they get a few sentences in. And then it sounds like they’re picking up on a monologue they started weeks ago, stopping to take breaths.
Jamelia Jarrells and Jakivia Franklin talk about the killing as customers stroll in and out of the convenience store where they work. There’s no air conditioning, and the door’s constantly open, so most of the lights stay off while the fans stay on.
“I thought Zimmerman should have been arrested that night,” says Jarrells. “Regardless of the fact of whether or not he thought he was defending someone, he killed someone. Even if they arrested him, and he got out that same night, I think people would have felt better.”
…“If I shot somebody who looked like you, or you, shit, I’d be on death row.”“If he was a white 17-year-old,” says Jarrells, “he wouldn’t have been shot.”
Rashid Abdul Rahman, a retiree, chimes in. “Since we’re in central Florida,” he says, “and there’s so many movements coming through here, it’s going to be OK. If we was in California, they’d be burning this up.”
Burning what up? “The city!”
The “shit could go down” as early as this evening, this weekend, or early next week. The Florida special prosecutor is on the verge of making her decision.
Note: Chauncey DeVega of “We Are Respectable Negores” writes, “The Conservatives who instinctively rally to defend George Zimmerman are actually the intellectual and emotive kin of racist White populists who lived centuries before. In all, matters would be much improved if the reactionary Right owned their philosophical and intellectual wellsprings in the hanging tree, chain gangs, and press gangs of post-Reconstruction America.”
Thanks for the graphic. We are proudly laying claim to these “philosophical and intellectual wellsprings” here. We are going to spend the rest of the month examining the true philosophical and intellectual underpinnings of Southern civilization.