It does not matter that George Zimmerman is not white

March 25, 2012

George Zimmerman

It does not matter that George Zimmerman is not white.

Hypothetical Story based on the Trayvon Martin Case: A 17 year old black teen was murdered while walking home from a convenience store with ice tea and a bag of Skittles. The suspect, a 28 year old male, was arrested and is in police custody awaiting trial.

Stories similar to the one above happen frequently and tragically in cities across America. Yet few have garnered as much national and international attention as the Trayvon Martin case. Why? Is it because an innocent black teen was murdered by a racist? No. What if Trayvon had been murdered by a thief, or a gang member, or a serial killer? The story would still be tragic. Trayvon would still be dead, murdered senselessly on his return from the store. But the world would not be in such an uproar and racial tensions would not be as high.

Some Americans have made it their mission to inform all of us that reports of a white male killing Trayvon are inaccurate. These Americans state it is a smear against white people, to inflame racial tensions and produce a narrative that does not exist. To their credit, it is important to get the facts straight. “George Zimmerman” does not sound much like a Hispanic name, however photos of the man certainly resemble a person with Hispanic features. Add to that the family of George Zimmerman emerging to inform us that George is not white, and these Americans are right in their correction.

So facts matter. Getting the truth right matters. But whether George is white or not has little to do with the uproar from the black community and the accusations of racism and injustice. In the example I initially provided, the unarmed teen victim was killed and the murder suspect was arrested. But that is not what happened in the Trayvon Martin case. Trayvon the unarmed teen was killed, but the suspect, George Zimmerman, walks free with his gun in hand.

National and international uproar, the shouts of injustice, the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton appearances, the Obama remarks, the Miami Heat tributes, the intense anger particularly in the black community are not merely due to a racist murdering a black teen, but that racist walking free after the murder. George was not found “not guilty” by a jury and set free, he was set free by the police who took his word at the crime scene and let him go home with his gun.

So where does race play in this? Where does the black and white tension come from if Zimmerman wasn’t even white? The tension is found in the double standard, the signs of second class citizenry that appear blatantly obvious to the black community. It is a double standard that values the lives of white Americans more than black Americans and it has existed since this nation’s founding.

No one believes that a big black George Zimmerman would walk free without arrest. No one believes his testimony would be trusted by the police, especially when he pursued the teen after a 911 dispatcher told him not to. No one believes that a small white Trayvon Martin would be drug tested before the suspect, or assumed to be the aggressor by the police. No one believes the family of a white Trayvon Martin would be lied to about the history of the murder suspect by the police, or that a white family would face trust issues concerning the quality of investigation by the police.

No one believes a black George Zimmerman with a history of assault on a police officer, domestic violence, and resisting arrest would have any advocates in law enforcement supporting his claims of self defense. This is a nation that recently executed Troy Davis. This is a nation that sentenced John White on second degree manslaughter charges. John was arrested for accidentally shooting a white teenager who came with a group of his friends as a “lynch mob” to White’s property at midnight to threaten him and his family with violence and racial slurs. John White went to jail, Zimmerman has not been arrested. Police arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates for “breaking into his own property” when he forgot his key.

No need to list the history of injustices suffered by black Americans at the hands of the police. A simple google search will yield around 30 million results.

This is a tragic reality that appears unique and persistent to black Americans. The beating of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police was so rare that for some white Americans it was a light bulb moment that they too might be vulnerable. Pepper spray on Occupy protestors or the arrest of the “Don’t Taze me Bro” pale in comparison to the shooting deaths of Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, the Rodney King beating, and many other black tragedies. Couple those tragedies with the fears of driving while black, fitting the description, excessive force and police brutality, having drugs planted on you, Katrina murders by police, etc. and the Trayvon Martin case is another stab to an open wound.

So these fears have plagued the black community for years, decades, and generations. But the Trayvon Martin case is not a case of a abuse where Trayvon was a suspect. The Trayvon Martin case is a case of abuse where Trayvon was the victim. The UNARMED VICTIM received injustice. The VICTIM cries from his grave while his killer goes about his life freely without arrest. And even this has sad historical precedents; Emmett Till, Shirley Sherrod’s father, etc.

So if this is mainly a case of outrage over police injustice with the black community, where does the white-black tension lie? Please note, when I mention “white-black tension” I am not saying the Trayvon Martin case has sparked a hatred against white Americans by black Americans. I am saying that it intensifies the contrast in justice, freedom, safety and security, the contrast of protection under the law between the experiences of white Americans and black Americans once again. That is where the racial tension lies. It lies in the constant reminder that black Americans who built this nation are once again denied the rights, securities, and privileges guaranteed to all Americans and enjoyed by white Americans.

