What if Trayvon Martin was White?

Trayvon Martin

For weeks Pariotslog has been refraining from comment on the shooting of Trayvon Martin because there simply are not enough facts. All the evidence in the case is circumstantial at best, and the sum of the legal argument has essentially been limited to a contest of honesty. The press and defense both knew this, which is why we witnessed the mudslinging through media releases that Trayvon had been suspended three separate times, and had been found with marijuana; likewise, we heard that Zimmerman had a violent arrest record, and used his neighborhood watch status to elevate his ego because he could not be a law enforcement official. The fact is that when there is such an absence of evidence in a case such as this, arrests and prosecutions take time. This week, George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree murder. Many believe the Florida “stand your ground” law will lead to his acquittal because of the lack of evidence in the case. However, for all the attention the law is receiving it is interesting to note that it may not even apply in this case. There are two stories in this incident; the first, Zimmerman’s, is that he was attacked and being beaten by Trayvon Martin, and had to pull the trigger out of self-defense. The second, that of Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend–whom he was talking to on the phone just before the altercation–is that Zimmerman followed Trayvon and initiated the confrontation, shooting him for no reason. The stand your ground law is not applicable to either situation because either it was unjustified murder, or Zimmerman was assaulted and had to defend himself. The stand your ground law applies only in situations where one is threatened; in both sides of this story nobody was threatened, they were attacked. If Zimmerman is telling the truth, and he had not had a gun, it would have been him, not Martin who would have died.

All of this sparked a tsunami of media attention. Hoodies were donned by celebrities and congressman; Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton jumped to the defense of Martin and his family; superstar basketball Player Carmelo Anthony even hosted Martin’s family as special guests earlier today in a major basketball game against the Miami Heat. The message has been clear, and in fact, clearly stated by Rev. Sharpton; this is a case of racial injustice. Had Martin been white an arrest would not have taken months, but hours. As Rev. Sharpton so often does, he centered the discussion on race, and the media caught on faster than a wild brush fire. Media outlets even attempted to frame this as white vs. black in order to sell papers and boost ratings, referring to Zimmerman as a white Hispanic, whatever that means. I suppose by those standards President Obama would be a white African American, but that is beside the point. This shooting was immediately framed as a racial issue whether it should have been or not. The question then must be asked, if there was injustice, and if it was because of race, what would have happened had Zimmerman been black, and Martin been a (laughably mock able) white Hispanic? Would the justice system have acted much more swiftly? Would it have been a guaranteed conviction, the way some say it would be? Turns out we have a perfect reference to compare to.

Daniel Adkins, a 29 year old (white) Hispanic was out walking his dog in Tucson, AZ when he turned a blind corner and stepped out in front of a vehicle, driven by a black man, exiting the Taco Bell drive through. The driver got angry and a verbal–not physical–altercation ensued. Adkins, according to witnesses, swung his fists in the direction of the car, which the driver remained in throughout the altercation up to and apparently including when Adkins was then shot and killed. The shooter told police Adkins had a bat or metal pipe of some kind, and had struck the vehicle; the only item in Adkins possession when police investigated was a dog leash. The shooter claimed self-defense, and has yet to be prosecuted. It is worth noting, though it may not be relevant to the case, that Adkins had a mental handicap, and according to his family, had the brain function of a 12 year old. Where is the public outrage? Where are the celebrities and politicians lining up to help the Adkins family? Where is the special investigation team for criminal charges in Arizona? Most of all, where are the influential minority public figures crying race?

So if the roles were reversed we have a clear example which shows us that the justice process would not have been any different; in fact, the only difference in these two cases at all is the national media attention given to Trayvon Martin. Rev. Jackson made a statement in the spotlight of the Martin case that blacks are under attack in America. This is ridiculous, and obviously errant given the circumstances of Daniel Adkins’ death. A former head of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) C.L. Bryant has openly criticized both Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton for exploiting the situation and the Martin family. Political leaders, foremost of whom is President Obama, media pundits, celebrities, and athletes have all cashed in on the opportunity to say or do something to appease the crowd and gain popularity at the expense of Trayvon Martin. This type of exploitation is more an attack on black people than any justice system. In a near identical scenario in which Adkins was shot, the black shooter received the same benefit of the doubt George Zimmerman received despite the fact that Zimmerman did not have the luxury of staying in his car throughout the incident. This is a clear example that if the roles were reversed the justice system would act exactly as it did; however, it is clear that Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton could not care less about the victim, so long as the shooters skin is darker than that of the victim.

Tragically, this is the real attack on black people–manipulation and exploitation through fear. People like Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton are more racist than any justice system because clearly the justice system is fair to both situations. Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton do more to harm race relations than to help them. Their tireless rants did nothing for the justice of Trayvon Martin because the Justice system did what it would do regardless; their constant nagging and manipulating did have one solid effect: fear. Because of them black people now fear white people and the United States government more than they did two months ago despite clear evidence that the justice system did and would act fairly, but that does not matter to the reverends. The result of the publicity from this case is a message that every black person must live in fear. America does not care about the black citizen, and will leave them to die at the first opportunity. Obviously there is no truth to this, but the message has been sent regardless. This, more than any alleged murder, is what has hurt race relations and strained the minorities trust in our system. Trayvon Martin’s legacy has been forever stained by a false racial message. The answer to the question is clear; what would have happened if Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman had switched places? The justice system would have done its job, and racial relations would not have been strained by fear manipulation. If George Zimmerman did murder Trayvon Martin then we do need a conviction; but a conviction on grounds of race, rather than murder, will do more to tear apart this nation than to give it justice.

