Trayvon Martin is still dead.
In the months and years before he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was arrested for fighting with the police, accused of molesting a family member, committed domestic battery, violated the rules of being a member of the neighborhood watch by carrying a weapon while on "duty", and was on mood altering drugs.
George Zimmerman was and is a ticking time bomb of violence. And I would not be surprised if Zimmerman is eventually diagnosed as being sociopathic.
George Zimmerman has been arrested again--not for murdering Trayvon Martin--but for threatening his pregnant girlfriend with a shotgun.
I wrote many essays about the Trayvon Martin murder case as I tried to work through what his death by a street vigilante revealed about the intersections of race, crime, and the law in the United States.
Yet, months after Zimmerman's acquittal, I am still vexed by how conservatives, colorblind racists, and the Gun Right (to the degree such a cohort can be disentangled) could flock to his defense. He is a serial loser. Why make Zimmerman the flag bearer and martyr figure for the cause of "gun rights?" Who could reasonably imagine George Zimmerman as a "victim?"
The answer lies in the power of the white racial frame to make insanity seem reasonable, and to normalize the monstrous. In all, racism, guns, and "reasonable doubt" trump the rights of black Americans, and other people of color, to be safe in their personhood from the violent prerogatives and prejudices of the White Gaze.
In private, many of Zimmerman's defenders likely knew that he was an irresponsible person and guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. However, their public commitment to white supremacy and symbolic racism trumps reason, ethics, and a broad humanism which embraces black Americans as worth the same protections and citizenship rights as white people.
Black Americans, because of their historical memory and lived experiences, are highly attuned to threats of racially motivated violence by people like George Zimmerman. The Black Freedom Struggle would not have triumphed over the racial terrorism of slavery, as well as Jim and Jane Crow, without those survival skills.
George Zimmerman's arrest for domestic violence is only a "surprise" for the most in denial and willfully ignorant members of the American public--and for those whose commitment to the Gun Gods have otherwise damaged their ability to think in a critical and reflective manner.
During the murder trial, Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jaentel was mocked, derided, and publicly lambasted by George Zimmerman's defenders and the Right-wing media. Her retelling of Trayvon's fear-laced observation that he was being stalked by a "crazy ass cracker" was proven accurate (again) by Zimmerman's arrest for domestic violence and threatening his pregnant girlfriend with a shotgun on Monday of this week.
As others have smartly observed, several months ago George Zimmerman learned that he could stalk and kill a black teenager for the crime of walking down the street "without permission". George Zimmerman has now learned that you go to jail for threatening to shoot a pregnant white woman with a shotgun.
I wonder: how long until George Zimmerman is stripped of his honorary Whiteness by the White Right? Or does the Right's misogyny and love of guns trump their defense of white women against domestic violence?