It appears that as the trial of George Zimmerman moves forward, more and more, a sizable number of Americans are starting to believe that he should have killed Trayvon Martin. A new Rasmussen Report survey has found that only 24 percent of Americans believe that George Zimmerman should be found guilty of murder. Also, 40 percent believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
The survey results are a 15 percent increase from the same poll conducted in March and up 16 percent from last month. Even more interesting is that only 47 percent of African-American survey respondents believe that Zimmerman should be found guilty of murder, compared with 55 percent in March. In addition, the poll claims that 40 percent of Black respondents think Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
While Rasmussen polls have a solid reputation, it’s hard to believe some of these results.
Most African Americans I hear from through social media, conservative and liberal, seem adamant that George Zimmerman should be found guilty of murder. NewsOne conducted a poll last week, regarding whether George Zimmerman appeared more or less guilty as evidence surrounding the murder comes out. Of 790 poll takers, nearly 73 percent believed Zimmerman appeared more guilty and/or should be sent to jail.
Obviously, there does not appear to be much ambiguity on the African-American side of things.
With regard to those who feel that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, it’s hard to understand this conclusion when Zimmerman was clearly the initial aggressor. He had no official authority to follow Trayvon and ask him questions, and you could almost accuse him of impersonating a police officer. While Zimmerman may not have announced himself as an officer of the law, he certainly behaved like one.
Given that Trayvon was not the aggressor and he was unarmed, it’s a serious stretch to argue that Zimmerman was justified in shooting him.
I can’t imagine myself finding a random White guy, harassing him, shooting him, and then claiming that I was simply defending myself. If anyone was acting in self-defense, it was the frightened kid who was minding his own business and being chased by a lunatic who’d been taking medication with violent side effects.
George Zimmerman should be in prison, and he’d already be there if his victim had been White.
All of this speculation about Trayvon’s allegedly violent nature would not be happening if he were not a Black teenager. Take it from another Black man who was once a teen himself: People love assuming that we’re violent.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and author of the forthcoming book, “The RAPP Sheet: Rising Above Psychological Poison.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.