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Opinion

Opinion

‘White’ not really about race

March 25, 2012

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I’m here to explain why George Zimmerman is white.

This seems necessary given the confusion and anger with which some readers responded to my use of that word last week in this space to describe the man who shot an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin to death last month in Sanford, Fla. One person wrote: “Mr. Zimmerman was Hispanic not White plez do your homework before writing your column!!!!”

But it is they who are wrong. There are two reasons. The short one is this:

“Hispanic” is not a race, but an ethnicity. As the U.S. Census Bureau puts it in its 2010 Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, “People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be any race.”

The long reason begins with an understanding that the word in question — race — is a term both meaningful and yet, profoundly meaningless. It is meaningful in the sense that it provides a tool for tribalism and a means by which to organize our biases, fears, observations, social challenges and sundry cultural products. It is meaningless in the sense that, well ... it has no meaning, that there exists no definition of “black” or “white” that carries any degree of scientific precision.

We are taught to believe the opposite, that “black” and “white” are self-evident and immutable. But I invite you to look up Walter White, the blond, blue-eyed “Negro” who once led the NAACP, or Gregory Howard Williams, the university president who didn’t even know he was black until he was 10 years old. Dig up the old Jet magazine story about a woman who gave birth to twins — one “black,” one “white.” And then think again. Race is a fraud, a cruel and stupid fraud.

The people who came here from Europe did not automatically consider themselves “white.” They identified as Irish, Hungarian, Italian, Jewish, Armenian. As David R. Roediger observes in his book, “Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White,” they were emphatically taught that “white” was the identity that conferred status and privilege and that it was defined by distance from, and antipathy toward, black. They were advised to avoid being friendly with blacks or else put their whiteness at risk.

Nor did Africans kidnapped into slavery think of themselves as “black.” They were Mandinkan, Fulani, Mende, Songhay, Wolof. “Black” was something imposed upon them as justification for slavery and other means of exploitation. As one historian puts it: Africans did not become slaves because they were black. They became black because they were enslaved.

Well into the 20th century, America recognized dozens of “races.” In that America, people we now regard as white — the Irishman, Conan O’Brien; the Armenian, Andre Agassi; the Jew, Jerry Seinfeld — could not have taken for granted that they would be seen that way. People like this had to become white, had to earn whiteness, a feat African-Americans have found impossible to duplicate, no matter how many harsh chemicals they use on their hair and skin.

White, then, is not simply color, but privilege, not necessarily in the sense of wealth, but rather in the sense of having one’s personhood and individuality respected, a privilege so basic I doubt it registers with many whites as privilege at all. We’re talking about the privilege of being seen, of having your worth presumed, of receiving the benefit of the doubt and some human compassion, of being treated as if you matter.

Consider that, then consider the fair-skinned Hispanic man, George Zimmerman, who evidently stalked and killed an unarmed kid he wrongly thought was up to no good, yet was not arrested, nor even initially investigated. He said it was self-defense. Police took him at his word and sent him on his way.

Folks, that’s not just white. It’s blinding.

— Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

equalaccessprivacy 2 years ago

"Do I look Suspicious?" Powerful Trayvon campaign video:

http://campusprogress.org/articles/video_do_i_look_suspicious_howard_university_students_ask/

Freedom means being free of street harassment by strangers who approach you based on offensive assumptions and who are completely blind to your intelligence and spirit. It is a version of profiling. After all, yahoos can't obviously see what they themselves lack. I always felt free to be myself on the West Coast before running into the plug-stupid people in MO and KS.

I was chosen out of hundreds in my field to be one of three candidates at MO , and my colleagues treated me with the respect accomplished, capable people deserve, but the hateful street harassers and southern-justice bigots did me in by aggressively making their problems mine-- singling me out based on superficial characteristics for abuse. Dang, I so despise southern culture and the sexist, patronizing , self-flattering, insincere intrusiveness that passes for good manners in places like KS--just too retrograde. MO is backward, but KS has 'em beat by far.

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geoismeo 2 years ago

I find tusches use of the word "whitey" to be offensive and racist.

