Roland Martin has been one of those on the forefront of bringing the Trayvon Martin case into the mainstream, and he appeared in CNN this morning to explain the development of the story as a national issue and its resonance, particularly within the black community. Wearing a hoodie (partly in solidarity, partly to make a statement to Geraldo Rivera), Martin made the point that the distrust that led to Trayvon Martin’s death is something not just prevalent in a criminal setting, but in corporate America, as well.
“This is what a college graduate in a hoodie looks like,” Martin told Rivera through the screen, and later elaborating to Randi Kaye that the larger and more foreboding message sent by Trayvon Martin’s killing was that “someone can have a stereotype in their mind and shoot them” with impunity. “Black people are tired of accommodating racism,” he argued, whether it be walking down the street or in employ. “In corporate America, there are Trayvon Martin stories… African Americans don’t get the benefit of the doubt, we just get the doubt.”
Calling the investigation into George Zimmerman‘s actions “ridiculous,” he noted that this benefit of the doubt was was precisely what Zimmermann received that Trayvon Martin didn’t: “Black kid wearing a hoodie? George has got to be right.” He concluded with a call to white viewers to “see us as individuals and human beings and don’t judge us what you see on television about us.”
The segment via CNN below:
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