In a fit of self-pitying pique, George Zimmerman’s brother Robert demonstrated racial profiling in order to prove how unfair the media has been to his brother. In order to prove that his brother is the victim, and never racially profiled Trayvon Martin, Robert Zimmerman compared Trayvon Martin to a black teenager who is accused of murdering a baby in Georgia.
Yes, the Zimmerman family, who assured us that George Zimmerman did not racially profile Trayvon Martin when he stalked for walking while eating Skittles, now has their proof that the media has been grossly unfair to George Zimmerman.
You see, there’s a black guy accused of killing a baby in Georgia who ALSO posed for a picture whilst flipping the bird. Get it? Black and middle finger = bad thug. Please ignore all of the white teenagers whose Facebook profiles are full of the bird; you must be black whilst flipping the bird in order to equal danger, but this SO is not a race issue!
— Robert Zimmerman Jr (@rzimmermanjr) March 24, 2013
(Note: The person on the left is the accused killer of a baby in Georgia.)
The point Zimmerman seems to be trying to make is that the media has been super unfair to George Zimmerman by refusing to acknowledge how dangerous black teenagers who flip the bird are.
According to the Huffington Post, Robert tweeted, “.@TheRealPest @michaelskolnik – Lib media shld ask if what these2 black teens did 2 a woman&baby is the reason ppl think blacks mightB risky”
We are to believe that the real problem in this country is how priveleged black people are. They run around using the “race card” to get out of everything! First it was slavery, which was such a great institution and much to be greatful for according to some Republicans, and now it’s the failure to appreciate just how easy black people have it.
— Robert Zimmerman Jr (@rzimmermanjr) March 25, 2013
Robert thinks that the media didn’t use the picture of the dead boy flipping the bird out of fear of the race card being played; it had nothing to do with decency.
.@libertybellej I’m wondering why they made that choice &why in my bro’s case the media refused 2use TM’s own “self-portraits” as his pic.
— Robert Zimmerman Jr (@rzimmermanjr) March 25, 2013
The answer he can’t see is that Trayvon is the dead person, not the accused murderer.
When children are killed, the media doesn’t generally go through their social media profiles and choose the most undignified, silly pictures to share with the world. Sometimes those children are white, and the media still doesn’t use the worst picture of them and it’s not because they’re scared of the race card.
Apparently Robert thinks that if everyone saw Trayvon flipping the bird, they would now see him differently. He would be an obvious threat and hence deserving of being followed by George Zimmerman and then killed.
Is every teenager in America who has ever flipped the bird a threat? No? What would you say the difference was? HMMMMM.
Why did Robert Zimmerman think to compare Trayvon Martin, who was murdered, to an alleged murderer? By all accounts, George Zimmerman killed Trayvon, so if George ever flipped the bird, I guess that makes him a super, duper dangerous suspect.
Robert sought to use the media to expose the world to the “truth” about Trayvon Martin, and in doing so, he exposed the truth about his own unacknowledged prejudices. He compared Trayvon to an alleged murderer because both were black and both were flipping the bird.
This, my friends, is called racial profiling. Trayvon is the dead victim, not the murderer. Attempting to smear Trayvon’s reputation in order to save his brother only suggests that the Zimmerman boys don’t seem to feel very bad at all about what happened to Trayvon Martin. It also suggests that it is they who don’t “get it”. Who can forget when George Zimmerman demanded an apology from African Americans for “rushing to judgment” about him.
It doesn’t matter how many times Robert Zimmerman posts a picture of Trayvon Martin flipping the bird, because Travyon Martin is not the murderer here. That’s what the Zimmermans don’t get. This isn’t about Trayvon. Trayvon is not on trial. Trayvon is dead. This is about George Zimmerman’s decision to kill Trayvon Martin.
The Zimmerman family has hardly proven their cause by demonstrating to the world that Trayvon was an average teenager who gave the middle finger to the camera. What does that have to do with George Zimmerman’s actions? Absolutely nothing. It’s not even as if this picture were from their encounter. It has nothing to do with anything.
Robert seems to think he’s proven that the media played the race card and that’s why his brother is on trial. Another way of looking at this is a teenage boy was shot down in his family’s neighborhood. The legal system wasn’t even going to charge the alleged killer. It was obvious to anyone familiar with the fact that our justice is color-coded that this was not right.
This is a case of trying to prove that your brother did not racially profile the young person he shot by racially profiling the victim.
Update: A reader pointed out that Antonio Santiago is making gang signals, which is quite different from flipping the bird. This leaves ONLY the color of their skin as the reason Zimmerman used compared Martin to Santiago.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.