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  #51  
Old 03-28-2012, 11:49 AM
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My hope (and its far fetched) is that it will actually open dialogue on prejudice and media portrayal of "suspicious people". That people will realize a black woman going missing or a black child missing should be JUST as a major news story as a white one..on and on. That people stop seeing "us" and "them" (on all sides)
That's my hope as well. Whatever the exact facts, this happened because someone looked at a human being and only saw a stereotype. People need to look into themselves and think . . . what would I have thought if I saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street? (Not what would I have done, most people would not act as Mr. Zimmerman did).

I'll admit, I envisioned what Mr. Zimmerman says he saw, and there were little alarm bells. Completely irrational little alarm bells. Like everyone else in our society, I've been inundated with images that saw that dark skinned people in hoodies are dangerous. They aren't, of course. At least, no more dangerous than white people in hoodies or dark skinned people wearing windbreakers. Its pervasive. I KNOW better, and yet its there.

Mr. Zimmerman pulled the trigger and appears to be a self-important busybody of the worst sort. But I'm willing to believe he's not a raging bigot. What makes him different from anyone else who summons up the stereotype is that he acted on those little alarm bells without thinking and that he happened to have a gun and a serious case of wanna-be-a-cop.

But we need to ALL think really hard about those little alarm bells and the stereotypes that set them off . . . because one thing that does share responsibility in Martin's death is an all pervasive stereotype.

As an aside, it looks like the cops wanted to charge him. Good. That actually is a great relief to me that they didn't just accept his story. But I'm still baffled at why they didn't collect evidence? They were apparently proceeding to grand jury . . . which means this may all turn out to be outrage over the stupidity of one man who was going to be tried anyway. But I still can't figure out why they apparently didn't collect evidence or call Martin's family right away. There is much more to this story.
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  #52  
Old 03-28-2012, 11:56 AM
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I remember being horrified at myself when I was around 10. I was always fairly anxious around teenagers, they were scary to me (highschool aged). When walking home from school late some days (I had lessons nearby once a week after school) I would be alone and the highschool let out right around then. I went to private school so all the kids were really strangers to me. I used to always cross the street when a big groups of teens or kids were walking on the same side as me. One day I thought to myself, if there were two groups, on opposite sides, how would I choose. I thought about color and was horrified when I realized I may actually base my decision on that. I grew up in a VERY diverse area, and for me to have an almost instinctual reaction like that, it shook my world.
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  #53  
Old 03-28-2012, 04:55 PM
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One of the things that has struck me as the most bizarre about this case is the sudden insistence by some of the left that Zimmerman is "white." He is not "white." He is half-Hispanic, and looks more than half-Hispanic. Just the way the genes worked out, doesn't matter. But it does make him a member of what is ordinarily considered a minority, and it could subject him to prejudice in some parts of this country, even though he has a "white" (actually, likely Jewish, for what it matters) name.

To which these folks on the left respond that the U.S. census says that Hispanics are a Spanish speaking white minority. Umm, well fine. Except that, err . . . although there are "white" Hispanics, most people commonly identified as "Hispanic" have a distinctive look from having more than a little Native American ancestry from way back when. This is, um, not a secret. Nor is it a secret that most such Hispanics are of a darker skin tone and are, in some parts of the United States subject to a certain amount of prejudice resulting from the fact that you can tell that they are "Hispanic" at a glance, regardless of whether they speak a word of Spanish.

Indeed, had a blond haired, blue-eye white guy shot someone who was wearing a hoodie and looked like Mr. Zimmerman, many of these same people would be accusing said hypothetical white guy of racism against a Hispanic guy. As they accuse people all the time who discriminate (or seem to discriminate) against Hispanic people. Indeed, one of the major critiques of harsh immigration laws is that they are racist.

Now, I have no doubt that Mr. Zimmerman thought Mr. Martin looked suspicious because he was black and wearing a hoodie. But admitting that Mr. Zimmerman is himself a racial minority doesn't change that. He doesn't have to be "white" to make an assumption about someone else because of their race. Indeed, studies have shown that stereotyping has made lots of people more leery of black men . . . including other black people.

I have simply been astounded (and appalled) by this turn around on whether Hispanics are a "race" and discrimination against them "racism" and this resort to the census defintions of all bloody things, just so they can claim that this is a black/white thing. Why not a black/brown or black/tan or black/Spanish-Native American ancestry thing? Why not a black stereotyping thing? Why does your ideology require that Mr. Zimmerman be white? Even if you assume that he is a raving bigot (I don't actually think he is), is there some rule saying that a half-Hispanic multiracial guy can't be bigoted against black people?

A little off topic, but its just struck me as so freaking weird. And, bluntly, racist. I generally don't buy the "the left are the racist ones" trope (see all the flagrantly racist stuff being said about Trayvon on the right), but the level of hypocrisy, and yes, anti-white racism being spewed is astounding. All the more so because some of the commentators insisting that he is white "because Hispanics aren't a race" are white. I'm not offended by this, really, but I am sort of amazed.

Disclaimer: I personally do not care what "race" Mr. Zimmerman is, or is not. But you can't claim Hispanics are a race when they are victims then say they are white when they are the apparent aggressor. Nor will I pretend that I am unaware that there is a Hispanic "look" and that Mr. Zimmerman has it.
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  #54  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:09 PM
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You can't be racist against white people... everyone knows that

totally off topic but I always found it strange that whenever I take a survey it asks what race you are and then when you select white it says "are you spanish, hispanic or latino" and I always thought that was weird... uh no... I'm white lol
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  #55  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:24 PM
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You can't be racist against white people... everyone knows that

totally off topic but I always found it strange that whenever I take a survey it asks what race you are and then when you select white it says "are you spanish, hispanic or latino" and I always thought that was weird... uh no... I'm white lol
The reason for that is that many Hispanics consider themselves to be whites . . . AND back in the 1800s/early 1900s when people were really obsessed with race, "Hispanic" wasn't one of the "basic" races (because the people who were determined to chop humanity into races knew that the people we now call 'Hispanics" were a mix between the "Caucasian" and "Indian" "races"). The result of this is that there are lot of people and ethnic groups who don't really "fit" into a "race". So Hispanics are treated as a subset of "white" for the purposes of surveys. Which doesn't mean they don't suffer prejudice because of physical ethnic traits.

Its amazing how many of our "race" issues are still tied up with century or more old pseudo-scientific racial theories, and that categories invented then are still the basis of the categories on our census forms, although some changes have been made. Equally weird is the exact meaning of "white" in U.S. culture and how that has changed over time . . . but that's a whole other discussion and really totally irrelevant.
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  #56  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:33 PM
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I hope this works, it's the first time I have attempted to copy and paste since updating the phone. I found this article to be pretty interesting and thought provoking so I thought I would share: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...183789698.html
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