Why not protest the murders here?

As shocking as George Zimmerman's acquittal may seem to most of us, let's keep in mind that there are so many murder victims whose killers slip through the cracks of the justice system or are simply never brought to justice.

I find it more shocking that Oakland residents would protest Zimmerman's acquittal when the city of Oakland itself has had more than 50 homicides in just this year alone and includes a former student of mine, Aya Nakano, who was murdered in a senseless manner last month and whose killers have yet to be found.

It seems that the national media has an odd way of selecting stories to cover and Oakland residents will wreak havoc on their own city based on anything they feel has racial implications even if it happened 3,000 miles away.

Think about murder victims in your own city and let's be more sensible.

Gus Elmashni

Redwood City

Thugs come out again in Oakland

I find it extremely disconcerting that when racially charged events occur, either locally or nationally, that thugs come out in Oakland and show blatant disregard for property and the rule of law.

Saturday evening's events in downtown Oakland were reminiscent of those several years ago after the Oscar Grant verdict and the civil disobedience that ensued. Do these perpetrators understand that they are damaging the property of innocent people and their actions serve no good purpose?

What may be worse in the midst of all this destruction is that the Oakland police made no arrests. It is almost as if the police condoned the actions of an angry mob. The mayor and other city officials need to enforce the rule of law and encourage peaceful protests or Oakland will always have a negative national reputation.

Kurt Kleier

Oakland

Who are the white radicals in masks?

My impression was that conscious human beings, whether black or white, reacted naturally to the George Zimmerman verdict Saturday with shock and numbness, and by Sunday we experienced a personal meditative reverence inspired by and honoring the behavior of the noble and nonviolent Trayvon Martin family.

A loud outcry is understandable, and yet must be a feeble echo of what speaks most loudly, on a worldwide scale -- the unjust murder of Martin calling attention to the unjust fate of so many thousands more.

And so who are these white radicals in masks, with no love for our town, and no knowledge of our urgent causes or feelings, who come to use Oakland as an experimental laboratory where they may act out their adolescent ignorance, undoubtedly in loud denial of their own unexamined participation in American violence?

James Eilers

Oakland

Martin was the one who was on trial

The George Zimmerman "trial" was a complete sham.

Zimmerman was never really on trial: Trayvon Martin was.

Clyde E. Albert

Hayward

Verdict in the Martin case was shameful

The decision in the Trayvon Martin case is a disgrace. There have been times I've been really proud of our country, such as the recent Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

But this made me feel that we have not made an inch of progress on racial equality, and I am profoundly sad to live in a country where such things are possible.

What is it like to be a black parent in Florida (or anywhere there is a stand-your-ground law), to know that anyone can shoot and kill your child with no consequences?

I am particularly shocked that the judge instructed the jury to ignore race and its implications in the events leading to the killing of Martin. What could be more relevant to George Zimmerman's motives?

My heart aches for the Martin family.

We can right this wrong. Moveon.org is circulating a petition calling on the Justice Department to file hate crime charges against George Zimmerman. I urge others to sign as a first step.

I hope Oaklanders will have a discussion about this case, and racial profiling in general. Living in a diverse community is not easy. One of the most difficult issues is how we live peacefully even with our prejudices and racial paranoia, which all of us have.

Shanthi Gonzales

Oakland