Search results for trayvon martin

Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?

Zimmerman: The back entrance… fucking punks.

Dispatcher: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah.

Dispatcher: Okay, don’t do that.

Zimmerman: Okay.

If you followed the Zimmerman/Martin killing at all, you probably recognized that this is not what the dispatcher said.  The correct transcript is:

Dispatcher: Okay, we don’t need you to do that.

Nowadays, we don’t tell people what to do and what not to do. We don’t tell them what they should or should not do or what they ought or ought not to do.  Instead, we talk about needs – our needs and their needs.  “Clean up your room” has become “I need you to clean up your room.”

The age of “there are no shoulds,” the age of needs, began in the 1970s and accelerated until very recently.   Here are Google n-grams for “you need to” and “they need to.”

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 We don’t say, “The writers on ‘Mad Men’ ought to watch out for anachronistic language.” We say that they “need to” watch out for it.  It was Benjamin Schmidt’s Atlantic post (here) about “Mad Men” that alerted me to this ought/need change.  Schmidt created a chart showing the relative use of “ought to” and “need to.”

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All the films and TV shows in the chart are set in the 1960s.  But the scripts that were actually written in the 60s are more likely to use “ought”; the 60s scripts written in the 21st century use “need.”

Real imperatives (“Stop that right now”) claim moral authority. So do ought and should. But need is not about general principles of right and wrong.  In the language of need, the speaker claims no moral authority over the person being spoken to. It’s up to the listener to weigh his own needs against those of the speaker and then make his own decision.

No wonder Zimmerman felt free to ignore the implications of the dispatcher’s statement.  It was not a command (“Don’t do that”), it did not assert authority or the rightness of an action (“You should not do that”).  It did not even state what the police department needed or wanted.  It merely said that Zimmerman’s pursuit of Martin was not necessary.  Not wrong, not ill-advised, just unnecessary.

If the dispatcher had spoken in the language of the 1960s and told Zimmerman that he should not pursue Martin, would Trayvon Martin be alive?  We cannot possibly know. But it’s reasonable to think it would have increased that probability.

Philip Cohen, for what it’s worth, tells me that a TV commentator said that dispatchers have a protocol of not giving direct orders.  If such an instruction led to a bad outcome, the department might be held accountable.  So police departments’ efforts to avoid lawsuits may also have contributed to Martin’s death or, at least, the not-guilty verdict for Zimmerman.

Cross-posted at Montclair SocioBlog.

Jay Livingston is the chair of the Sociology Department at Montclair State University. You can follow him at Montclair SocioBlog or on Twitter.

Jay Smooth — always insightful and earnest — praises the movement for justice in the Trayvon Martin case, and points us forward to what’s next:

Lisa Wade, PhD is a Visiting Scholar at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming Introduction to Sociology text. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Cross-posted from cyborgology.

On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black high school student, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a White Hispanic neighborhood watch captain. The case has become a symbolic battleground. Artist Israel McCloud was inspired to paint a mural in his honor in Houston.

As Jessie Daniels points out at Racism Review, battles over racism have shifted into the realm of social media, where digital and physical race relations persist in an augmented relationship. We see this in both anti-racist discourses and the racial smear campaigns surrounding the Martin/Zimmerman case.

Although it is important to expose the overtly racist tactics utilized by some of Zimmerman’s defenders, I want to talk about a more subtle, and so perhaps more problematic, form of racial discourse. A prominent strategy of protest arising from the left may inadvertently perpetuate, rather than challenge, racial hierarchies in their most dehumanizing form.

This tactic has made the rounds on my own Facebook Newsfeed, and is one in which I, prior to more critical thought, actively participated:  the creation of images and texts that couple Black bodies with prestigious social positions and ask viewers to problematize racialized assumptions that often lead to faulty first impressions—which in turn lead to physical danger for the racialized subject. This tactic comes in two forms: political memes and case examples.

The memes, such as the one pictured below, are direct and general. They argue that Black bodies are assumed dangerous unless proven otherwise. This meme warns us that we might treat a doctor as a criminal purely based on skin color:

 I (regretfully) posted this meme to my own Facebook wall. Rather than delete the meme, I added this post to the comment thread as a public declaration of my error.

The case examples are more in depth, but accomplish a similar task. They picture a clean-cut, Black male body. They list his credentials, and then tell of his physical abuse at the hands of scared, racist White authority figures:

Copied from my Facebook Newsfeed.

 Activists strategically link these memes and cases to Trayvon Martin’s story, highlighting his clean record and child-like face. This protest tactic honors Martin (and other Black boys and men who have been hurt because of a racist culture) and spotlights the problematic racialized lens within which Americans largely operate.

