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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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