An Overlooked Fact about the Zimmerman Case


From the beginning, the media wanted to make the Zimmerman case about black vs. white.  That is why the story gained national attention in the first place.  I’m not going to make a judgment about whether race played a factor in what happened that night, and I realize how complex and personal individuals’ feelings about race can be.  Be that as it may, I have always been struck by the fact that Zimmerman did not “look” particularly “white”.  His surname is German, but beyond that I didn’t actually know anything  about his heritage until I saw the picture of his parents in the courtroom: a white father and an apparently Asian mother.  Does the narrative change at all because George Zimmerman is actually biracial?  Should it?  It’s a question that I’ve never heard anyone in the media bother to ask, though I admittedly have not listened to all of the endless hours of coverage. (I have better things to do with my time.) What I do know is that it says as much as anything about our racial attitudes that we define him only by his white father and not his Asian mother.  Were this portrayed in the media as an incident involving two minorities instead of black vs. white, for example, I am willing to bet that the debate would have been much different.

2 thoughts on “An Overlooked Fact about the Zimmerman Case

  1. Amy, as usual your comments are astute. I don’t know how much Zimmerman’s ethnic background played into his decision to pursue the suspicions person that turned out to be Trayvon Martin. But you are correct in asserting that it does affect the discussion. Zimmerman does not represent the White Supremacist, slave-owning White man that is so often the villain in the story for many Blacks and other radicals who like to keep the race “pot” stirred up.

    Unfortunately, for many, there are only two sides: the oppressed African Americans and the oppressive Whites and their racist cohorts.

    From the reaction of many, there was really no point in having a trial. They should have just “strung him up” in the first place.

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