Both forms of this protest tactic tell an empirically accurate story. Simultaneously, however, they are gross oversimplifications that perpetuate oppressive hierarchies that lie at the intersection of race and class. They work to differentiate the “good” from the “bad” kind of racial minority—and imply that the life of the former is more valuable.

We are warned that our racial assumptions may lead to the wrongful and tragic harm of a “good” racial minority—reinforcing the devaluation of poor, under-educated, over-policed and under-protected people of color. Indeed, as the left fights accusations that Trayvon Martin sold drugs, we forget to ask: “SO WHAT IF HE DID?!” Would he somehow be less human? Would his murder be less atrocious? As the left justifiably decries the accusative investigations into Trayvon’s life, some protest tactics effectively present the opposite side of the same coin.

The empirical reality of Blackness in America is that it often intersects with poverty, which in turn, intersects with crime. A poor Black man with a criminal record is an artifact of a deeply embedded racial system. The memes and case examples discussed above perpetuate the devaluation of the Poor Black subject, marginalizing him against those who are upwardly mobile. In utilizing this protest tactic we fail to address the grittier realities of race in America that led George Zimmerman to perceive an anonymous, unarmed Black boy as a threat. We not only ignore these realities, but become naively complicit in their reproduction.

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Jenny Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University. She studies self, identity, and human-technology interaction. She blogs for cyborgology.org. Follow Jenny on Twitter @Jup83

In “Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Ability to Alter Public Space,” author Brent Staples recounts his realization, in his early 20s, that his mere presence in public often made others uncomfortable or outright fearful, a fact they were not hesitant to make clear. Staples points out that while he poses no threat to  those around him, others’ fear of him — including an instance in which he was assumed to be a robber when visiting his editor’s office to drop of a story and was chased by security — puts him in potential danger:

…I soon gathered that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself. I only needed to turn a corner into a dicey situation, or crowd some frightened, armed person in a foyer somewhere, or make an errant move after being pulled over by a policeman. Where fear and weapons meet—and they often do in urban America—there is always the possibility of death.

I thought of Staples’s essay as soon as I heard about the Trayvon Martin case, and particularly after Fox News ran a segment in which Geraldo Rivera basically blames Trayvon himself for wearing a hoodie:

Rivera removes the focus from the man who shot an unarmed teen and places it instead on what the teen should have done to not get shot. Yes, yes, people shouldn’t shoot unarmed minority teens, but Trayvon’s choice of clothing was, according to Rivera, equally responsible for the shooting. He normalizes prejudice and stereotypes — it’s just normal for people to cross the street when they see a Black or Latino youth in a hoodie on the street. Trayvon should not have “allowed” himself to be seen as a criminal — as though he could individually ensure racial stereotypes and prejudices were not applied to him.

Rivera argues that Trayvon Martin wouldn’t have been shot if he hadn’t been wearing a hoodie. But Staples’s experiences undermine this reasoning; he presumably wasn’t wearing a hoodie the many different times he was taken for a criminal or treated like a threat while trying to carry out his role as a professional reporter. Merely being African American was sufficient to make him scary, as it was enough to make Trayvon Martin “suspicious” to George Zimmerman, and it’s unlikely a cardigan instead of a hoodie would have changed the situation.

In support of Trayvon Martin, LeBron James tweeted a photo of Miami Heat players in hoodies:

Originally posted at Race, Politics, Justice.

A few days after Donald Trump won the electoral votes for president, some people started suggesting that pro-immigrant people in the US wear safety pins in emulation of the movement in Britain after Brexit to signal support for immigrants. A social media debate quickly ensued about what this might mean, some asserting that the safety pin meant that an immigrant could view one as a “safe” White person, some ridiculing the exercise as a “feel-good” effort by Whites to distance themselves from the White nationalist vote, some interpreting its meaning as “I don’t agree with Trump.” (This latter interpretation was offered by both pro- and anti-Trump people.)

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My entirely unsystematic observations were that it was African Americans who were mostly negative and White liberals (like me) who were trying to figure out what the “meaning” of the pin would turn out to be. I’m not sure what immigrants thought about safety pins, although I know they are generally frightened by the election results.

Through a neighborhood email newsletter I learned that a family in the area received a racist hate letter using the N-word after the election and that a resident who is also a minister ordered a bunch of yard signs that say “No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” in English, Spanish and Arabic. I bought one and will put it in my yard. I really don’t know how this action will be viewed by actual immigrants.

