Now that George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder, can we all agree that our justice system works quite well, if also -- occasionally -- sluggishly? After all, this singular piece of anecdotal evidence -- the immediate non-arrest of Zimmerman -- was more than enough for many of those on the left and in the media to indict Florida's gun laws and the justice system at large as being responsible or somehow implicated in Sanford Police Department's negligence and incompetence. So, when the temporary lapse of justice is corrected, certainly that fact is sufficient evidence to reject the narrative that was built upon it, right?
They might object that this little bit of (as it turns out, transient) injustice is just "another in a long line", and so has merely occasioned their pontificating upon certain "systemic inequities" or on the devastating consequences of laws like Stand your Ground. Of course, these parties, if pressed to provide examples of this "long line", would either be unable to do so or would proffer examples which, far from demonstrating contemporary racial injustice, would just as often demonstrate the opposite, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal or Troy Davis. That is, more instances where the system has worked precisely as it ought to with no hint of racial disparity in its workings.
Of course, even engaging in this conversation at all does the left a bit of a favor, accepting their assumption that this singular case constitutes vibrant, undeniable evidence that racism is still a significant problem in America. When, even if it were indisputable that Zimmerman had racial motivations, or that he wouldn't have reacted similarly to a similarly dressed/aged/demeanor-ed white boy in the same circumstance -- which is disputable -- it still would just be a single case of racism and overzealous paranoia, not in the system, but in one person's mind and actions. Similarly, the subsequent bungling of the case by the Sanford police, even if racial bias within the department regarding this incident could be demonstrated -- though no such evidence has been cited -- it also would be a singular instance of racism, and would do nothing to testify against the vast amount of daily non-racist workings of the justice system at large. Anecdotal evidence could never do such a thing, by definition.
None of this is to deny that our inheritance as a nation includes the residual effects of past racism. That's indisputable, but those who preoccupy themselves with this fact smuggle in a value judgment along with it, namely that since residual effects of past racism exist, it is society's duty to address and attempt to rectify them. Which, of course, they offer no argument for, but simply take it for granted that everyone ought to agree with them. When, in fact, there are much better arguments against this proposition and in favor of its negation, namely that society only has a duty to be just in its own time.
Once the prime objective of the Civil Rights Movement of equality under the law was achieved by ostensibly erasing racial distinctions from the law, it seems obvious that there can be no legal means for addressing the residual effects of past racism directly unless one wants to revert to once again recognizing race under the law. And thereby undoing much of what the Civil Rights Movement fought for.
At this point, those on the other side might object that, since racial disparities in income and crime -- to cite two examples -- persist, therefore equality under the law hasn't been achieved. And, when they do protest thus, I respond by noting that they are simply mistaken. Equality under the law never is about achieving particular social outcomes, especially not along racial lines which the law no longer officially is allowed to recognize as meaningful, as should be the case. To the extent that some particular racial disparity is necessarily evidence of some currently extant racial bias within the system, that of course ought to be addressed and appropriately rooted out. However, such a relationship is very difficult to ever be certain of as, if it does exist, it rarely exists in any official sense but rather in the dark corners of the minds of some minority of cops and judges. The majority of systemic inequities that persist can be causally linked to our history as a nation -- which results in things such as de facto segregation and inherited poverty from previous generations creating a 'wealth gap' along racial lines, and all the consequences thereof -- while the effects of current racism can be shown to be negligible in comparison.
If the travesty of our "racist" justice system is that it occasionally gets things right a few weeks late, rather than immediately, then we truly do have the best, most efficacious justice system ever devised. But why would you have ever doubted it?