'The Wire' Creator David Simon on Trayvon Martin Case: 'Ashamed'to Be an American
The not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in the death of Florida teenTrayvon Martin has outraged many people across the country, including "TheWire" creator David Simon.
In an emotional, fiery post on his blog, The Audacity of Despair, Simondenounced the verdict, saying he was "ashamed to call himself anAmerican."Simon knows a little something about race. He worked for 12 years as acrime reporter in Baltimore, witnessing firsthand the despair referenced inhis blog title. He then channeled that knowledge to write nuanced, complexportrayals of race, drugs, poverty, violence, and corruption on series like"Homicide: Life on the Street," "The Corner," and "The Wire."[Related:Zimmerman Juror B37 Decides Not to Go For That Book Deal AfterAll]From 2002-2005 on "The Wire," Simon and his team of writers depicted theoften deadly consequences for young black men living within the brokeneducation, political, and justice systems. The series was lauded as anAmerican storytelling masterpiece, inspired professors to teach about it incollege classes, and was recently namedthe No. 1 series of all timebyEntertainment Weekly.Outside of his television writing, Simon often comments on social issues, andthe Martin case stirred up particularly forceful feelings in him. Here's theentirety of his post: You can stand your ground if you're white, and you can use a gun to do it.But if you stand your ground with your fists and you're black, you're dead.In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round.Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with thisblood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another andwhen it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary.If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walkingtoward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the