There are some non-Muslim women who have taken to wearing scarves as a symbol of solidarity with Muslims (one story circulating talks about attacks on a non-Muslim woman who was wearing a scarf due to hair loss from cancer treatment), an action that has received (so far as I know) little endorsement from Muslims and some responses that say that this subtracts from the religious symbolism of wearing hijab. After Trayvon Martin was killed, many Black people put up pictures of themselves in a hoodie with “I am Trayvon Martin,” but also often objected when Whites did the same, because the point was that a White person in a hoodie was not treated the same.

In the 1990s, Madison had a flurry of protests and counter-protests in which out-of-town anti-gay protesters were picketing pro-gay churches. Many Madison residents, including me, put up yard signs distributed primarily through churches that said “Madison supports its gays and lesbians.” About the same time, the KKK came through, and we also put up “Let your Light Shine, Fight Racism” signs in our yards. (I recall having both in my yard in the same winter.) Also in the 1990s, many of us wore rainbow ribbons (I kept mine pinned to my purse so I didn’t have to remember to put it on), again as a symbol of support for gays and lesbians. During the first Gulf War, Madison’s lawns often featured either anti-war signs or “support our troops” signs or, often, both. Earlier this year, after a lot of Black Lives Matter protests here as well as around the country, in addition to the relatively small number of yard signs or flags supporting BLM, some streets blossomed the “Support our Police” yard signs. And, of course, yard signs are a staple of political campaigns, most Decembers see a flurry of “Keep Christ in Christmas” yard signs, and Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer pennants fly all around town on particular weekends.

So how should we think about these visible symbols and the varying reactions they elicit?

Let’s begin with the obvious. Symbols are symbols, and displaying a symbol is not the same thing as showing up for a protest or taking other active steps to pursue social policies you believe in. Wearing or displaying some sort of symbol of support for a minority is not the same thing as being a minority, nor will the symbol necessarily be interpreted by others in the way it is meant. This does not make symbols meaningless. They are visible symbols of adherence to some cause or belief system and, as such, open the wearer to reactions from others. But, as symbols, they are subject to multiple interpretations and their meaning varies with context. So those displaying symbols and those viewing others’ displays of symbols need to do interpretive work to understand the symbol and to assess the consequences of displaying it.

If you display or wear a symbol that you are sure others around you will approve of, you have little to lose from the symbol and something to gain. Signaling support for a cause the majority supports signals your affiliation with the majority. Supporting a beleaguered minority in a context where the majority is at least tolerant is also a low-cost gesture. When I displayed pro-gay ribbons and yard signs, I had no expectation of negative reaction, and I doubt any other straight person in Madison did either.

But that does not mean it was meaningless. Gays and lesbians I knew personally were feeling attacked and the visible support was meaningful to them. The signs and ribbons were passed out at church by people I knew. In that context, I could either display the symbol or not display it but, either way, my action would be interpreted as having meaning. I felt the same way about this latest “welcome neighbor” sign. When confronted with the question, I could either put up a sign or not put up a sign, but either choice carried meaning. I know of at least some instances in the 1990s in which gay and lesbian people stated that the signs made them feel supported and better about living in Madison. Of course, you can “do” support without yard signs or ribbons. After 9/11, Christian churches and Jewish congregations reached out to Muslim congregations (and Muslim congregations for their parts held open houses) and Muslims generally felt supported in Madison, even without yard signs or ribbons.

In places where the symbol is low cost, one can justly be suspected of displaying the symbol just to go along with the majority or as a low cost way of feeling good about a problem you don’t plan to do anything more about.

The same yard signs and ribbons (or safety pins) in some areas would not be safe gestures but would open up a person to verbal or physical assaults, or worse. Whites who visibly supported Blacks in the old rural South or Chicago’s segregated White neighborhoods in the 1950s were violently attacked and had their houses bombed. Displaying pro-gay symbols in areas dominated by conservative Christians in the 1990s could lead to hostile interactions. Even displaying the wrong sports team colors can get you hurt in some contexts.

Displaying a symbol where you know you are an opinion minority, and especially where it opens you to attack, is a very different gesture than where it is safe. In these contexts, it is an act of dissent. It is especially meaningful to dissent visibly in contexts where a dangerous segment of the majority feels empowered to commit violence against minorities. In these contexts, the symbol does not necessarily mean “I am a safe person” but “I am willing to draw the attention of dangerous people” or “not everybody supports those people.” If the intent is actually to shelter minorities from violence, the goal usually is to get as many people as possible to wear the symbol of dissent, to signal to those who intend violence that they cannot act with impunity and cannot count on community support.

