The Ugliness That Awaits George Zimmerman’s Trial

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A new Ipsos/Reuters poll offers what looks to be an unfortunate preview of what lies ahead for the trial of George Zimmerman – particularly as it relates to how the population will potentially react.

Perhaps it’s not surprising to see that the attitudes towards Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting are heavily divided along racial lines, but it’s not any less disheartening. The poll finds that 91 percent of Blacks believe Trayvon was killed unjustly. Yet, only 35 percent of whites feel that way. The online poll also revealed that 59 percent of Hispanics believed Martin was wrongly shot by Zimmerman.

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On the report, Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson said, “This incident is one of the clearest splits we’ve seen between whites and Blacks.” You don’t say, Chris. You don’t say.

As comforting as it’s been to see the mainstream media respond to social media’s call for greater attention to the death of an unarmed Black teenager at the hands of a glorified vigilante, not every onlooker has reacted with empathy towards the situation.

New York Times columnists Charles M. Blow, a staunch advocate for Trayvon in print and on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, recently shared a racist voicemail he received on Twitter. Paid for his opinion, Blow’s commentary has been understandably passionate, which sadly welcomes an equally more fervent (albeit stupid) reply. But even the mildest of sentiments conveyed about Trayvon Martin are garnering mean spirited kickbacks.

In “I AM: A Young Black Man,” videographer Luis Antonio Thompson gathered several hood-donning Black youth to speak on racial prejudices that undoubtedly played into Zimmerman targeting Trayvon the night he died. Tonally, it was a highly subtle retort to the thug caricature Travyon and other Black men are subjected to over a piece of clothing. Even that, though, got pegged as ”liberal race baiting propaganda” on a conservative blog.

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