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Tue Jul 23, 2013, 07:41 AM

Stop pretending racism is confined to Florida [View all]

I find it astounding that people have decided that Florida alone is responsible for the kind of racism in the American judicial system evident in the Zimmerman case. There is a bizarre myopia happening where too many want to imagine that the factors that led to Trayvon Martin's death and George Zimmerman's acquittal can all be blamed on Florida alone. Racial profiling, gun proliferation, Stand Your Ground laws, and racism in the judicial system exist throughout the country. Black males are pathologized from Alaska to Rhode Island, from California to Minnesota--in each and every one of these United States.

The focus on Florida is an effort to externalize racism, to pretend it is the product of a limited, other location. The fact is racism is all around us. Black men are profiled and killed in every state in this country, and their killers too often get off because many Americans consciously or unconsciously view African Americans as worth less than whites. This is as much about our own towns, cities, and states as it is Florida. If Florida fell off the map tomorrow, we would continue to have more Trayvon Martins and George Zimmermans. Stop looking for easy scapegoats. Racism, gun violence, and unequal justice exist in all of our communities. Pretending otherwise ignores just how serious inequality and injustice really are.

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