Conversely, yard signs and other symbols are sometimes used by majorities to coerce compliance or intimidate minorities. Pro-police, pro-KKK, anti-gay, anti-immigrant symbols and yard signs signal to minorities that they are not safe in the area. When you know that you are in an area where your views are contested, your visible symbol chooses sides.

Another dimension is the clarity or ambiguity of a symbol. This also is contextual. In the US today, it is not quite clear what a safety pin is supposed to signal. Does it merely signal opposition to violent attacks on minorities, or does it also signal opposition to deportations and registries? Can I assume that a safety pin wearer supports DACA and keeping DACA students in the US?  Does a safety pin also mean the wearer supports Black Lives Matter? Expanded immigration policies? Or is it merely a signal that one voted Democratic and is vaguely against “hate”? Or that the person voted for Trump (or Stein?) and wants to disguise the fact in a liberal area? In the late 1960s during the anti-war movement I once tied a white scarf to the sleeve of my dark jacket when biking at night across campus so I could be seen. Several people stopped and asked me what my white scarf “meant.” Was it a new anti-war symbol? If so, they did not want to be late to adopt.

But non-verbal symbols can come to have very clear meanings. In Britain, the safety pin has a clear meaning, from what I’ve read, although its meaning in the US is not clear. In the US, a spray-painted swastika can be safely assumed to be the work of neo-Nazis meant to intimidate minorities and not a Hindu religious symbol. Text is often clearer: The phrase “let your light shine, oppose racism” is hopefully a clearer symbol that merely lighting a candle in your window in December, and “Madison supports its gays and lesbians” is also relatively clear. The latest sign about being happy my neighbors are here, written in Spanish and Arabic, also conveys pretty clear meaning in its language choices as well as its content, although could be criticized for its ambiguity about racism (as the impetus for the signs was a hate letter that used the N-word) and immigration policy (as the sign does not mention your document status).

The ambiguity of a symbol can make signaling one’s actual opinions complex. This is a Christian-majority country and there is a strong politicized Christian movement that is affiliated with White nationalism and/or strong anti-abortion sentiments and/or hostility to gays, lesbians, transgender and other sexual minorities and/or hatred of Muslims or, possibly, Jews. This makes any overt Christian symbol (a cross, a crucifix, a “keep Christ in Christmas” yard sign) an ambiguous symbol that is likely to be interpreted both by non-Christians and also Christians one does not know as a symbol of adherence to the Christian Right or at least Republicanism. Muslim women have a similar problem, as their hijab is often interpreted as symbolizing things other than what they think it symbolizes.

The minister who organized the welcome neighbor signs in Madison told reporters that part of his motivation was that as a White Evangelical Christian, he wanted to distance himself from White Evangelical Christians who are advocating messages that he considers hateful. In the 1990s, pro-gay churches similarly sought to distance themselves from the association of Christianity with anti-gay movements.

But even text symbols can “mean” something other than what the user thinks it meant. I interpret the pro-police yard signs in Madison as “meaning” opposition to Black Lives Matter, as I interpret “Blue Lives Matter” to have a similar meaning. I make this interpretation because there were no pro-police signs in Madison before Black Lives Matter, because the only contextual factor that could be construed as anti-police would be Black Lives Matter, and because the last time pro-police signs and bumper stickers were common it was the “Support Your Local Police” bumper sticker campaign launched by the far-right John Birch Society in 1963. In fact, a quick Google search reveals that the JBS has revived this campaign and there is now a movement among police to spread this slogan as opposition to federal attempts to supervise and rein in the excesses of local police. It could be that someone who put up that sign lives next door to a police officer and couldn’t say no when asked to put it up, despite the person’s private support for Black Lives Matter and concern about racial disparities in Madison. But the “meaning” of the sign still encodes opposition to BLM, regardless of private motives. Likewise, some of my neighbors referred to pro-Trump yard signs in the area as evidence of “hate,” a characterization which other neighbors objected to.

Symbols have to be collective to have any meaning at all, and that is why they tend to have a fad-like character and are typically promulgated and distributed by organizations. That is also why people may contest the meaning of symbols. They are superficial and elusive conveyors of meaning. There are no clear guidelines about when to display symbols and how they will be interpreted. But the use of symbols to convey one’s identity and stance with respect to important issues is an important part of how people come to perceive the opinions of those around them. And that is important.

Pamela Oliver, PhD is a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her specialty is collective action and social movements and, since 1999, she has been working intensely on the issue of racial disparities in criminal justice. You can follow her at Race, Politics, Justice.