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begin60 2 years ago

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booyalab 2 years ago

White is when you get your simple facts so wrong that even people who can't spell call you out on it.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

I should add, initially they said a $10k "bounty" on Zimmerman. "Bounty" carries with it an implication of dead or alive.

boun·ty    [boun-tee] Show IPA

noun, plural -ties. 1. a premium or reward, especially one offered by a government: There was a bounty on his head. Some states offer a bounty for dead coyotes.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Wonder if the congressional black caucus will invite Zimmerman's parents up to DC if the New Black Panther's bounty is successful in getting Zimmerman killed?

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

The protests are all about raising money at this point. The usual rabble rousers are going to keep this going as long as they can. Remember the Tawana Brawley hoax?

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LJ Whirled 2 years ago

"who evidently stalked and killed an unarmed kid"

Wow! This really seems like race-baiting. Neither Pitts nor I have much idea what happened around the time of the shooting. The police, who do have an idea what happened, are labelled 'racist' for their perception .... Pitts and Al Sharpton are heroes for provoking hysteria with the facts to back up their rants.

This looks like a rush to judgment, without factual basis.

My gut reaction was that Zimmerman was an overzealous wannabe, and went beyond what a Neighborhood Watch person ought to be doing. That said, I cannot say, based on what has been released, that he was in the wrong at the time of the shooting, or that Trayvon was in the wrong. I don't know, and Al Sharpton doesn't know, and none of you readers can possibly know. Could be that Zimmerman is a whack-job that shot an innocent kid; could be that Trayvon was a whack-job that killed an innocent neighborhood watch guy. You don't know. How can you protest based on something where you may be entirely wrong?

The protests are hysteria, unless there are facts to back up the rants.

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verity 2 years ago

Larry Native: "if what the shooter is saying is true, it was justified."

No. It. Was. Not.

Zimmerman left his vehicle with his gun and pursued a person who was walking down the street minding his own business. If, in fact (and we're to believe the shooter, of course), Martin turned around and beat the s#*# out of the person who was pursuing him, wasn't Martin then within his rights?

Some of you are really reaching to try to make Zimmerman into the victim. He killed An. Innocent. Person. Whether Martin "was no angel" or not is completely and totally irrelevant. Doesn't matter if he smarted off to Zimmerman (and we will never know what really happened, will we, because dead people tell no tales), Zimmerman was the one who started this. He was the aggressor. No twisting of the facts can change that.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years ago

I guess I'll wait and let the judicial system figure it out since, unlike most of you, I did not witness the crime.

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

Trayvon's mom is trying to trademark his name so she can cash in. I can see the reality show now, "Who wants to commit assault and battery on an armed man?"

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

Is there a web site available to send money for the "bounty" blacks have on Zimmerman?

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50YearResident 2 years ago

Websters* (not really) Sucker Punch: When a coward waits until your back is turned and hits you with all his strength intending to cause great bodily harm. Applies to all races.

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equalaccessprivacy 2 years ago

Beyond the wrenching loss for Trayvon's family and the widespread sense of social injustice experienced by many who identify or empathize when hearing about his case and remembering similar ones from the past, his murder is a teaching moment about white privilege. Anyone who can walk the streets of Lawrence, without the fear they will be inappropriately approached and bothered by strangers on the basis of gender or perceived physical limitation( let alone race) is enjoying a form of the same privilege. "Hi. You deserve to be discriminated against. Even though I'm obviously not a thinking person and not good for much of anything, my backwoods parents raised me to approach strangers and announce I'm a mindless, prejudiced bumpkin: Need help?" Here's another great article I found about white privilege today:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/trayvon-martins-death-this-white-womans-reality-check.html?page=1

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HomeSlice 2 years ago

Beatrice, et al, what say you to the other side of the story (with witnesses)??

SANFORD, Fla. — With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the neighborhood watch volunteer who eventually shot to death the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times, leaving him bloody and battered, authorities have revealed to the Orlando Sentinel.

That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say.

In his version of events, he had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from behind, the two exchanged words then Trayvon punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him. Police have been reluctant to provided details about all their evidence, but this is what they've disclosed to the Sentinel:

Trayvon was visiting his father's fiancee, who lived there. He had been suspended from school in Miami after being found with an empty marijuana baggie. Miami schools have a zero-tolerance policy for drug possession.