Yes Zimmerman appears to be a racist, and that’s awful. But if the police and justice system in Florida did not also appear to have racial biases, this national uproar would not have happened. It is naive of us to think that the election of Barack Obama has or can fix everything. The Trayvon Martin case is like re-injuring an old wound once again that never seems to heal. And Zimmerman’s ethnic make up does little to distract or comfort from the perceived and blatant double standard of justice for Trayvon and black Americans.

RIP Trayvon.


“Investing In America” – President Obama’s town hall meeting on the economy with CNBC

September 21, 2010

Watch President Obama’s entire town hall meeting on the economy with CNBC by clicking HERE.

Sick for Profit

August 7, 2009

This issue should not be a partisan one. Tell Republicans to support Americans, not the profits of Health Insurance executives.

Drudge reports on “Obama’s evil eye”

June 30, 2009



Yes folks, it’s true. They’ve got nothing.

GOP’s racist attacks against Sotomayor

May 27, 2009

Sotomayor graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. She earned her A.B. from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude in 1976. Sotomayor obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Sotomayor then served as an Assistant District Attorney under prominent New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, prosecuting robberies, assaults, murders, police brutality, and child pornography cases. In 1984, she entered private practice, making partner at the commercial litigation firm of Pavia & Harcourt, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation.

President Obama vs. UConn Basketball champs

April 29, 2009

Media coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama: realistic or ridiculous?

April 24, 2009

For weeks now, “news” sites like, and others have been drooling over every external aspect of the first black First Lady. We have heard her titled “Mighty Michelle”, “First Lady of Fashion”, “a Fashion icon”, “a modern Jackie O”, and on and on and on. We have seen every article of clothing she has worn be critiqued, rated, and often praised to no end as some brilliant fashion choice. I recall seeing Chris Matthews of MSNBC drooling over her appearance at the State of the Union address, and Jack Cafferty exclaiming that “he has a crush on Michelle Obama.”

What is going on here? Is all of this coverage reflect what is realistic, or does it teeter on being somewhat ridiculous?

Michelle Obama was not known for her fashion choices before her husband ran for office. She was not a super model or fashion runway diva. I do not recall hearing her name in the same breath as Naomi Campbell, Iman, Cindy Crawford or Tyra Banks. In fact, Barack did not meet Michelle at a photo shoot, but he worked under her at a law firm. So where is all of this fashion hype coming from? Is it driven by the struggling fashion industry, desperate to make a star out of any super high profile icon?

Concerning Michelle’s fashion, it is mixed. Some of her choices look excellent on her, and others seem somewhat experimental. When you listen to the First Lady speak, she sounds like a lawyer. She is strong, determined, and insistent on making her points and supporting her beliefs/stances. She does not sound like Halle Berry or Sade Adu, nor are her mannerisms completely soft and gentle.

This is not a knock on the first lady. My only wish is that the media would cover Michelle Obama for who she is and for the strengths got her here, as opposed to some gleeful fantasy in which only the external and superficial are acknowledged or praised.

Let’s get this straight, Michelle Obama is pretty. She is not unbelievably drop dead gorgeous (as the press would have you believe) and she is not unattractive (as some mean spirited conservative citizens would have you believe). She has a nice smile, great figure, beautiful engaging eyes, and youthful skin. However, what is most attractive about her is her humanity. She has her flaws like we all do, but she does her best with what she has and encourages others to do the same. She’s raised two lovely daughters, and supports her husband in a loving way that strengthens both of them. She keeps up with her fitness and watches her diet, which is admirable in this increasingly obese society. But most of all, she is genuine. What you see is what you get, and she cares about the youth.

I think the press would honor the first lady more if they discussed her character more than her shoes. Millions of women across the globe would love to be the wife of President Obama, but Michelle has captured his heart and loyalty. He was incredibly protective of her against GOP attacks (Remember “lay off my wife”), and grew agitated over rumors of an email relationship with Scarlett Johansson and videos from Obama girl. The President is always quick to praise his wife, even calling her the rock of the Obama family. And President Obama does not appear to be a superficial man. He does not chase after any short skirt out there (like a number of Washington politicians and past Presidents have), but he has found lasting value in Michelle, which means he knows a good thing when he sees it. Despite her initial rejection, the President was “persistent”, and their relationship has flourished and lasted while the same cannot be said for many of Hollywood’s hottest.

So the media should look at other things about Michelle, what makes her a beautiful person inside? What makes her a wonderful mother for her daughters, even as she juggles work as the first lady? What about her value for education that took her to some of the nation’s top Ivy league schools, and had the President working under her for a time? What about her resilient spirit that did not allow fear of racist threats or the stress of our current crisis talk her out of supporting her husband’s Presidency?

There are alot of things the press could and should focus on if they are talking about the nation’s first black first lady. And zeroing in on her belt, her shoes, her new hair style or sleeveless dress is a pretty empty choice.