Melissa Harris-Perry: Criminal Justice System Has Said Death Of Black Children "Simply Does Not Matter"

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MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: But let me be really clear that one of the key ways in which we know this is about race is that this moment, in this moment, black families are holding their sons and daughters closer to them with such a sense that in this moment, this verdict, a verdict which may be the appropriate verdict, given the evidence presented to these six people, and the decision they made based on Florida law.

Nonetheless, It feels as though it is saying it is okay to kill an unarmed African-American child who has committed no crime. And part of the reason it feels that way is because of the aggressive defense that not only made a point about Mr. Zimmerman. But that in important ways, criminalized Trayvon Martin without, what I think of us feel is clear and appropriate evidence that he did anything. So that moment when the defense attorney brings out the piece of sidewalk -- the cement -- and says that Trayvon Martin was armed with this as though Trayvon Martin had been walking hole with a big rock rather than with Skittles.

I think part of how we know this is about race, is by the differential racial experiences that people are having -- the sense of anxiety and sadness and fear that black families have in a moment when it feels as though once again, the criminal justice system has looked at the death of our child and said, it simply does not matter. (7/13/2013)

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