Zimmerman called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.

Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.

There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they're not sure what happened.

Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.

Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police.

Trayvon then said, "Well, you do now" or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose. Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.

Zimmerman began yelling for help.

Several witnesses heard those cries, and there has been a dispute about from whom they came: Zimmerman or Trayvon.

Lawyers for Trayvon's family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.

One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.

Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest from very close range, according to authorities. When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head. Truth has yet to be determined - but you ran to the 'racist' conclusion. May or may not prove out to be what the media has concocted, but sure shows the knee-jerk racists you all seem to be.

Hmmmmm......

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

malvo's accomplice is still incarcerated and malvo was executed a couple of years ago. don't let facts get in front of your trolling nonsense. clown.....kennewick man was claimed by Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Yakima peoples and was reburied without study. trolling doesn't require facts or intelligence so we know you didn't finish school. yahoo news is where you belong with the other winners.

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Gotland 2 years ago

Why was the racist beltway snipers motive down played by the national media.? He admitted to targeting and kiling as many white people as he could find, at random no less.

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tbaker 2 years ago

This tragic story would have no traction had the shooter been black.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

observant? beatrice? any takers? vertigo?

What's the far-left blogs telling you on how to process this information?

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Uh-oh race baiters!

(Reuters) - George Zimmerman is not a racist and cried for days after shooting dead a black Florida teenager, a black, longtime friend of Zimmerman said on Sunday in a sympathetic portrayal of a man maligned by critics as a trigger-happy bigot.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/25/us-usa-florida-shooting-friend-idUSBRE82O0FE20120325

Curious tidbit in above article:

"Zimmerman dropped out of public view shortly after the shooting and his whereabouts were unknown. The New Black Panther Party, an African American organization taking its name from the radical group of the 1960s, has placed a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman."

Don't s'pose that'll raise too many eyebrows in the corrupt race-baiting liberal media.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

denegrating one's ethnicity by having primate in head dresses....not racist at all... besides you're not smart enough to realize what you do anywany...this country is falling behind in the world and Canadians told my father when he travelled through there last fall that they thought this country was full of lunatics and hillbillies...they're right. ignorance is to be celebrated. a couple of you need to give yourselves a hand as jeff foxworthy and larry the cable guy use you as punch lines.....

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

This thread has become tuschie celebrating his eternal victimhood?

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

you may have changed your avatar....but guess what genius...I cut and pasted it and sent it to myself and to indianz.com. there's evidence of what you did.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

nice reversal and subject change....common tactics of guilty conservatives... you chose to offend me witt a racist headdress on a monkey avatar....did you think this is appropriate??? what planet do you hail from...mississippi??? you use a monkey in a headdress avatar...I'm a Choctaw/Biloxi descendant who has been war whooped by college students at Baker University a couple of years ago at a Baker versus Haskell basketball game. Due to those racist actions these two schools no longer play each other in basketball. you say offensive comments to get a rise out of people and you thnk you should not have to be confronted by the people you offend....what planet do you live on???? it must suck to know you can't get over on someone like me. i will not tolerate your nonsense. I have stood with members of the American Indian Movement when they protested the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs mascots a couple of years ago. I was called all kinds of vile names by people like you as I stood with the late Ojibwe activist Vernon Bellecourt who protested mascots in Cleveland, D.C., Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and Atlanta before KC with many other native people. Calling me out on my grammar....waaaagh... even with my grammar I'm ten times smarter than you. pathetic.

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Ray Parker 2 years ago

I' m confused, ain't Hispanics colored?

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

still in denial after having a monkey in a headdress? I hope you don't run into any people who are willing to publically let you know how racist that avatar is. after being dealt with you will finally be forced to admit you said something racist and paid for it publically. you are clueless....

