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Over the past weeks, the Zimmerman trial has made an intentional effort to keep conversations of race at bay in the courtroom. But yesterday, the proverbial floodgates were opened.
“Piers Morgan Live” invited Charles Blow and David Webb into the studio to weigh in on the role of race in America’s fascination with the trial and the case itself.
The New York Times Columnist, Blow, reminded us all that biases are difficult to identify – they’re not always so black and white:
“We don't know whether - how much race had to do with the actual incident itself. But I think one thing that is important to always remember about discussions about bias is that you don't have to articulate biases or even be aware that they are within you for them to be operational… you can think that you're completely egalitarian, you want to be that way, and that you can subconsciously act on biases. And so what we have to keep asking ourselves is what is it about Trayvon Martin on that particular night that activated a threat response in George Zimmerman?”
Webb, host of “The David Webb Show,” argued that it is the sensitive nature of these biases that call for national attention in what is thought to be a post-racial world.
“The fact is that when this white-shooting-black dynamic or white- on-black crime happens, it becomes a race charged environment when the special interest get involved for the first seven to 11 days of this incident. There really wasn't much coverage on many of the networks of this. This was an incident on going, then the special interest got - as I can call them, get involved and then you get some of the people who - well, they profit off race.”
Webb summed it up succinctly: “If it ended with a black man shooting a white or a black on black it would have been a different dynamics.”
Criminal Defense attorney and HLN contributor Mel Robbins spent yesterday in court following the Zimmerman trial. Last night, she joined “Piers Morgan Live” to report on the highlights, from the dummy to the jury, as the case comes to a close.
“Today was fascinating, Piers. First you had the defense witness by the last name Root who's the use of force expert who basically - he wasn't even really giving testimony. He was kind of giving a warm-up for the closing argument for the defense. And what was fascinating about his testimony, Piers, is that he would constantly look at the jury and you know what they were doing? They were looking back at him. It was like watching two people have a conversation across the room at a cocktail party. He was speaking directly to them and they were soaking him in.”
And if Root wasn’t compelling enough, a foam dummy was brought to the floor as a prop used to reenact the fight between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The jury was captivated.
“The jury stood up. All five members on - in the back row stood straight up. The four women in the front row, they leaned forward and they were taking copious notes and they were really paying attention, and just as you pointed out earlier, this was a turning point in the case. The state acknowledged that Trayvon was on top and it seemed like the jury had this - they were more alive today than I've seen them the entire trial, Piers.”