Saturday, April 14, 2012

National Poll Shows U.S. Divided by Race in Trayvon Martin Case

From ColorLines courtesy of AlterNet:

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this week, 91% of black Americans surveyed said that the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin was unjustified. Among whites, that number was 35%; among Latinos, 59%.

“This incident is one of the clearest splits we’ve seen between whites and blacks,” Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson told Reuters.

“African Americans have a significantly different perspective on the whole incident than white Americans or Hispanic Americans,” Jackson said.

More here.

Back when I was little, seven or eight, word had it that white people should never go to Bordersville, the nearby black community, because the people there will slit your throat. Years later, when I was in my mid twenties, I was amazed by all my white liberal friends who immediately decided that OJ Simpson had killed his wife, well before the damning details were released to the press--all they had was a black man running away from the police very slowly in a white Bronco, no bloody glove, no history of rage, nothing, just a black man on the run, and that was good enough for my white liberal friends to convict in their minds. Years later, last night in fact, two black friends of mine, both close to my age, regaled me with tales of their younger lives of crime in New Orleans, AK-47s, crack, stuff straight out of NWA, stuff they had to do because of their fucked up situations at home. Just to survive.

I don't get it anymore.

I don't understand why white people cannot accept the reality of black America. This guy Zimmerman, from all accounts including his own, stalked Trayvon Martin and then shot him dead in the street, even while police dispatchers were telling him to stand down. And this shit happens all the time. All the time. How can white people in their wildest fantasies even imagine that the killing was just?

I used to think that I understood this shit, that I understood my own culture, my own people. Not now. One thing I do understand, however, is that it is crystal clear that blacks and whites have extraordinarily different understandings of racial justice in this nation. And blacks have the understanding that is grounded in reality. Whites don't.