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its_just_math 2 years ago

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

firstly nahollo ilbasha....shukha holisso pisa li. you're not racist at all. jack abramov referred to his mississippi choctaw lobbying clients as monkeys and had to answer to an enraged Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell, a US Senator and Cheyenne Indian in a US senate on indian affairs hearing during the indian lobbying and theft debacle that sent abramov and a number of republican politicians to jail or prison seven years ago. there were e mails stating the monkey reference that abramov was caught up on. you have no idea of the mess you've just stepped in. i'm forwarding your racist id picture to indianz.com. now you will truly be known as a racist nationally.

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ThePilgrim 2 years ago

"People like this had to become white, had to earn whiteness, a feat African-Americans have found impossible to duplicate, no matter how many harsh chemicals they use on their hair and skin." Ridiculous. Using this logic would underscore the way that blacks supposedly treat successful African Americans - by calling them "white". Shame on you Pitts! I live in a nice townhome neighborhood where the rent is "too damn high".. One of my neighbors, an African American, has a vanity license plate that says "KEEPH8N". Apparently he feels the same as Pitts, or he feels guilty and the vanity plate gives him "street cred".

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

about two weeks ago I was on yahoo news where all the racists hang out due to no moderator. I wondered why a couple of you weren't on there or maybe you were with your real names. the article in question dealt with the increase in mixed-race marriages in census data. looking through the posts I saw a gigantic stars and bars posting ID and the poster was from Jasper, Texas, where James Byrd was dragged to death. He spoke very eloquently about his hate. So much so that I almost contacted the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center after i saw the post and yes the poster identified as klan. Don't tell me racism doesn't exist. I saw a mennonite choctaw church near bok chito, mississippi that had been rebuilt. it's just down the road from the Choctaw holy mound "Nunih Waiya" where my ancestors came from. the klan burned down that church as a message after tribal members informed the fbi where the freedom rider's station was left in a swamp on choctaw lands in 1963-64. those of you who play the reverse racism card to duck culpability are only fooling yourselves and haley barbour and bill o' reilly.

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

In less hysterical news: "..The impression is being generated that young black men are continuously hunted by white men, and killed. So I wanted to know the exact figures. The most recent, those of 2009, I could find are on the site of the Department of Justice. About 13% of the population is black. About 80% is white (this number includes Hispanics). In 2009, 2,963 white individuals were killed by white offenders. White offenders killed 209 black individuals. In that same year, 2,604 black individuals were killed by black offenders. And 454 white individuals were killed by black offenders...." http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/03/23/crime-and-the-numbers-game/

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verity 2 years ago

Those of you claiming that racism is not alive in the US today---have you ever put yourself in the shoes of someone of another race or religion? I realize that being a woman doesn't have the same stigma as being a darker color, but I do know something of what it is to be considered inferior merely because I am a woman or because of my appearance (yes, I'm a blond).

It was only about 150 years ago that blacks in this country were slaves---they were bought and sold like animals. A very bloody war was fought to keep society as it was. I'm sure sometimes blacks see racism where it isn't, but when you've been discriminated against because of inborn characteristics, a lot of things are going to look like racism, whether they are or not.

That said, I do believe there were some racial slurs recorded in the 911 call.

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BornAgainAmerican 2 years ago

Will it be possible for Zimmerman to get a fair trial anywhere in the United States after Obama has "adopted" Martin publicly and the Liberal Balmestream media has convicted him already?

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Armstrong 2 years ago

The left is awfullyt stirred up today and why not you get to yell racist with your racist buddy Pitts. I was wondering where is all the outrage when the same race kills one another off ? I forgot it's all about the show for the rest of the self righteous left to slap each other on the back and give those mental hugs for being so tolerant and caring for others.

.So are the caring and tolerant going to be content if " the man" charges the Barney Fife wanna be with manslaughter ?

