Zimmerman Trial Analysis

Decent Essays

From an initial standpoint, it would seem as though the logic of the journalists covering the Zimmerman trial makes sense, as the jurors were women, surely they would hold an unconscious bias against a defendant accused of being responsible for the wrongful death of a child. However, the media personnel covering the trial failed to account for the socioeconomic factors that were occurring in tandem with obvious racial politics that ‘marked’ both the defendant and the prosecution, allowing the jurors to reach a verdict based on the alleged stereotypical roles they played during the events of the shooting. It is not to say though that any of the jurors were actively supporting Zimmerman because of his whiteness, but an assumption can be made …show more content…

From an initial standpoint, their membership on the jury may have suggested an effort to be impartial, but inherent similarities found between them provided a sort of ‘shelter’ that dampened any meaningful discourse concerning the details of the trial verdict. Superficially, an all female jury invokes an impression of a traditional type of feminism that is characterized by “peace, victimhood, and innocence”, traits that are linked to an idealistic sense of mercy that is related back to a general concept of womanhood. Their justification for Zimmerman’s actions comes from an experience commonly shared between most of them: motherhood, and the desire to maintain the safety of their own families and communities through surveillance, with one jury member even using the case as a cautionary example to warn her children when she first learned about it. They saw Zimmerman, who was a neighborhood watchman at the time, doing his job, simply adhering to the “. . . [definition of] the work of security as everyone’s [community member] job.” And their dismissal of Martin’s murder as just an “unfortunate accident” stems from a conscious comparison of pros and cons, a byproduct of a “ . . . [woman’s intrinsic] concern about security”. In Grewal’s essay, she cites Ellen …show more content…

And for most American women who have never viewed the experiences of outsiders as anything other than a disruption to their own, their inability to contemplate the racial context of modern American politics “reflects the extent of [their own] . . . victimization” (hooks, 119). Simply put, the socialization of (white) American women shields them from “confronting the reality of racism, and not just racism as a general evil but the race hatred they might harbor in their psyches” (hooks, 122), creating an “us vs them” dichotomy that is maintained through “the right to assume the role of oppressor in relationship to black women and black men” (hooks, 123) that is granted by the (white) patriarchy that in turn, oppress them through their feminine roles in society. So ingrained is this ideology that several of the women jurors rationalized the murder of an unarmed black child by assuming that the victim was just as responsible for the tragedy as the perpetrator, that Martin was “suspect”, and therefore it was his fault that he allowed himself to be profiled in a threatening way that would result in a (defensive)

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