An American Tragedy
Edited By Emmanuel Harris II and Antonio D. Tillis
Chapter Seven: Mater Dolorosa: The Bléssed Virgin Wore a Hoodie
Mater Dolorosa: The Bléssed Virgin Wore a Hoodie
Something in B29’s agonized voice made her recognizable to me. Her sense of burden and angst were palpable through the static that often accompanies interstate radio emissions. Ironically, as I listened that Friday morning, I was on my way to Florida. “Florida,” I thought. “My mother retired to the state where someone shot a young man and was not even (originally) arrested. How could this happen?” As the minutes became the miles that shortened the distance to my destination, I listened to juror B29 explain her decision to find George Zimmerman not guilty. B29 confessed she wanted a hung jury. “But the way the law was written,” she explained, made it impossible to vote otherwise. Her voice sullen, strained, and deep, B29 recounted her inability to sleep and her distress. She spoke as a mother, as a woman, as a member of a minority community who has also been the target of discrimination. She spoke as someone who believes in God: “George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with….” God would punish him; this was the subtext. God would do what our justice system had failed to deliver.
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