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

why do some people reverse actual white practice of lynch mobs to claim malarkey about reverse racism. who believes you? you hang your own.....ever heard of the white mob who dragged Morman prophet Joseph Smith out of a jail where he was held for his own safety in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1839? I'm no fan of Morman claims of origin for Native Americans or the indoctrination or the black market adoption of Native children which led to the passing of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 but there is a perfect rebuttal to your nonsense. White people have had more lynch mobs than anyone else. I referenced Elmer Jackson of Topeka being wrongly lynched in Duluth, Minnesota in 1920 recently. You weren't listening.....conservative people don't listen to history other than george will or texas textbooks which cleanse the majority of racial sins in the print of denial. Thirty-eight Dakota warriors hung in masse in 1862 by white settlers in Minnesota after Dakota people defended their lands against invasion and intential starvation and took the lives of hundreds of invaders who sought to wipe them out and succeeded in ethnically cleansing much of southern Minnesota of Dakota people exileing them to Nebraska, South Dakota, and Canada. Reverse racism... oxymoron term created by people with guilty consciences after Civil Rights laws were passed in 1960's.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

"White" sucks.

My family is "tiptoeing" through these "colorful" beauties again this year.

http://www.goskagit.com/news/local_news/article_9bdf62b5-0d9a-593c-9b05-7e973b91df02.html

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

Here's hoping Zimmerman has a shotgun close to hand when the lynch mob shows up.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

naw.....I've been a victim of white exclusion...Ask the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department. February 8, 2009, my wife and I were heading up I-35 to the OK-66 exit in Edmond, Oklahoma at 11:30 am in the morning. I had a miata with Missouri tags pass me and yet I was pulled over allegations of seat belt not on....it was. I had hair out of pony tail with Kansas tags. We'd just spent a couple of hundred dollars watching a still bad OKC Thunder team beat the Blazers the night before. My wife wanted to go to US 66 museum in Clinton, Oklahoma. Ironically, those people don't know their history and gave me three different distances to travel.. none of which were correct. As I was summoned to profiling cops car he freaked out as I put my hands in my pocket to get wallet. Never been assumed guilty in broad daylight before. Ten minutes later he knew his profile was wrong and he asked my wife questions hoping for a slip up. Imagine if he'd gone Zimmerman on me shooting an unarmed innocent man in daylight on a Saturday morning? Same thing happened on a old US 75 later that year in September north of Carbondale. My wife and I alone on old highway followed for no reason by Osage County Sheriff's Dept. The trumped up ticket for blinker stuck in court but judge did let my wife say on the stand in Lyndon, Kansas, that she felt we were profiled over the objections of the Kobach look alike prosecuting attorney. Truth spoken but who won.... not whitey....not at all....

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

tuschie, I think Pitts would lump you in with the white folks.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Many here also forget---the C.O.P. has stepped down at least for now, and admittance of blundering is all out there. The SPD knows they made mistakes. But, that's why we have those like Al Sharpton to bring them to light. sarcasm

Even Fox News posed many questions, suspicious and saw something stunk to high heaven. Still, here we go again, the leftist establishment, making political hay out of someone's death or misfortune---well before the facts are all in and there is a trial even.

Martin seemed like a good kid, handsome and this is tragic. Then again, here comes the leftist vultures to exploit his death for political gain. Also tragic.

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kugrad 2 years ago

This is an outstanding article. Pitts really nails it on this one with an extremely accurate description of race in America today.

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jhawkinsf 2 years ago

Just wondering... If a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim, all of European decent, are all considered equally "white" by other ethnic groups? If they equally consider themselves to be "white". I wonder this because I wonder what Mr. Zimmerman considered himself to be?

If Obama, with one black parent and one white parent considers himself black, he's black, right? If society views him as black, he's black, right? If Zimmerman viewed himself hispanic and society viewed him as hispanic, he's hispanic, right?

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beatrice 2 years ago

I don't care what "color" Zimmerman is. Agree with Pitts or not on how to describe Zimmerman, it does not change the fact that a kid got killed for walking down the street while Black. (Would a White teen girl have been confronted similarly by Zimmerman?)

To anyone supporting Zimmerman, I just wonder, how would you feel if an armed adult was following your teen as he or she walked down the street toward your house, then gets out of his vehicle and confronts your teen, gun at the ready? Put it in that context, then tell me how you would feel. Would it matter if the armed adult neighbor stopping your child for questioning were "White" or "Brown"?

