If you care about jazz, you care about race. Therefore, tonight's verdict was a blow to jazz.
I have read superficially compelling arguments as to why Zimmerman, "according to Florida law," should have walked. The problem with those banal arguments is how they deny that anything bad ever happened to black Americans within the white power structure.
I seldom argue that we don't punish murderers enough. Indeed, I've often said that the sad destitute man who kills his equally desperate wife on a hot night deserves less censure than the corporate villains who rain misery on thousands through white-collar chicanery.
But sometimes a line has to be drawn. If you walk into the public arena and kill an unarmed black kid with your own gun, you've got to go down.
The only hope after this squalid verdict is that old adage, "The truth will set you free." In case it wasn't clear before, we now know what we are up against: a too-permissive stance on gun control, sadly unhealed race relations, and a malfunctioning justice system.