On February 26, 2012, Neighborhood Patrol Coordinator George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a black teenager. A few days ago, Zimmerman was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter charges by a Florida court. The ruling has sparked outrage and great incomprehension in the U.S. and around the world, reactivating a debate about racial profiling and institutional racism. The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has launched a petition to the Department of Justice that has already been signed by over half a million people in just a few days. The petition can be supported here:
bell hooks anticipates a description by Zimmermann in her 2000 book, All about love:
“White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proven by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged to feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake.”
In Germany, the Initiative of Black People in Germany (ISD) and the Campaign for Victims of Racist Police Violence (KOP) have currently launched a campaign appeal “Racial Profiling Costs.” All people who experience or observe racial profiling are encouraged to raise their voices. A form for a letter to the Federal Police Headquarters in Koblenz can be found here.