I think this is a fair description of the racial narrative of the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman:

George Zimmerman (1) shot Trayvon Martin (2) because a black teenager in a hoodie is frightening (3) to whites, as proven by (4) Zimmerman’s description of Martin as suspicious because he was black, and (5) Zimmerman’s use of the phrase “f-ing coons”, (6) in a classic case of racial profiling, (7) inspired by a climate of hate stoked by Republican “right-wing” rhetoric.

What is left of this narrative based upon what currently is publicly known?

(1) True, George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.

(2) There is nothing to indicate that wearing a hoodie had anything to do with why Zimmerman considered Martin suspicious.  The reason given by Zimmerman in the initial 911 call, before he possibly could have known how the evening would end or how a racial narrative would develop, did not mention the hoodie.  The hoodie only was mentioned after the 911 dispatcher asked what the suspicious person was wearing.

(3) Zimmerman’s mother is Hispanic, and Zimmerman self-identified as Hispanic.  That’s not to say that a Hispanic person cannot harbor racial animosity towards blacks, but there is nothing to indicate that Zimmerman harbored such animosity, and in fact, there is evidence to suggest otherwise.

(4) Zimmerman did not describe Martin’s race in the initial 911 phone call until the dispatcher asked the race of the suspicious person, at which point Zimmerman said he “looks black.”  The audio broadcast by NBC News omitted this intervening question to make it appear as if Zimmerman stated that Martin was suspicious because he was black.

(5) The assertion that Martin used the racial epithet “coons” is subject to serious doubt.  CNN hired three audio experts, only one of whom believed the word was used.  In the Affidavit of Probable Cause, two state investigators swore under oath that Zimmerman said “f-ing punks.”

(6) In the Affidavit of Probable Cause, the State of Florida alleged that Martin was “profiled” by Zimmerman, but did not accuse Zimmerman of profiling Martin based on race.  Given how freely the State exaggerated known facts in the Affidavit (for example, asserting that the 911 dispatcher “instructed Zimmerman not to” follow Martin, when in fact the dispatcher only said “we don’t need you to do that”), it is reasonable to believe that the State is not comfortable assigning racial motivation to the reason why Zimmerman found Martin suspicious.

(7) Zimmerman is a registered Democrat.

The net result of a fair assessment of the racial narrative of the case is that there is no racial narrative based on currently known facts.  There are only assumptions and speculation drawn from historical events and experiences in which George Zimmerman was not involved.

This case is where it always should have been, about the known fact that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, and whether that shooting was legally justified, or an unlawful homicide.

 
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