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16 July 2013 @ 12:36 am
no riots after the Zimmerman verdict  
"The prediction of violence was not simply wrong. It was wrong for all the wrong reasons, in an echo of the way responsibility in the case was shifted onto Martin’s shoulders. There’s a sly inversion at work in the references to lynch mobs and riots, one that takes Zimmerman’s acquittal and expands it to all of American history. This country has a long history of lynchings, but not one in which non-black defendants needed to fear the fury of black mobs. Amplifying the irony is the fact that the verdict was announced on July 13, 2013 — the hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War draft riots in New York City, in which white mobs pursued and killed blacks on the streets and burned a black orphanage to the ground. America’s past is populated with similar rioters, driven by a desire to eliminate black voting, to discipline purported black criminals en masse, to veto school integration at the grassroots level. We scarcely discuss them and would like to believe that they have no bearing upon the present. The mass uprisings that followed the Rodney King verdict and Martin Luther King’s assassination remain lodged in public memory. The riots to prevent busing and punish blacks who wandered into white neighborhoods do not."

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