Skip to main content

The Charleston massacre: What is the meaning of black life in America?

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, assistant professor of history | July 13, 2015

“Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free?” I excerpted these words from a tweet that Solange Knowles (Beyoncé’s younger sister) posted on June 18th at 6:49pm, the evening after Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, … Continue reading »

Trayvon Martin: A fair trial in the face of segregation?

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | August 12, 2013

Much has been written and discussed concerning George Zimmerman and the killing of Trayvon Martin.  Not enough has been done, and there is some doubt that much will be done.  Some even argue that nothing should be done.  I believe there is a pressing need not only to continue the conversation, but also for action.  … Continue reading »

It’s not George Zimmerman, it’s the system

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | July 19, 2013

Like many Americans, I was deeply – viscerally – disappointed in the Florida jury’s verdict to acquit George Zimmerman. While I can understand how a jury might have at least a sliver of reasonable doubt about Zimmerman’s guilt, since the only other eyewitness to the fight is dead, I am nonetheless deeply saddened by the … Continue reading »

Race and reasonable doubt: Notes from the Sanford, Fla. verdict

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | July 15, 2013

The official media narrative is in.  The acquittal of wanna-bee neighborhood guardian George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin reflects the impenetrable wall that the law and the trial judge set up between the narrow legal questions of culpability and the broad social issues that had animated passions in the case: gun carrying … Continue reading »

Gated nightmares

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | February 21, 2013

It has all the feel of a Twilight Zone episode, only in a setting that is unmistakably contemporary.  The nightmare is framed by this setting, a house in a gated community.  It could be a very posh house, like the one where Oscar Pistorious lived and admits he shot to death his girlfriend, the model … Continue reading »

Whose public safety? Trayvon Martin and Neighborhood Watch

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | March 26, 2012

The killing of teenager Trayvon Martin earlier this month, in Sanford Florida, has inflamed classic concerns about racism and criminal justice (especially in the South) as well as well as criticism of Florida’s “stand your ground law”; a gun rights law that has expanded the circumstances under which self defense may be raised in many … Continue reading »