Like many other Americans, as a child I read Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Its searing depiction of a society perverting its legal system to preserve white superiority remained with me for decades. I reread the book and watched the movie a year or two ago and the impact was, if anything, even greater. This book, for me as for many Americans, describes what you mean when you say that our legal system has committed grave injustices.
Well, that was then and this is now. Now we have the trial of George Zimmerman, accused of murdering Trayvon Martin. It turns out that the U.S. Department of Justice used taxpayer funds to deploy one of its divisions, the Community Relations Service, to Sanford, Florida for two months last year to help anti-George Zimmerman protesters. For those who, like me, have never heard of this division,
“The Community Relations Service is the Department’s ‘peacemaker’ for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin.