Open Thread: No Justice for Trayvon Martin


From The New York Times:

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge. Read more…

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  • Kraas
  • Boliviateka

    I’m really confused by this: “that this white man, who killed this black boy in cold blood.” How or why is George Zimmerman considered white? I truly and honestly don’t understand how someone five shades darker than myself or anyone in my own Latin family is considered white. Is it because of his last name? Or the lighting in photos or something? I really struggle with why he keeps getting tagged as white. I have a lot of issues and anger with the entire case obviously, but the “George Zimmerman is white” thing is bugging me, I think because I instantly and subconsciously I guess identified him as Latin the minute his photos were released to the press.

    • Keith Creech

      Yeah you do know that whites come in different shades right? And his father is white right? but hey he’s not really white because the way he looks right?

    • jen*

      I think some places have referred to him as white because he identified as white, and Latin is not a race. I see a lot of Zimmerman apologists who refer to him as Hispanic or Latino because they believe that removes whiteness from the discussion, and frames it as an incident of two minorities.

  • jen*

    Even though I expected this verdict, when it came, I started really thinking about what it meant. I became more and more depressed about what it really means for us as a country – as a people – how we are still not fully human, and not worth protecting. Thankfully, I was able to participate in some discussions on G+ with likeminded people – I was able to find community online, when there was no one physically around to lean on. Events like these, jarring realities, require a more close-knit fabric of community to make it through.

    I appreciate places like Racialicious, Shakesville, and TWIB for providing thoughtful commentary and community. Everyone doesn’t get it right all the time, but the fact that there’s a place to be safe in the midst of people shooting fireworks to celebrate Zimmerman going free, that means something. I might not have been able to come to work today if I hadn’t been able to feel some catharsis through special TWIB call-in shows this wknd. I’ve still got a lot swirling in my head regarding all of this, not least of which are my ignorant FB friends that might be about to get axed, but I look forward to further exposition here and at other places that I count on in this corner of the interwebs.

    Thanks for what you do!

  • Derek Vandivere

    Unfortunately, given the way those stupid stand your ground laws are defined, this was the ‘right’ verdict. Combined with concealed carry permits, these laws are guaranteed to produce killings. Feeling threatened is by definition purely subjective, and there’s only one eyewitness left. Want to get away with murder in Florida or Texas? Grab a gun, start a fight with your target, then start to lose the fight.
    It’s times like these that I’m so glad I live in a country where I can safely assume that people on the street are not armed.

    • EinSC

      I don’t understand how it’s “stand your ground” when Zimmerman left his vehicle and approached Martin. Martin had the right to stand his ground; he did not initiate the contact.
      Zimmerman cause the escalation of the situation by not following the dispatcher and leaving his vehicle. It was not a situation in which anyone’s life was at stake – until Zimmerman got out of his car.

    • Kraas

      I’d say Trayvon Martin stood his ground. I pretty much don’t believe George Zimmerman as he has every reason to lie about what happened, since it would keep him out of jail, and there were no eyewitnesses to the entire encounter who could contradict him.

      • Derek Vandivere

        That’s exactly what I mean by it being a bad law. It practically creates an incentive to kill someone in an argument.

        • Kraas

          I read the statistics on the law and I agree now, it’s not fairly applied and should be repealed.

  • happyappa

    The link to the petition for DOJ to press civil rights charges is
    There are almost 500k signatures but I think it’s been hard to get to because of heavy traffic

  • Kraas

    George Zimmerman’s racial profiling of Trayvon Martin was at the core of this case, and yet the judge essentially banned the phrase after the opening arguments. I know that if it had been me walking down that street instead of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman wouldn’t have looked twice. This was about race and it’s infuriating, but not surprising, that a lot of (mainly white) people are saying that it wasn’t. I need to stop now before I start spewing profanity.

  • Medusa

    This may be ridiculously naive of me, given that I’ve been on the earth for almost 30 years, but I am actually surprised. I am surprised that even in a country as racist as the United States (where I had the pleasure of living for a decade), that this white man, who killed this black boy in cold blood has been acquitted. That people believe that he was acting in self-defense when he followed and shot an unarmed back boy who was trying to get home.

    Americans always get offended when I say I don’t ever want to go back to the states again. Explain to me why the fuck I should when the life of a black person means so little that even being murdered isn’t worthy of a criminal conviction, and the murderer is painted as being the victim?