The New Norman


By Bill Maher

I don't know what kind of psychic hold William Buckley does or doesn't have on the Republican Party (he might be L. Ron Hubbard -- deeply loved and read by people I don't know -- or he might be Barbara Cartland), but when Florida acquitted George Zimmerman of killing Trayvon Martin, it reminded me of something Buckley's old enemy Norman Mailer wrote in 1957:


"Any Negro who wishes to live must live with danger from his first day, and no experience can ever be casual to him, no Negro can saunter down a street with any real certainty that violence will not visit him on his walk. The cameos of security for the average white: mother and the home, job and the family, are not even a mockery to millions of Negroes; they are impossible. The Negro has the simplest of alternatives: live a life of constant humility or ever-threatening danger. In such a pass... paranoia is as vital to survival as blood."

Mailer wrote The White Negro half a century ago. Look how far we've come. Offer not good in Florida.

When President Obama said "the jury has spoken," it was the statesmanlike thing to do, but I'm not sure it applies to the Sunshine State. Florida is always wrong. It's not just that Florida acquits people who are so obviously guilty Nancy Grace can almost taste their blood -- but it balances that out by executing the innocent.

According to Mark Elliott, Director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty:

"Since Florida resumed executions in the 1970s, 24 wrongfully convicted Death Row prisoners have been exonerated while 74 prisoners have been executed. That's one exoneration for every three executions."

Out of all 50 states -- yes, including Texas -- Florida is #1 in finding people guilty, sentencing them to death, and then finding out they were innocent.