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George Zimmerman: Out Looking for Trouble

The insidious racism in this country is at the case's heart.

Colette Gaiter

The insidious, poisonous, cancerous, and aggressively protected racism in this country is at the heart of the Trayvon Martin case. Pretending to try the case based on "facts and evidence" in a court of law is a complete farce. This is a tragedy that happened as a result of assumptions and prejudices that are ubiquitous in our racist society.

Unfortunately, the jury trial is the first step given the system that we have. There was little evidence and no one knows what really happened except the two people involved.

But, George Zimmerman went out looking for trouble, sanctioned by his community. He acted in spite of instructions to stay in his car.

This all happened because he assumed Trayvon was up to no good. He has been taught to believe that every day of his life living in this country. Those assumptions are constantly reinforced.

Look at the statistics about whites convicted of killing blacks and vice versa. Guess who gets convicted more? And why are we not surprised when we hear these things?

The fact that Trayvon Martin is dead is a terrible tragedy. This should be a call to action for all of us to actively work on our racism and racist assumptions. Including the internalized racism carried by people of color when we are minorities in a racist culture. There are things we can all do every day toward this goal.

Do it in the hope there will be no more tragic unnecessary deaths like Trayvon Martin's.

Colette Gaiter is Associate Professor of Art, University of Delaware. She has contributed to Bad Subjects articles on Emory Douglas and on her 1990s interactive artworks The Pyramid and SPACE/R A C E.

Copyright © Colette Gaiter. All rights reserved.