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Black thug? Gangsta? Criminal? The only person who exhibited thuggish behavior in that whole sorry mess was George Zimmerman. I promise you that if the races were any other combination -- Martin white and Zimmerman Asian, Martin Native American and Zimmerman Latino*, whatever -- it wouldn't be a media sensation and Zimmerman would be doing time. The rally was not merely to protest the Zimmerman verdict, it was to protest the "pre-emptive profiling" of black males as dangers to society merely for existing. Believe me, the protesters and the organizations that hosted the rally are very concerned about the local violence perpetuated upon the black community, whether it is "black on black" or interracial violence. They are in those areas of Wilmington and New Hanover County every single day, working with teenagers and their families through the churches, through the schools, through the neighborhoods, and with individuals and their family members, trying to help them cope with the violence around them and help them learn that there is another way besides violence to deal with their problems and issues.

For the producers of this segment to ask, essentially, "Why do you care about Martin but not about these kids killed in our own city?" is stunningly ignorant. It is inexcusable for them not to have even a baseline awareness of what groups like the NAACP, No Covers, the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence, and so many others do in our community every single day.

As for the comments saying that Martin must have been a "thug" because of his suspension from school, his suspected use of marijuana, his previous incidents of fighting with other kids, etc, those are just excuses for people to paint him as a threat, even though all he was doing was walking home with a drink and a bag of Skittles. None of that past history had anything to do with Zimmerman's decision to accost him, attack him, and ultimately murder him. It serves an a rationalization and an excuse for bigots and race haters to paint him as the aggressor and as a "dangerous threat" merely because they wish to. Why do they wish to? Because he was black. In their minds, the black male is ALWAYS the guilty party, no matter what the circumstances.

* Zimmerman may have Latino ancestry, but he considers himself white, and from the brutish racial slurs on his MySpace page, he has no regard for Latinos or any other minorities. His racism against blacks has also been strongly demonstrated. So why do so many people identify with him? In most cases, because his bigotry reflects his.


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