15 April, 2012

–Matt Young

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About patriotslog

I am studying to achieve a double major in political science and journalism from the University of Kentucky. I am married to a wonderful woman named Sierra. I am starting this blog because I feel the political climate in Washington is carving deep canyons for our children to climb out of. Our representatives, on both sides of the isle, do not represent us, they represent the lobbyists.This blog is not to give answers, but to make people think. I believe the more we think about our ideas the better they will become; as opposed to becoming more and more intrenched in far left or right wing brainwash, where it seems nobody thinks anymore. I hope y'all enjoy.

Posted on April 15, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Hispanic is not white. just sayin..

  2. I am so sick of all of this TM shit. You all wanted a trial. You got your trial. You did not like the way the trial went. To bad. Leave it the f*ck alone. The crap is getting old. If it was a white person you would not hear anything about it.. But since he is a nigger that is all you hear about.. He got what he deserved. Z was found not guilty.. What part do you Niggers don’t understand. About being found NOT GUILTY…………………………….Cause you are an idiot…

  3. I have to agree with Mr. Martin. if Trayvon were White, this would not have happened. If he were White, Trayvon probably would have walked home and avoided a conflict with Zimmerman. Instead, Trayvon was filled with Black Racism, Anger, and Hatred of the White Man, and Trayvon committed a crime. Trayvon called Zimmerman a racist name, punched his nose and pounded his head into the ground.

  4. Bean Head Hatake

    I like this post because I have been thinking about this not guilty verdict of Zimmerman. I like how u say both Zimmerman and this black man got the benefit of the doubt. I agree they are both murders who got away and the tragedy with Trayvon should be used by all races (blacks, whites, hispanics, asians) to stop race profiling n sterio-typing American ppl by race, clotes, drugs, cars,n all other material things. Trayvon will not be the last victimnor will other races who story is similar to his, but we can all help to make a diff. now!

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  8. I agree if Daniel Adkins would have been black we would have another media outrage, but because he was White/Hispanic they simply ignored the case all togeather, that is shameful, the only news outlet that halfway covered this was fox news. NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN you should be ashamed.

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  11. Bradley Coffman

    You should do some more research about both cases. Trayvon was as child gunned down by another person because he looked suspicious. Daniel was assaulting the vehicle and was shot because he was attacking someone.

    Regardless, there are many petitions online to arrest Daniel’s Killer, much the same as was for Trayvon. Also note the occurrence of each incident. Daniel was killed on April 4th. Trayvon on Feb. 26th.

    You do bring up some excellent points, but your end conclusion worries me. We have an institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. that is at work. Look up some statistics about the rates at which police arrest african american men versus white men, who live in the same neighborhood, same socioeconomic status, etc. It is staggering. Racism is alive and well.

    He was a child who was shot and killed. SOMEONE’S 17 YEAR OLD CHILD! He was walking back from a convenient mart. Quit. Trying. To. Blame. Him.

    Victim blaming is a problem. I’m not saying that Daniel’s killer shouldn’t go to jail. And he likely will. But the police did not lie for him, which they did for zimmerman.

    • I appreciate your comment. Believe me, extensive research has been done. You are correct that Adkins was violent toward the vehicle, but “assault” requires actual contact, which did not happen; moreover, Trayvon was not gunned down for “looking suspicious”. That is media bias. The two stories (Trayvon’s girlfriend, whom he was talking to literally seconds before the altercation, and Zimmerman’s) each have an account of an altercation, and without eye witnesses an objective observer would see it is just as possible that Trayvon started the altercation as it is that Zimmerman did. According to Zimmerman, he only followed Trayvon because he looked suspicious, and Trayvon started the altercation.
      Also, two weeks after Trayvon was killed there was national media attention; there is not for Daniel. I am very aware of the statistics of arrests, however this does not apply here. The discussion pertains to the coverage of these two incidents alone. The point of the article is that if the race roles were reversed in the Trayvon shooting the justice system would have acted exactly the same.
      Lastly, nowhere in the article do I blame Trayvon for being shot. I blame the media and personalities like Rev. Jackson for damaging the race situation in our nation. It is shameful that when the evidence indicates that a race reversal would result in the same justice process, people like the Rev. Jackson say blacks are under attack. There is still de-facto racism in the nation, because there is racism does not make the nation racist; that is ridiculous. Discrimination because of race is unconstitutional as of the civil rights era, it is unreasonable to believe that when the Chief Executive of our nation is a minority he would allow the government and its bureaus to be racist, breaking the constitution, and do nothing about it. People, both black and white, are racist; the government is not. That and the fact that claiming the government is racist does more to hurt racial equality than help it are the conclusion of this article. I am not calling Trayvon a bad person, just as I am not calling Zimmerman a bad person. The fact is that we do not have enough facts to place blame on either person. I appreciate you reading, and I appreciate very much that you took the time to comment so thoroughly; however, your comment leads me to believe you read the article without an open mind, having already decided that Trayvon had done nothing wrong, and racism is to blame. I am not saying that is wrong, only suggesting that there are other possibilities, and without enough evidence we have to keep our minds open. We simply do not know the truth at this point.

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