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voevoda 2 years ago

An awful lot of white privilege speaking on this forum. People who haven't been subjected to prejudice because of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender sometimes can't fathom what it's like to encounter it. But obviously the very idea that they could lose their privileged position scares them, which is why they claim a) prejudice doesn't really exist, except in the minds of minority members; and/or b) white, Christian, males of northwestern European extraction are the real victims.

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Mixolydian 2 years ago

I see his point. A white immigrant from South Africa could be called an African American, as could an arab immigrant from Egypt.

People also confuse religion with race. It happens here on this website frequently. Say something negative about islamic terrorists and get inexplicably called a racist.

Is Sotomajor the first latino/hispanic on the US Supreme Court or do you go all the way back to Benjamin Cardozo, whose lineage is Portuguese?

In this case, Zimmerman self idenitifes as hispanic. If that's how folks here are describing him, it's only because they are taking him at his word.

I think what's interesting about this case is few folks are discussing the racism that exists between blacks and hispanics. Anyone that works in corrections or law enforcement deals with it daily.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

people don't try to run interference when they're wrong do they? laissez faire cops looked the other way like some of the esteemed posters on here would want. Whitey tried to sweep it under the carpet....sorry baa enough history has already been swept under the carpet as archie bunker would want it.

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BornAgainAmerican 2 years ago

Apparently, we don't know all of the facts yet. That's why they have trials. The liberal, blamestream media and the Larryville Lumatic Fringe have already convicted Martin. Of course Pitts did his very best to blame whitey. What else is new? I'll let the jury decide this one.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

Colonialism and ethnic cleansing are the culprits here. All of Europe colonized North America and Brazil and Spain and to a way lesser extent Britain, Holland, and France colonized South America. Down there Indians, Meztizos, Criollios, Peninsulares, and Maroons existed in name due to catagorizing by the White European Spaniards and Portuguese. When a colonizing country sets out to divide and conquer they create the racial catagorizations to maintian their social caste system. Down there Indios is a slur at the bottom of the identity structure.

Americans being the oblivious people they are don't realize that the Indians down there spoke hundreds of languages like Quicha and Aymara and that countries like Peru, Bolivia, Equador, and Brazil still have large Indian populations. Countries like Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay have been ethnically cleansed with lots of European last names. The NBA is a perfect example.....Andres Nocioni... European Argentinian, Manu Ginobli....same......Anderson Verajao.... Portuguese..... Tiago Splitter..... Portuguese, Beno Udrih....... Argentinian. Spaniards and Euro-American immigrants created these labels to maintain power. Why did Apartheid exist in name? to maintain power. Why did the Racial Purity laws exist in Virginia under Eric Plecker to label Pamunkey and Mattiponi and Monacan Indians as colored until the 1960's....to maintain White power in Virginia. Who created blood quantum and the one drop rule? White colonial Virginians who used said laws to legally disenfranchise Gingaskin and Nottaway indians in the 19th century. Why does the census ask so many questions about Hispanics on the census with the whole in the household bit? paranoid racism. Beyond that the whole blood quantum issue created genocide by paper as advocated by the White power structure in the Commonwealth of Virginia which was adopted by the rest of the south in the midst of Jim Crow laws. Spanish and American title are paper genocide in effect. Who puts down history on here unless it's the white textbook version with gloss overs and cowardly attacks me for stating said history above? I will take liberty from naming three or four people. White is an attitude of priviledge for which multi culturism can't get in the way of denial....don't believe me.....ask Pat Buchanan for one of his enlightened views like the ones that made him unemployed on tv....

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Good post Jon. Fact is, if I tonight, wandered down Prospect or Troost unarmed and was killed by a bullet from a black man's gun, every left-wing zealot's initial reaction would be, "What in the heck was he doing down there in the first place". And the news would make a 20 second report---end of story---by, by math.

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costello 2 years ago

More power to Mr. Pitts. I read the comments by people who are clearly racist but seems to be genuinely blind to that fact, and I want to throw up my hands. If it were a mental illness, we'd say that they lacked insight into their condition.

For those who didn't read past the headline (I'll confess sometimes I skip from the headline to the comments ;-) ), I thought the following paragraph was particularly important. It would be a useful exercise to imagine what it would be like to be labelled "suspicious," reported to the police, and followed for no reason other than one's skin color.

