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Ilya Shlyakhter (notestaff) - letters to editors
July 18th, 2013
10:51 am


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Zimmerman verdict
Zimmerman verdict, and column, resonate

Re "Heartsick and numb over the Zimmerman verdict," Column by Sandy Banks, July 16

When Zimmerman's conduct is viewed as part of this country's pattern of racism, he is "being judged by what others do." The stereotype of Southern racists who always get away is as strong as the one regarding black criminals; the risk of misapplying the stereotype is as great.

Banks does it when she writes, "An unarmed black kid can be killed with impunity if someone thinks he just might possibly — with no evidence — be up to no good." This implies a strong similarity between Martin's death and past racially motivated killings such as that of Emmett Till, while ignoring key differences such as the self-defense claim credited by the jury.

If we "believe in limitless individuality," we must judge Zimmerman without regard to anything that happened in other places at other times.

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