Zimmerman Verdict: 5 Confused Reactions

Everyone weighed in. Not everyone -- even those who meant well -- made sense.

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To assert that black people simply shrug off the murders of their sons and daughters and cousins and best friends, that folks simply shake their heads and keep it moving is to assert that black people are constitutionally incapable of grief and outrage. It's to assert, sideways, that black people aren't fully human.

Yeah, you don't want to do that.

2. There's all this talking/tweeting/marching, but is anyone going to do something?

Please recall what led to George Zimmerman's arrest, a full 44 days after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin: a whole lot of the activities mentioned above. So are we now in agreement that tweeting, talking, writing, marching and rallying all shape public opinion, attract media attention and can even pressure those in positions of authority to act? Great. Then from this point forward, they fall under the definition of "something." Make a note.

3. Don't riot, black people!

Not to mention, if someone were actually prepared to go run through the streets and cause havoc after the verdict, it's safe to say that your public hand-wringing, passionate as it may have been, probably wouldn't have defused the tension enough to stop that person.

4. Obama has to say something to fix this.

Listen. The president has been charged with fixing a lot of things, but undoing a decision of this kind isn't on the list. As The Root's David Swerdlick put it:

[N]o matter how demoralizing the trial's result was, President Obama -- the nation's dad, if you will -- doesn't have the option of disrespecting the jury's verdict, duly rendered, even if the trial that we all just saw couldn't provide justice after the needless killing of a teenage boy. And any statement that the president makes now could later be seen to prejudice, and thus weaken, any case that the Justice Department might pursue.

Removing racism from the nation's psyche isn't on his official agenda, either. (Plus, don't you think he did what he could to move things forward by getting elected in the first place?)