The acquittal of Bernhard Goetz ((NATION, June 29)) carries frightful implications. The jury's decision sends a message to society: a man may shoot four others in self-defense whether or not his well-being is actually threatened. And to those who live in our cities, two messages are evident: first, shoot to kill; second, whites may shoot blacks.
There was no racism involved in the verdict. There was only a notice to people who prey on those of us who appear to be meek that we are sick of being victims. Would Goetz have been less threatened if the toughs...