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July 19th, 2013: Systematic

Francisco Goya, detail of "El Tres de Mayo" (1814)

Did you know that “the system worked”? I did. The system worked, and we can all be proud of that. The system worked, the doyens nod sagely, before returning to the shimmering plane of existence they live upon, in which any cries from below resolve themselves into dew. The system worked, exactly as it was supposed to, and your structural critiques and reasoned complaints are the ravings of the “un-serious.”

The system worked, because our justice system works. The cop, the judge, the jailer – they all work because the system works. When Texas pumps poison into someone until their lungs collapse in full view of an audience – then repeats the feat a few hundred times – that’s a promising symptom. When Georgia obscures the purpose for which they are buying these death drugs, lest it become more difficult to execute the mentally retarded, this too, is the blush of a healthy constitution. And when there are more young black men imprisoned in the country today than there were enslaved in 1850, so too, there, we can see the vigorous exercise of a working system.

The system worked because the law works. The Stand Your Ground law in Florida was passed just as any decent law should be: after a sustained lobbying effort from a shadowy corporate squid called ALEC, the love child of mutants like Paul Weyrich and Wayne LaPierre. There’s no need for libertarians and right-wingers to be modest in suggesting this “castle doctrine” wasn’t instrumental in that famous acquittal. Hogwash and poppycock! The jury instructions clearly demanded the jurors take into account the right of your neighborhood Dwight Schrute to shoot a teenager in the heart if he noticed the young ruffian was black.

The system worked, because the jury worked. The jury worked very hard. They worked hard together – bowling, eating blooming onions at Outback Steakhouse, and gawking inside Ripley’s Believe It or Not! at shrunken Asian heads or whatever. The jury worked so hard, they cost Florida taxpayers thirty-three thousand dollars. And that didn’t include the extracurriculars.

Take the busiest bee, juror B-37, who took time out of her packed schedule of eating steaks to foster a relationship with a TV producer, and then, ink a book deal a day after Zimmerman walked. When asked point-blank by Anderson Cooper why Zimmerman was not guilty of either murder or manslaughter, the grifting toad answered:

“…because of the heat of the moment and the stand your ground [Zimmerman] had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.”

Stand Your Ground, and the lucrative potential of a juror’s tell-all account, saved Zimmerman in the jury room. And still, that wasn’t the surest sign the system worked. Zimmerman booster Frank Taafe inexplicably but one hundred percent accurately blathered on cable news about everything the jury was doing or thinking – before the verdict was announced. I’m guessing that’s one leak prosecution the Obama Justice Department actually isn’t interested in.

The system worked because George Zimmerman is free. When I look at George, I look at the face of America. In his furtive looks of concern, I see the proud patrimony of a sputtering sexual predator who clumsily molested a cousin at family events through most of her teen years, before glumly admitting it before his family at a pizza restaurant. When he stands up, I see a fat man who thought the macho regimen of mixed martial arts training would toughen him up for when he patrolled the mean streets of his gated community, and who then had to have his trainer testify as to the decrepitude of his slovenly, soft body. In his smile, I see a dirt clod with the IQ of a bowling ball and the confidence of a Rockefeller. This streak of frozen piss thought he could be a judge someday; he could no sooner judge a shit-eating contest than find his way to a law school’s front door. In his pink hands, I see the gun that will be returned to him yet.

The system worked because Trayvon Martin is dead, and everybody important, like the President, who murders young men Trayvon’s age every day, will not say this had anything to do with race, or the twisted, syphilitic values imparted on stupid white men, or on the expectations of who it’s okay to kill. It’s okay to stalk blacks, armed with your gun, and frighten them, and make them fight for their lives, and then shoot this scared defenseless person in the heart, and become a cause célèbre of the racist right, and then, finally, cash hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks.

The system briefly didn’t work when people took to the streets and got this murderer put on trial.

But, I think we’ll be okay from here on out.

General Gandhi

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