Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Another take on the Zimmerman verdict

There's a lot of noise out there about the verdict's obvious racial connotations. An unarmed black kid was killed because he had the audacity to stand his ground and demand his right to be who he was where he was.

I have nothing to add to the clamor that isn’t being spewed in a thousand other places. 

But there is another, less obvious message that this judgment (or lack of judgment) sends that relates to how power is being allocated in the system—and especially in terms of the increasing privatization of law enforcement. 

Private security is big business, an irreplaceable component of the prison industrial complex.  

“Neighborhood Watch” is a low-paying variation of private security. A guilty verdict for Zimmerman would have set a bad precedent, threatening the power and authority—and fungibility—of private security mercenaries and rent-a-cops everywhere.

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