Let’s take the advice of the attorney general of the United States. Let’s have a national conversation about race in the wake of the Zimmerman case. Let’s make it a painfully honest conversation — except about all the things that are painful for us to admit.
Let’s take a tragedy and make it a racial crime. Let’s not acknowledge the evidence suggesting that Trayvon Martin was beating George Zimmerman. Let’s never, ever admit that if Martin hadn’t hit Zimmerman, he would almost certainly be alive today.
Let’s act as if the main threat to young black men in America is overzealous neighborhood watch volunteers who erroneously consider them suspicious, call the police and follow them, then shoot them in self-defense after a violent altercation in confusing circumstances that will never be entirely disentangled. Let’s pretend that this happens all the time.
Let’s send down the memory hole reports of burglaries and attempted break-ins in Zimmerman’s community that, according to a Reuters report, “had created an atmosphere of growing fear in the neighborhood.”