Lundman (2003) pointed to the fact that “not all murders…are selected for coverage by news media (358).” And, that “when murders are selected, some receive frequent and prominent attention, while others receive infrequent and obscure coverage (358).” In fact, during the time frame of George Zimmerman’s trial there were other murders involving race and gender. One can only wonder then, “do some homicides therefore receive more attention and others less because of the race and gender of the actors involved (Lundman, 2003, 358)?”
The media played a large role in narrating the story of how and why the boy’s death occurred. Giroux uses the term “privatized discourse” in discussing the treatment of the case within American media and culture. “...Dangerous because they invoke wider social considerations and prevent [them] from wallowing in a purely privatized discourse that, in the end, for instance, only allows [them] to focus on the most narrow and restricted of issues such as the personality of the shooter, George Zimmerman” (Giroux 2**). The preceding quote highlights one of Giroux’s main focuses, the tendency for the public
Zimmerman. Martin. Who really started it? One person died, while another walked free. Who should have been punished? We may never know all the answers to this culture-defining case, but here are the facts as they currently stand:
I commence with this anecdote for several reasons one of which is to humbly acknowledge my unique, and privileged position as a Black female scholar in the midst of a war waged against Black bodies. Another reason is to recognize police brutality as a national endemic that plagues Black communities, unveiling remnants of anti-Black racism that legitimately suppresses the lives of Blacks in America . The non-indictments in each case concerning the sanctioned murder of Black youths evoke a
On February 26, 2012 a 17 year old black teen was wondering around a neighborhood in Sanford, Florida wearing a hood over his head was gunned down and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. The evening of February 26, Martin was heading back to his father’s townhouse from a convenient store when Martin decided to cut through a neighborhood that had been riddled with multiple robberies that year. Zimmerman saw Martin with his hood over his head and Zimmerman decided to contact the Sanford Police Department on account of suspicious behavior. However, before the police were able to arrive on scene an altercation occurred between Zimmerman and Martin which resulted in Martin being shot in the chest where he died on the scene.
In her article “Gendered Racial Violence and Spatialized Justice,” Sherene H. Razack explores the murder of Pamela George; the way that her murderers’ sentences were lessened because of a variety of factors pertaining to Ms. George’s life; and the fact that the murderers were young, white, and middle-class men.
In 2012, Marissa Alexander went to trial for firing a warning shot against her abusive boyfriend. A year later, George Zimmerman went to trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Both Alexander and Zimmerman violated the “Stand Your Ground” law and they both were prosecuted by Angela Corey. Although Alexander did not kill anyone, she was found guilty and served three of her sixty-year sentence, while Zimmerman walked free. Was there racial discrimination in the ruling of these cases? It can be determined that race played a role in the ruling of these cases.
I and a community of others are outraged that Zimmernan was initially interviewed and let go with no charges filed more than six weeks after the shooting, Zimmerman still had not been charged with a crime, igniting a national outcry over what many considered to be state-sanctioned vigilantism. For many African-Americans the case had even deeper implications: Trayvon Martin, who had no criminal record, had been doing nothing more suspicious than walking. Many saw his death as another tragic example of racial profiling, the latest in a seemingly endless succession of unarmed Black men shot for appearing suspicious: Robbie Tolan, who survived being shot in his Bellaire, Texas, driveway in 2009 by a cop who thought he was trying to steal his own car; Amadou Diallo, shot and killed in 1999 in the Bronx when police mistook his wallet for a gun; Sean Bell, killed in 2008 on his wedding day in Queens, New York, by cops who thought he had a gun; Oscar Grant III, fatally shot by an Oakland transit cop on New Year's Day in 2009 while restrained and on the ground; and now Trayvon, with only a pack of Skittles and a can of iced tea in his possession, shot dead on a Florida street.(Amber, 2012)
The State of Florida v. George Zimmerman was a criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman on the charge of second-degree murder stemming from the shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. This case has been regarded as one of the most controversial in a long time, sparking riots and new movements along with an opening of greater conversations about this country’s gun laws, legal system and racial profiling.
There was a time when Orenthal James Simpson was a very respected running back for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers, he was nicknamed “The Juice,” and was inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame in 1985. But O.J. is most famous for the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, murder trial. During the case, many issues regarding race affected the people’s emotions toward his verdict, and his innocence. With the evidence there was racial controversy, activity in the courtroom, and the verdict itself.
The election of Barack Obama as the 56th president of the United States raised many hopes that the “Black struggles” was finally over. For conservatives, Obama victory reassured their beliefs that there was no longer such thing as racism and that every American had equal rights and opportunity to pursue the American dream. While many people have come to believe that all races have equal rights in America, Tim Wise argues in his documentary “White Like Me” that not only does racism and unconscious racial bias still exist, but that also White Americans are unable to simply relate to the variety of forms racism and inequality Blacks experience. This is mainly because of the privileges they get as the “default.” While Wise explores the variety forms of racism and inequality today such as unconscious racism, Black poverty, unemployment, inadequate education system, and prison system, the articles by the New York Times Editorial Board, the Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Adam Liptak further explore some the disparities in the criminal justice system. Ana Swanson points out in her article, “The Stubborn Persistence of Black-White Inequality, 50 Years after Selma” that while the “U.S. has made big strides towards equal rights,” significant gaps still remains between the two races. With the Supreme Court striking down a “portion of the Voting Rights Act that stopped discriminatory voting laws from going into effect in areas of the country with histories of disenfranchisement,” civil
Attorney General Eric Holder earlier gave an address to the NAACP on the Zimmerman trial. His oration was likewise not aimed at binding wounds. Apparently he wanted to remind his anguished audience that because of the acquittal of Zimmerman, there still is not racial justice in America.
To engage a large audience, Staples appeals to readers with his use to two different points of views throughout the essay: societal views and black views. Staples tries to connect with the readers by giving examples of unconscious thoughts that run through the minds of most people when in the same situation as the “white women.” In his opening sentence, Staples calls the women a “victim.” In her own eyes, she herself was “victim” due to the influence of generalized stereotypes presented in our culture. She becomes quick to judge based on Staples appearance: his skin tone. Because of his color, his every action becomes nothing but threats and anxiety on the women. “She casted a back worried glance. To her, the youngish black- broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair, both hands shoved into the pockets of a
Peggy McIntosh, chapter on “White Privilege, color, and crime,” encourages readers to think about the world in the framework of race, class, and gender on a “White privilege” perspective. McIntosh
The shooting of Trayvon Martin is one of the most controversial incidents of the decade. Trayvon Martin was a young African American teen fallen victim to the evil of racial discrimination. One evening while walking home Trayvon was shot by a hispanic man named George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was on neighborhood patrol on a rainy day in Florida, and he noticed a black male walking through the neighborhood. He immediately jumped to conclusions and called the police who told him to leave the man walking alone because there was no need to follow him anyway, but Zimmerman did not listen. He confronted the young black male and after a little altercation Zimmerman shot the boy in an act of “self defense”. Zimmerman killed someone because of a profile created based on the color of someone's skin. Now besides the fact that a young boy was killed due to racial profiling, what’s even worse is the