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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Reexamining the Trayvon Martin Shooting

The shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has seen the media at its sensationalist worst. Press reports have cast Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, as a trigger-happy vigilante looking to make trouble where there was none. Attached to this storyline has been the charged subtext that Zimmerman acted out of racial prejudice, confronting Martin simply because the latter was black. Not surprisingly, this media-made version of the shooting has roiled racial passions across the country, turning a tragedy into a referendum on American race relations and setting up one of the most polarizing legal cases in recent history. But there is in fact far more to the story, as a recent Reuters’ investigation illuminates.

Reuters‘ report provides a complexity to the story that has been so sorely missing until now. Among other things, it calls into question the notion that white racism was the motivating factor in Martin’s shooting. That narrative was never entirely convincing, and not just because the mixed-race Zimmerman never fit into the media’s neat white-gunman-black-victim allegory. The New York Times‘ designation of Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” was only the most strained attempt to impose a racial framework on the shooting.

Reuters‘ report muddles the racial element even further. It points out that Zimmerman was not only half-Hispanic but he also had black roots, tracing back to his Afro-Peruvian great grandfather on his mother’s side. So far from harboring anti-black racial resentments, he appears to have sought out the company of black friends and colleagues. In 2004, for instance, Zimmerman, an insurance agent, teamed up with a black friend to start up an insurance office.



Daddio said...

I read the article as well as most of the comments.

NO ONE has investigated or reported on whether the crime wave in Zimmerman's neighborhood has decreased since the demise of Trayvon.

I would like to know if those break-ins have ceased or not ....

Anonymous said...

Let it go guys , this guy killed a black youngster , he should get the chair. Don't make no difference now , the blacks will win this fight and you no it.
We got more to to come down the road to.

Anonymous said...

Still a huge difference in "killing" for the sake of killing and killing in defense of your own life. No one should get the chair without due process.

Anonymous said...

Zimmerman is a hero.

Anonymous said...

I am reaading this drivel and am in awe of the ignorance of the report. Race baiting at it's highest stance where none is reasoned. It's a disgust.

Anonymous said...

The media is nothing but race baiters, If they keep people occupied by this then they can help hide politicians fraud.