It's not awkward to shunt the backdrop of all the other things that have happened before to the sidelines during a trial. Rather, it's precisely what the judge and lawyers and jurors are required to do.This is good stuff from Althouse, very on point. She is basically showing that the NYT's writer (and editors) are missing the trees for the forest.
Yet inside a Seminole County courtroom, with the prosecution’s case against Mr. Zimmerman now over, race only occasionally punctuated the proceedings.Yet?! No! Race should not be put where it isn't relevant under the rules of evidence. Punctuation like that would violate the norms of a criminal trial. The backdrop of all the other things that have happened before is reason for Americans — especially black Americans — to care about these norms.
For supporters of the Martin family, Mr. Martin’s death was part of a more complex tale of profiling and injustice.But trials are not to be transformed into a "more complex tale." They are to be kept focused on the specific incident under consideration. And those who care about the more complex tale ought see the connection between their concern and the law's insistence on that focus.
However, what Althouse doesn't seem to acknowledge here is that this case (since it became part of the larger public awareness) has always been about "the larger narrative" and has never been about the specifics of the case. When it was just another shooting in Florida, when it was about the specifics of the case, the State Attorney in charge of the case decided to not press any charges.
It wasn't until the race baiters and the grievance industry got hold of the case that anyone outside of those immediately affected cared. At that point, the specifics of the case no longer mattered. The President of the United States of America symbolically adopted Dear Little Trayvon, and then it was all over for Zimmerman. There was no way he could avoid charges, and the Republican Governor of Florida found another State Attorney who would prosecute the case to the greatest extent possible. (Zimmerman is really lucky that, as a matter of politics, he wasn't charged with First Degree Murder.)
So the specifics do not matter to an organization like the New York Times, the State of Florida or the Federal Government of the United States of America. The only thing that matters is that racial animosity must be cranked up to the maximum degree possible so that The Powers That Be can profit to the maximum extent.
Althouse appears to be missing the forest for the trees.
ADDED: I believe Steve Sailer's take on this article is more appropriately cynical.