Trayvon Martin Case Sparks Racial DebateBy: Amanda Crum - March 21, 2012
With new details of the Trayvon Martin case emerging every day, speculation as to whether or not the shooting was racially motivated is growing within the African American community.
The incident, which involved self-appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman following 17-year old Trayvon Martin–who was unarmed and walking home from the store–before confronting him for looking suspicious, led to Zimmerman fatally shooting the boy after a scuffle broke out between the two. Zimmerman claims he acted in self defense, but a lot of people are wondering if the fact that Martin was African American played a part in it.
Adding fuel to this fiery topic is the fact that Martin’s father, Robert, released a statement last week to the Orlando Sentinel which claimed that Zimmerman is of Hispanic descent and grew up in a multi-racial family.
“He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever …,” the statement reads. “The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth.”
The statement has raised many questions regarding racism and whether it’s strictly an issue for the white community, as reported on Fox News Latino. Writer Chantilly Pantino expresses concern that certain comments in a recent Breitburt.com article imply just that.
The first paragraph of the article reads:
“The media immediately portrayed the death as a case of white on black racism. CBS News, on its Crimesider website, immediately called Zimmerman a “white neighborhood watch volunteer.” Martin’s parents accused the police of racism for not arresting Zimmerman. There’s only one problem: Zimmerman is Hispanic.”
Pantino explores the assertion that Zimmerman cannot be racist because he is Hispanic:
“…Are we to believe then, that he can’t be racist because he’s not white? Is prejudice and discrimination restricted only to those who are direct European descendants?”
There have been many reports over the years of suspected Hispanic/African American hate crimes, including one involving the 2006 death of a 14-year old girl in Los Angeles, which adds more weight to the argument that perhaps the fact that Zimmerman is Hispanic doesn’t excuse him from possibly being racist.
And there are other avenues of thought to consider, such as why Zimmerman continued his pursuit of Martin despite a warning from police to leave him alone.
This is certainly not an issue that will go away anytime soon, and the debate that has been raised will more than likely draw out for many years with no easy answer. The general public has flooded social media sites with their opinions and will continue to do so as the investigation into the shooting goes on.
People are trying so hard to paint George Zimmerman as a racist that they’re forgetting to paint him as a murderer
Giving george zimmerman the benefit of the doubt, and assuming he is not a racist does not mean he did not kill trayvon because he was black
George Zimmerman (the murderer of Treyvon Martin) was NOT a police officer. He was a racist pseudo vigilante that murdered an innocent kid.
I figured George Zimmerman was Latino but just bc he is doesn’t mean he isn’t racist. Lord knows a lot of Latinos are racist against blacks.