I've followed this trial pretty closely, but just now I think I'm seeing something that needs talking about. The pro-Zimmerman crowd focuses on his right to defend himself against having his head cracked open. The anti-Zimmerman group focuses on what they see as his racism. I've been looking at his demeanor in court and coming to a new belief, which crystallized when I heard that his new plan for his life is to become a lawyer so that he can defend other people who are wrongfully accused, like he was.
If you think about what he said that night, "fucking punks" and "they always get away," it would be easy to assume he meant blacks, but then when you hear of the interactions he's had with black people in the past it becomes much less clear that he is a racist as he seems to have had many positive relationships with black people. What I do believe is that he draws a rigid line between the good guys and the bad guys and sees himself purely as a good guy. He wanted to be a cop and, failing that, he took it upon himself to defend his neighborhood against the bad guys who were breaking into people's homes.
If you consider his behavior in that light, then it becomes less important what color Trayvon Martin was than that he was an unknown young man who "might" be a bad guy. Therefore, Zimmerman went on high alert in his behavior which resulted in his tragic shooting of an unarmed kid who was only trying to get back to the place he was staying. That makes his motivation clearer, but ultimately completely wrong.
Another thing that comes into play that isn't racism is something that many people refer to as "being a pussy," a man who doesn't feel confident deep down that he can handle himself, so he takes martial arts classes (at which he evidently sucks) and arms himself so that he can protect himself and all the other "good people."
I absolutely don't see Zimmerman as a man who will ever understand that he did anything wrong that night. No matter how many times you would explain to him that he didn't need to take the course of action that he did, he would stubbornly believe he had done the right thing. He already told Hannity that he wouldn't have done anything different, which is a breathtakingly arrogant position, since he followed that by saying it was God's will.
I've known people like that. They can't seem to have any other possible way of looking at things. And, perhaps, in his case, this will be the only way he can get through the rest of his life because, God forbid, if he suddenly saw how wrong he was to get out of the damn car and follow Trayvon, his self-image would be severely damaged, perhaps even destroyed.
So I don't think Zimmerman is racist, but I do think his world view is black and white, with good guys on one side and bad guys on the other, and there's no place in that scenario where he stands on the wrong side, no matter how tragic the results were.