George Zimmerman’s Heritage is Inconsequential

When I started looking at headlines about the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, one of the top results from Google was a you-tube video titled “(Jew) George Zimmerman Kills (Black kid)Trayvon Martin”. Then I found on Breitbart.com, “Media Labels Hispanic Man White in Shooting of Black Teen”.

We know now that George Zimmerman is Catholic. His father, Robert Zimmerman is apparently white and, based solely on his name, may be of Jewish decent. His mother is Peruvian.

George Zimmerman’s heritage is not of much consequence. We know that racial stereotypes can be held even by those affected by those stereotypes, as illustrated in the Clark Doll experiments. George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was a trouble maker who didn’t belong in his neighborhood, and while it’s possible that his assumption wasn’t based on Martin’s race, it seems extremely likely that it was. It wasn’t based on his own race.

Trayvor Martin’s death illustrates an important fact about race in America. That fact is not that Jews hate Blacks, Latinos hate Blacks or even Whites hate Blacks. The fact is that all of us too often assume the worst about Black people.