Lots and lots of statistics.
About the too-high high school dropout rate among black youths, the distressingly high number of black men who are perpetrators -- and victims -- of violent crimes, the disproportionately steep incarceration rates for black men. Those who create our pop culture have learned to monetize that negative image, and some young black men are mesmerized by it, adopting it as their own. As a result, we are all susceptible to the same prejudicial thoughts that led George Zimmerman to view a 17-year-old boy with a hoodie on his head and a bag of candy in his hand as suspicious.
Trayvon could have been my son -- and that scares the hell out of me. If, during this 16-month ordeal, that thought never crossed your mind, then you have no idea what it is like to be the parent of a young, black male in America. After the verdict, attorneys from both the prosecution and defense seemed to go out of their way in their press conferences to say race was not a factor, which sounded more like wishful thinking than accurate commentary.
-- LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.
Thernstrom: Obama's mistake on Trayvon Martin case
Every American can make his or her own judgment about whether justice was served by the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial but one thing we should all recognize: President Obama's interference in a local law enforcement matter was unprecedented and inappropriate, and he comes away from the case looking badly tarnished by his poor judgment.
"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," the president said when asked about the case in the Rose Garden on March 23, 2012, after many had called for Zimmerman's arrest but several weeks before he was charged. "When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids."
In fact, if the president had a son, he would have been born to extraordinary privilege and raised with all the advantages of two very affluent and highly educated parents. He would have gone to tony private schools. His path in life would have been almost as dissimilar from Trayvon's as one could imagine.
Yes, Obama's hypothetical son and Trayvon would have shared the same brown skin color. Would that have made them interchangeable? Not unless all brown-skinned boys are the same. Does the president really believe that?
The president's remarks created a clear impression that he was motivated by one of two factors, and we can only guess as to which, or what combination of the two, was at work here. One possibility is that this is merely another manifestation of the president's well-known narcissism.
The other, more troubling possibility is that the president surrendered to his political instincts.
On Sunday, the president did once again separate himself from the voices of anger. "We are a nation of laws and the jury has spoken," he said. But if his Justice Department brings civil rights charges against Zimmerman, the ugly racial politics of this prosecution will be undeniable.
Let us hope it never comes to that, for at that point a double tragedy will have occurred. Trayvon Martin will be dead, and our hopes for a president whose judgment is unaffected by his race will have been thoroughly and irreparably dashed.
-- Abigail Thernstrom is the vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Brazile: Those who despair or delight in verdict are wrong
Like so many others, I am distraught. It will take many days to sort through my feelings and reactions to the verdict of not guilty in the Trayvon Martin case. Still, some thoughts and lessons are obvious, immediate and, in a sense, imperative.
First, those who delight in the verdict are wrong. There is no winner here. Trayvon Martin is still dead and George Zimmerman still must live with the fact that he killed without reason or cause. Here, the "should have" rules: He should have stayed in the truck.
Those who react to the verdict with despair are wrong. We work hard for justice in this world, but we, being human, are flawed. We will make mistakes. The law is only our best approximation of justice, and the law needs constant revision. But doing what's right is not limited to the law. Sometimes, we must go beyond it.
Those who expect -- perhaps desire -- a riot are wrong. We are better than that. We respect the law. While the law cannot force a person to be moral or tolerant, through the law we can demand respect and expect equality.
We must be honest about our weaknesses. Racial profiling still exists and it is a cancer.
If you don't know about the "black male code," you should. It's something black boys learn early. It goes, in part, like this: Even though you're not a criminal, some people assume you are, especially if you're wearing certain clothes. Never argue with the police, but protect your dignity and take pride in humility.
Let us focus on ways to improve the system -- the criminal system, the justice system, the moral system, the general welfare system. Let us focus on acts of goodness and kindness that bring us together, as a people and as creations of God.
-- Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee.
Obeidallah: Our lack of racial empathy is appalling
The George Zimmerman trial has made one thing crystal clear. When racial issues arise, we tend to unquestionably cheer for our own race like it's a sporting match. There's little regard for the arguments or feelings of those from another race.