It was late at night when George Zimmerman saw a suspicious character roaming his neighborhood. It made him uneasy–and why not? His neighbor’s house had been broken into recently. He had every right to be alert and worried. The ‘suspicious character’ also happened to match the description of the previous thieves: a young black man wearing jeans and a hoodie. If it was not one of the culprits from before, something still made him call the police. Was it the hoodie? Was it the bag of skittles the young man was holding? Or was it the fact that he was black?
Did Zimmerman racially profile that young man? There is stigma that comes with being a black man in America. Many view them as dangerous, violent, lazy–generally up to no good. “They always get away,” Zimmerman told police on the phone that night. Who was the “they” he was referring to? Thieves? Misfits? Or young black men?
It is debatable whether or not Zimmerman racially profiled that young man that night, but what is not debatable is that he was not going to let “them” get away with it. That young black man was Trayvon Martin, and many believe that he was a victim of racial profiling.
He viewed him as a thug or thief, just as other Americans view black men. Today on Power Talk with Lorraine we discussed the racial profiling of Trayvon Martin and all black men. What is your take on racial profiling? Do you think that Trayvon was a victim of racial profiling?
FRIDAY’S POWER TALK WITH LORRAINE: