A Baltimore rally protesting the Trayvon Martin verdict, the weekend t was announced.
GARY MINTER

I know we are not supposed to discuss the topic. But I will, because George Zimmerman’s acquittal left a bitter taste in many Americans’ mouths.

Even though Trayvon Martin didn’t do anything wrong, a lot of people on the right wanted to portray him as a young thug who got just what he deserved and that there was nothing racial about what happened on the night Zimmerman shot him to death.

They blame the victim as a way of masking their biases. And they don’t stop there. Many on the right wrongly insist racist laws are things of the past. Their views about how to address poverty and disenfranchisement continue to inflame and exacerbate racial tensions. And they continue to wage war on President Obama.

Conservatives equate anything Obama proposes to help working people or the poor as an attack on either small business, the Constitution, or both. But they cannot change the fact that many people in my community think Zimmerman racially profiled Martin on the night in question. In addition, Zimmerman was clearly negligent when he failed to identify himself as a neighborhood watch person as he approached Martin with his concealed 9-millimeter pistol.

As President Obama pointed out, things could have been a lot different had Trayvon Martin been of age and armed with his own pistol. In a rare show of support, some conservatives actually praised the president’s remarks. I hope those conservative Republicans might think about joining the president in giving poor and homeless Americans the help they need to move up to the middle class and in strengthening the middle class with affordable healthcare and living wage jobs. And maybe, just maybe, that segment of society can engage in the real discussion about race and religion this country so desperately needs.

Of course, as it is with George Zimmerman, only the Lord knows what is in the hearts of men. so of course nobody gives any guarantees. But, I promise you this: we will surely be asked why we left our brother on the sidewalk to die.