so, compare zimmerman to rodney king, for example. the acquittal there was ridiculous, and everyone was in a position to reach a reasonable position on that; you could see the damn video. it was directly police against citizen, and you could establish a horrendous racist history in the lapd. now, that is a pretty darn clear and important symbol of central racial realities, even though in every case where you read actual events as sheer symbols, you'll be losing a lot of important particularities etc. but in this case, we don't realy know what happened (if you think you do, that's a bad sign; you'll just kind of make shit up; you don't need facts because you've got the little repertoire of stories all ready to go). zimmerman's race is highly ambiguous, etc. now, 'hoodie' is powerful, but it's sort of one of the few things that's clear: that trayvon was wearing a hoodie.
i'm just betting that almost every day, somewhere in the usa, there is a clearer example of the way racism expresses itself in our lives now. no one exactly chooses to make a certain event a crazed media sensation or an emblematic thing, but i don't think this was the best such apointment.