The racism in the Trayvon case is here:

The justification [of self-defense]… is not available to a person who… initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless… Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm….

There’s the racism. Right there.

It all hinges on that “reasonable belief”. In the culture of racial anxiety and safety paranoia that dominates certain swathes of the USA, it is much easier for a jury to accept that a white man reasonably believes he is in such danger from a black man, than the reverse.

(Note that the accused doesn’t need to be a racist for this to have an effect. Nor does the judge, nor the prosecution or defence, nor the jury.)
(Yes, Zimmerman wasn’t white. Still counts.)
(Yes, the legislation says that the basis of the belief must be the degree of force. Still counts. A punch from a black man is straight-up more terrifying than a punch from a white man.)
(The blockquote above is my selective quoting from the relevant Florida legislation, as excerpted by Ta-Nehisi Coates – read his post too.)


Young left-wing supporters of multiculturalism were gunned down in Norway because of fear.

Before this: an attack on members of the Unitarian Church in Knoxville. Attempted murder of Gabrielle Giffords.

Fear creates violence. But fear is a powerful political tool.

My comment after Knoxville:

It seems to me that this is the inevitable result of a media environment in which it is okay to joke about assassinating a liberal candidate for the presidency, in which an extreme bigot is called kind and decent by the President and venerated in the media after his death, where a high-profile media figure explicitly identifies liberals as internal enemies, where countless slurs and attacks on left-wing views are broadcast and repeated daily.
There is a huge media machine working feverishly to create hatred towards liberals. How then can this violence really be any kind of surprise?

But there is no responsibility taken. (Edit to add: More.)