The role that race played in the George Zimmerman trial is one of the case’s more controversial aspects and continues to be debated (largely along partisan lines) nearly a week after the verdict was handed down.
Right-wing media publications have been touting a local news report lately that suggests Zimmerman couldn’t have been a racist because he tutored black youths and even did some “internal family campaigning” for President Barack Obama.
Those same publications have mocked the “liberal bias” of the mainstream media, challenging them to carry the story.
A dozen or so publications have been circulating the following claims about George Zimmerman, primarily from family members and friends. Per The Examiner:
- “He and a black friend opened up an insurance office in a Florida…”
- “He’d engaged in notably un-racist behavior such as taking a black girl to his high-school prom…”
- “Not only does he have black relatives, he has reportedly donated his time to tutor black children.”
- “He launched a campaign to help a homeless black man who was beaten up by a white kid.”
Additionally, they point out that the conservative outlet Breitbart.com reported on many of these claims as many as six months ago, well before the trial.
Brother Robert Zimmerman also described George as “a registered Democrat. He registered as a Hispanic. He kind of did some internal family campaigning for Obama.”
Robert Zimmerman has been made press rounds before and after the trial, performing what critics are calling “apologism” for his brother.
The question of whether or not race has anything to do with the George Zimmerman verdict and if so, how much, continues to be a point of contention between right-wing and left-wing media outlets.
While the left-wing’s apparently deliberate ignorance of these details is suspect, the right-wing media fails to explain how this information invalidates racial discussions in the case, and dangerously implies that it makes the death of an unarmed teenager something critics don’t have a right to be upset about.
What do you think of the role race plays in the George Zimmerman verdict? If Zimmerman can indeed be excused of racism himself, does race not have a place in the grand scope of the trial at all?