by Malcolm Morrow
The Washington Post ran two opinion editorials this week that featured authors who were in favor of the manner in which George Zimmerman racially profiled and pursued Trayvon Martin which eventually ended with Trayvon losing his life. Authors Richard Cohen and Kathleen Parker wrote articles that showed that they both have a pathological fear of the Black male in America and can’t see past the stereotypes and “crime statistics” that have plagued this country for decades.
Richard Cohen began his article with this statement, “I don’t like what George Zimmerman did, and I hate that Trayvon Martin is dead”. However, he quickly makes it quite clear that he supported everything that Zimmerman did and that he feels it wasn’t Zimmerman’s fault that Martin appeared like he was up to no good, he was dressed in a thug’s “uniform” after all.
“But I also can understand why Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize. I don’t know whether Zimmerman is a racist. But I’m tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that, for recognizing the reality of urban crime in the United States, I am a racist. The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman.”
So is he saying that hoodies are only worn by people that are actively participating in criminal activity? Hoodies are an omnipresent article of clothing that is worn by people of all races and economic status’s.
Newsone.com reports, “The White paternalism is continued when Cohen asks, ‘Where is the politician who will own up to the painful complexity of the problem and acknowledge the widespread fear of crime committed by young Black males?’”
Translation: When is some politician of note just going to say what I and other people like me are thinking: Black men are scary!?”
Alex Pareene of Salon.com had this to say about Cohen’s beliefs, “Richard Cohen just has a pathological fear of Black men, and he wants not just to espouse and justify this view, but also to be allowed to do so without anyone calling him racist.”
His colleague at the Washington Post, Kathleen Parker, wrote an article that was based heavily on fear as well.
She wrote: “African Americans are right to perceive that Martin was followed because he was Black, but it is wrong to presume that recognizing a racial characteristic is necessarily racist. It has been established that several burglaries in Zimmerman’s neighborhood primarily involved young Black males.This is not to justify what subsequently transpired between Zimmerman and Martin but to cast a dispassionate eye on reality. And no, just because a few Black youths caused trouble doesn’t mean all Black youths should be viewed suspiciously. This is so obvious a truth that it shouldn’t need saying, and yet, if we are honest, we know that human nature includes the accumulation of evolved biases based on experience and survival. In the courtroom, it’s called ‘profiling.’ In the real world, it’s called ‘common sense.”
So it is common sense to assume that all black youth are causing trouble based on biases and people’s need to survive? Is it common sense to believe that skin color alone is enough to make that fear seem warranted?
NewsOne.com responded with, “As a Black man prone to the ignorance of a racist White jackass at any given moment on any given day, my belief that it is wrong to profile me solely based on aesthetics is apparently a sign that I don’t live in the “real world.”
What is your opinion of these articles written by two known authors for a well-respected and heavily read publication?
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