After an initial wave of agreement, a new raft of polling about Trayvon Martin‘s killing is making news, with headlines that all feature variations on the theme that there is a “racial divide” on this story. The implication is that there are divergent, yet equivalent, viewpoints on the racial aspects of this story, but a look at the numbers clearly shows that most white people are, at best, confused, and it’s not hard to see why.
The most glaring figure comes from a USA Today/Gallup poll in which people were asked “Would George Zimmerman have been arrested if the person he shot was white, or do you think (Trayvon) Martin’s race did not make a difference?”
While 73% of black people said Zimmerman would have been arrested had his victim been white, only 33% of white people thought so. The story in that bit of info isn’t “There’s a racial divide,” it’s “67% of white people are wrong.” If George Zimmerman gunned down a Skittle-wielding white kid, he’d be charged faster than a flux capacitor in a lightning storm. If you don’t instinctively know that, the consistent racial disparities in our criminal justice system, particularly with regard to the race of the victim, ought to seal the deal.
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