The Trayvon Martin Case: He Existed While Black

Abby Zimet

After widespread outrage, protests and petitions, the FBI and Department of Justice will investigate the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, 17, in a gated community near Orlando by George Zimmerman, 28, a white, vigilante-minded "neighborhood watch volunteer" with a long history of calling police about “suspicious characters.” Zimmerman was armed with a 9-millimeter handgun; Martin carried a pack of Skittles and a can of iced tea. What made him suspicious, said a student at Florida A&M, "makes me suspicious." He was black.

"Sometimes, they do not see you...They see instead their own superstitions and suppositions, paranoia and guilt, night terrors and vulnerabilities. They see the perpetrator, the suspect, the mug shot, the dark and scary face that lurks at the open windows of their vivid imaginings. They see the unknown, the unassimilable, the other."


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