His first lawyers and advisers were too wrapped up in the publicity whirl to tend to their client’s best interests. But George Zimmerman now seems to have a savvy team around him – savvy enough to know that, if a prospective jury pool is going to be contaminated, they may as well throw in a little stinky stuff of their own.
Hence, last week, we were treated to the revelation that Zimmerman not only had black friends, not only had black neighbors, not only once had a couple of little black girls staying in his parents’ home, but he has black ancestry.
According to the strategically shared information, the man who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager walking through his neighborhood two months ago is the great-grandson of a part-African, part-Peruvian man.
And the people said, “So?”
Is there a biological rule that says, if you have a drop of black blood in you, you are immune to anti-black prejudices? If there is, it is a rule without enforcement, given the number of unquestionably black folks – including some very prominent ones – who seem allergic to their ethnicity, if not despising of it.
Zimmerman is entitled to a defense against the second degree murder charges brought against him, just as anyone would be. Arguably, the deluge of legitimate reporting and baseless gossip that is round-the-clock, ubiquitous, unavoidable and multifaceted makes him entitled to a defense in the court of public opinion as well as a court of law.
However, the “someofmybestfriends/neighbors/houseguests/great-grandfathers are” alibi won’t work. Or, rather, it shouldn’t. Since a good number of potential Zimmerman jurors are themselves likely to be adherents of that counterfeit logic, it probably can’t hurt to put his interracial résumé out there.
In the modern age, racism is too often defined by the extremes – heinous, premeditated murders; the use of invectives and slurs; participation in supremacist and separatist groups. The outrage over atrocities like those is as loud and sustained as it has ever been, more so than our ancestors would have ever believed possible.
Yet, we tend to give ourselves a pass on the everyday, subtle flecks of racism that pop into our heads and hearts – stereotypes, profiling, exclusions and such – and, most of the time, we get away with it because we are careful about whether and with whom we share such thoughts; or we take comfort in the faith that if one of “them” was hit by a car, we would rush to help.
Besides, some of our best friends, co-workers, even lovers are….
Again, it is the not an authentic defense. It may be a fine thing that a largely desegregated society has put us in touch with people we would, in bygone times, not have had an opportunity to know. And it is only natural that, in getting to know them, we have developed a genuine fondness or respect or love for some of the folks in our amalgamated circle.
But, the question is what do we believe – or assume – about the people we don’t get to know but whom we may encounter? And what is the basis of those beliefs or assumptions? Is it age or region or religion or nationality or race or fashion or weight or residency? Do we judge the book by its cover?
How well did George Zimmerman’s experience and lineage serve him on that fateful day?
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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