George Zimmerman and the Tragedy of Casual Racism

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About David Zucker

David E Zucker is a malnourished, though not yet technically starving writer living just outside of New York City. He was raised by Saturday morning cartoons and near-feral cats, but is otherwise a pretty sweet guy once you get to know him. His daily ramblings are posted at


  1. I agree that it was not a hate crime. I’ve always said how can a man of color hate another man of color. Not to say that it couldn’t happen but to me it just doesn’t make sense. Your comments about his ADHD are discriminatory. I have ADHD and although I’ve never forgotten what my street address is, ADDers for the most part have bad short term memory. It’s just part of the symptoms of having it. In no way should be a reason not to be able to own a gun or join a volunteer organization. I fail to see how a person who is very impulsive, short attention span and bad short term memory poses a risk in such organizations. Hyperactivity goes away as a person gets older. I’m 34 and people don’t know I’m ADD until I tell them. Some are pretty surprised when I do tell them. It’s not what the media has made it out to be.

    • “I fail to see how a person who is very impulsive, short attention span and bad short term memory poses a risk in such organizations.”


      • Yeah seriously! Like I said I’m ADD and I wouldn’t consider myself any more dangerous than a non ADDer with a gun.

        • To me, having any armed and unvetted people roaming the streets as part of a badly-regulated militia is a bad idea, but if for some reason, such a militia has to exist, a person who is known to be impulsive and easily distracted is less likely to behave in the restrained and attentive way necessary to avoid tragic incidents like this one.

  2. I really have to ask, is there something you read which indicated that Trayvons body language didn’t tip him off? Was he skulking around like a typical criminal would or was he walking like a normal person cept he had a hoodie? I realize it’s very popular to jump the conclusion that this is a black man in a hoodie so people assume he’s up to no good, but is it POSSIBLE that he was actually acting suspicious?

    I realize that playing cops n robbers is a bad idea, but do the police actually do their job around there? What is the culture n crime-rate like? Do the citizens feel they need to take the law into their hands and confront the potential criminals like Zimmerman did? My question is why he felt the need to intervene? Where I live I feel no need to intervene because our police do a pretty good job but I am in Australia and it seems a bit diff here, which I am thankful for, but if the police are doing a shitty job then I could see why vigilante actions or community policing would occur.

    • Archy –
      In Zimmerman’s call to the police, he described Martin as being suspicious because he was somehow both looking around at the houses and walking calmly, not trying to get out of the rain. Multiple explanations could arise for the former–that staying with his father temporarily he was unfamiliar with the exact area, or that while on the phone with his friend he commented repeatedly about being followed. The latter seems as simple as the relatively low severity of the weather and that he was in his own neighborhood, feeling no need to rush at first, but that’s all entirely speculative.

      Much of the problem revolves around the defendant’s motivations. He was part of a neighborhood watch group but seems to have made some fairly poor decisions in how to handle that responsibility. There had been some burglaries in recent weeks, so he was out looking for anything suspicious. My concern is that without sufficient training, an underqualified civilian armed himself and went literally looking for trouble. While that’s not smart in general, the problem only arises from the notion that he seems to have genuinely suspected Trayvon without any judicially justifiable cause. The confrontation, escalation, and death of a young man unfortunately fall within the confines of Florida state law, making the failure of judgement not a criminal offense, but a social one.

      Thanks for joining the discussion! Thoughts?

      • What proof do you have that George was looking for trouble? as far as the case is concerned he was on the way home when he saw Trayvon not on a patrol.

        Its a fact that humans who know of a danger in the area are more likely to look out for it, same as when theres a kidnapping parents will keep there children indoors and be suspicious of strangers.

        The issue is that you missed out Trayvon’s profiling and racist comments against Zimmerman, the evidence of the case suggests George was attacked by Trayvon not the other way around. The moment that first punch connected was the first illegal action of the night, following anyone isnt illegal, especially while on the phone to the police but punching someone you think is a creepy ass cracka is both racist and shows Trayvon profiled George himself…

        Also Trayvon had escaped Georges sight and had over 2 minutes to get home but instead waited for George to come around the corner before attacking him, why did you ignore this and not say that Trayvon made a stupid mistake as well? George is on the phone for over 2 minutes with the police after trayvon has escaped but instead of running 15 seconds down the road to get home he hides then confronts George, punches him and attacks him while hes on the ground.

        Thats self defense, if Trayvon had not committed that illegal crime after stupidly refusing to get out of danger then none of this would have happened, If he had kept going George would have lost him and the police would have arrived and taken over.

        Its unfair to Judge one side without considering the stupidity of the other, and in this case Trayvon is the aggressor, George following him doesn’t give him the right to attack him especially if he had lost him and then himself hunted George down.

  3. Thoughtful and well-presented.

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