THINK FOR A MOMENT about this Florida of our time: an armed man in a vehicle stalks a teen-aged boy who is taking home a package of Skittles. The man is in communication with a police dispatcher who instructs him not to get out of the car. The boy, as it happens, is also in communication, by cell-phone with a girl friend and is telling her he is being followed and that he finds it “creepy.” The man gets out of his vehicle, confronts the boy, and shoots him. He is tried for second-degree murder and found innocent. A short time later, in this Florida, a mother faces her abusive husband and fires a warning shot into the wall. She too is tried and sentenced to twenty years in prison. And this is America?
Then there are three students waiting for their bus. The judge in this case, vested with the full majesty of the law, rules they are to be allowed to wait for their bus, even though they are Black and one of them is particularly black. This, too, is in the America of our time.