Why do black, brown and white people view the same set of facts so differently? How does the color of someone’s skin play a role?
In the Zimmerman case, there has been accusations that George Zimmerman made some incorrect assumptions about Trayvon Martin when he saw a young black male in the neighborhood and as a result, he treated Trayvon Martin as a criminal. To answer that question and address the public’s demand for answers, the FBI sent a dozen agents to Sanford to comb through every aspect of Zimmerman’s life. After speaking to 36 people who knew Zimmerman the result was no history of racial bias could be found.
The Orlando Sentinel ran a story about the findings and I thought that issue would be put to bed. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The media largely to this day insinuates a racist white man killed an unarmed black child because he was black.
Until the George Zimmerman case, I was unaware that black people also made assumptions on people’s motives and agendas based on the color of their skin. For some black people, they just needed to know the dead teen was black and the shooter was not to assume the boy was killed because he was black. That’s the very definition of racism. I was surprised to learn some black people are extremely racist. Some see every situation as a response to the color of someone’s skin.
I first started talking about this case on facebook. In talking with black commenters I learned some have perceived code words. I was taken aback one night over being called a racist because I corrected someone about the flavor of drink Trayvon bought. I learned, for some, watermelon, was a racist word. Really? I was dumb-founded. Similar with the hoodie. I had to ask others why assumptions of someone wearing a hoodie would be made. It meant nothing to me. My sister explained that I should put myself in the shoes of a cashier at a convenience store, or a bank and someone approaches while their face is hidden by the hood. If I’m to take what some pundits said about it, it is racist for the clerk or the cashier to think the person wearing a hoodie may be trying to hide their face. I disagree, safety first. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
When an arrest didn’t come, it was because Sanford cops were racists (according to Crump and others). To help with the perfect storm, there had been race issues with that police department and the Chief of Police left as a result. The new police chief had only been on the job 10 months when the shooting occurred.
Mr. O’Mara wrote a post on the legal case website on October 10, 2012 about race and how it should not be factored in this case because there was no evidence of it. He thinks it does apply in other cases but he knows the facts of this case and says it doesn’t belong. Well, I challenge that assertion. Perhaps if all cases were racism is alleged, there was given as much sunlight as this case got, we’d find our assumptions were wrong there too.
I recall a tweet from Shawn Vincent, O’Mara’s spokesperson, asking where all the outrage was when a black defendant gets railroaded in the courtroom. From his perspective, he’s seen plenty of it I suppose. I think George Zimmerman has an opportunity to help all defendants by going after that sanctions motion and revealing what prosecutors do to defendants, of all color.
Race just wouldn’t go away. The prosecutors didn’t argue race because the facts didn’t support it. Lisa Bloom thinks because they didn’t argue it, they made a mistake to convict George. If there is no evidence of it, how can one argue it? Yet they do, over and over and over.
After the verdict, there were marches. I recall reading of a 10 year old black boy telling a reporter in Miami, at the march Tracy Martin was at that his mother told him white people will judge him on the basis of his skin color. He didn’t know white people could be so mean. Wow! just Wow!!
One could argue, it was teaching like this that prompted Trayvon Martin not to go home that night. For reasons we won’t ever know, he had a chance to go home and he chose not to. Rachel, in her testimony, said she had to encourage him over and over to just go home. But he wouldn’t. Did Tracy and Sybrina teach him what they are teaching other black boys? If someone looks at you suspiciously, it’s because of your skin color. Don’t take that son. Deal.
I shared on yesterday’s thread your President and me had the same experience as a teen. Both of us were followed through the store. I recall getting mad about it and leaving the store. Mr. Obama insinuates the reason he was followed was because a white person saw his black skin and decided to keep an eye on him. How does Mr. Obama know that to be true? The fact is he doesn’t. I’m white and it never occurred to me I was being followed because of my skin color. But for a large number of blacks, they are told very young that any assumption made about them has to deal with skin color as top reason.
The media didn’t initially pick up this story. It’s not automatic that a black and white case garners national attention. Mr. Crump and the PR firm was needed. Mr. Crump knew of the grievances some on the black community harbour. He knew what code words were even if I didn’t. He got the community angry by spreading lies. The first one was that the racist cops didn’t care about the black boy to even attempt to identify him. His firm went on national television a month after the shooting telling the public Trayvon laid in the morgue unidentified for 3 days. Mr. Crump knew the cops had identified Trayvon on Feb. 27th but he needed to anger the black community to sign petitions and get their butts off the couch.
Mr. Crump didn’t do this to help the black community. He did it for greed. Large settlements is how he makes a living.
President Obama angered many of you with his initiative to throw money at the problem of young black males. Turns out, he angered Toure of MSNBC as well. Toure chastised the President for talking about personal responsibility when he sees the problem as structural racism. I think Toure’s message is a sad one and looks to take the power away from people of color. I found the President’s comments on personal responsibiity much more empowering for the youth.
Why do we look at the same facts and see things so differently?