"White, then, is not simply color, but privilege, not necessarily in the sense of wealth, but rather in the sense of having one’s personhood and individuality respected, a privilege so basic I doubt it registers with many whites as privilege at all. We’re talking about the privilege of being seen, of having your worth presumed, of receiving the benefit of the doubt and some human compassion, of being treated as if you matter."

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Jon Jambor 2 years ago

It had to happen: Since real racism is nearly nonexistent (see: White House, and President therein) the definition of racist has to be expanded. Otherwise, where will Pitts and his fellow race hustlers get their material?

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Cato, read your link above. But what the state is going to ram-rod is that the "stand your ground" rule is tossed out in this case because it's reported that Zimmerman kept following Martin when he was told not to. If you think cops are always going to show up timely or keep you safe, think again.

Remember a month or so ago the elderly man in Berkeley who called 911 and the cops didn't immediately respond claiming it was merely a trespassing call and they were too involved in preparing for the next round of Fleabagger protests to send an officer to the residence? Well, 67 year old Peter Cukor (white) was beaten to death with a flower pot by a 23 year old Daniel DeWitt (black) .

Remember how much press time that got?

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thuja 2 years ago

Am I reading this right- Pitts debunks race, telling us it is an illusion, Then he says the shooter was not just white, but blinding.

Well, which is it?

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RoeDapple 2 years ago

According to my dear departed grandmother I am "part German, part French, part Italian, part Mexican, part Negro, and (her words) don't tell anybody but part Indian." I think grandma was a bit confused. I know she confused me. I thought I was from Kansas City.

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JustNoticed 2 years ago

PItts is not making this up. Race is a social construct and he is simply pointing that out.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Wondering too how many whites or "white latinos" will be beat or killed or suffer some type of retribution throughout this sure-to-be long and drawn out debacle. How will the corrupt liberal media handle those occurences? Probably a blip, if we even get that. You'll have to tune in to Fox to get those stories in any depth.

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observant 2 years ago

Reading posts posted today, it's obvious the racist rightwing nutcases here don't understand difference between race and ethnicity.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

I am a descendent of "Kennewick Man" and Pitts is not.

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Abdu Omar 2 years ago

When filling out federal forms of any kind there is a section on the bottom that states:

Are you Hispanic or Latino: yes or no

What is your racial background: Then lists several choices one being white.

Pitts, I think, is right. You can be a black hispanic or a white hispanic. I give you the population of Haiti, most of whom were from Africa and they use the Spanish language.

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nascar 2 years ago

I am white and Pitts is correct.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Recalling the cheering crowds when OJ was set free. You superstars remember that? .....After he slaughtered a white woman and a Jewish guy.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

The Obama said, if he had a son "He would look like me".

I wonder if Martin Sheen, Cameron Diaz and Raquel Welch, White hispanics, think "Trayvon" looks half "Kansan?

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

Welcome to the Brave New World of tribalism, mob rule and selective outrage.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Pitts is right, I think---kinda, sorta. My understanding, and I may be a bit off here, is that if a latino beats my brains out with a baseball bat, I'm white; he/she is white. I beat a latino's brains out with a baseball bat, I'm white; he/she is latino. Something like that.

God bless America on this absolutely beautiful Sunday!

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50YearResident 2 years ago

All you Hispanics will glad to know you are no longer Hispanic, you are now "White" , according to Pitts.

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Armstrong 2 years ago

Pitts is like that kid in 3rd grade who would eat bugs for attention. Sad

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Liberty275 2 years ago

This Pitts nutcase can't get passed the color of people's skin at all can he? He needs to play with his dog or something.

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grammaddy 2 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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observant 2 years ago

Wow, Pitts will have all the racists in full rant today. Bet the comments will top 100 before noon as soon as the rightwing nutcases get their blood pressure down and pulse rate under control.

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Liberty_One 2 years ago

I like the conceit in Pitts thinking he knows so much about white people. I'm sure if a white person wrote a similar article telling black people what it means to be black, Pitts would welcome such an effort and praise its accuracy and depth.

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