Michael Dunn shot ten bullets into a car filled with four teenagers after a dispute over the volume of their music.  He claimed self-defense, though the gun he said he saw was never corroborated by anyone or found.  This weekend he was found guilty of attempting to kill the three teenagers who survived, but not of murdering the one he shot dead, 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

When George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, I put up a post reviewing a study on stand your ground laws.  The research found that these laws increase the likelihood that a homicide will be considered “justified,” but only in cases where a white person is accused of killing a black person.  Here is the data:

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At the previous post, I argued that these data — made to feel real by decisions like these — show that we are “biased in favor of the white defendant and against the black victim.” Stand your ground laws make it worse, but the far right column shows that:

…white people who kill black people are far more likely to be found not-guilty even in states without SYG and black people who kill whites are less likely to be found not-guilty regardless of state law.

Or, to put it more bluntly, we still value white men’s freedoms more than black men’s lives. On average, of course.

Cross-posted at Huffington Post.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a Visiting Scholar at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming Introduction to Sociology text. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A single event can take on great symbolic importance and change people’s perceptions of reality, especially when the media devote nearly constant attention to that event.  The big media story of the killing of Trayvon Martin and the trial of George Zimmerman probably does not change the objective economic, social, and political circumstances of Blacks and Whites in the U.S.  But it changed people’s perceptions of race relations.

A recent NBC/WSJ poll shows that between November of 2011 and July 2013, both Whites and Blacks became more pessimistic about race relations.

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Since 1994, Americans had become increasingly sanguine about race relations.  The Obama victory in 2008 gave an added boost to that trend.  In the month of Obama’s first inauguration, nearly two-thirds of Blacks and four-fifths of Whites saw race relations as Good or Very Good (here’s the original data). But now, at least for the moment, the percentages in the most recent poll are very close to what they were nearly 20 years ago.

The change was predictable, given the obsessive media coverage of the case and the dominant reactions to it.  On one side, the story was that White people were shooting innocent Black people and getting away with it.  The opposing story was that even harmless looking Blacks might unleash potentially fatal assaults on Whites who are merely trying to protect their communities.  In both versions, members of one race are out to kill members of the other — not a happy picture of relations between the races.

My guess is that Zimmerman/Martin effect will have a short life, perhaps more so for Whites than Blacks. In a few months, some will ascend from the depths of pessimism. Consider that after the verdict in Florida there were no major riots, no burning of neighborhoods to leave permanent scars — just rallies that were for the most part peaceful outcries of anger and anguish.  I also, however, doubt that we will see the optimism of 2009 for a long while, especially if the employment remains at its current dismal levels.

Cross-posted at Montclair SocioBlog.

Jay Livingston is the chair of the Sociology Department at Montclair State University. You can follow him at Montclair SocioBlog or on Twitter.

Trayvon Martin was a black teenage boy. He was walking home from the convenience store when he caught the attention and ire of George Zimmerman. Perceived as a “punk” and a threat, Martin was accosted by the older man, and a physical altercation ensued. Trayvon Martin died when he was shot through the heart at close range. Though Florida’s expansive “Stand Your Ground” laws were invoked in media conversations, that defense never even entered into the trial. Zimmerman was acquitted when a jury decided he’d killed Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman has since said Martin’s death was “God’s plan.”

Some Americans believe that race was not central to this killing or to the case that followed—they have believed it from February 2012 right up until today. But ask yourself: How many times you have been stopped and harassed because you looked threatening or suspicious wearing a hooded sweatshirt? For me, an Asian American female, that number is zero.

Yes, my gender alone distinguishes me from Trayvon Martin, but my partner Mike is a white male, and he, too, can only say “Zero.” We have never been stopped nor questioned, no matter how many times we’ve pulled on our hooded sweatshirts for warmth (and, in my case, to hide sea-tangled hair) after early morning surfing.

Stopping for breakfast or to run errands, Mike and I may not look polished in our hoodies, but we’ve also never had to worry that our appearance would cause suspicion. That’s privilege. It’s such a privilege, this presumed innocence of ours, that the morning after Zimmerman was acquitted, we went ignored even while acting suspiciously. Hoodies up, we casually stopped to look at a condo for rent in an affluent beach community in southern California. We knew from the online ad that the condo was vacant, so we parked outside, walked up the stairs to the unit, and peered into its windows. We sauntered around the grounds and walked into the unlocked community laundry room and garage. Several neighbors saw us, and they smiled.

I couldn’t help but think that the scenario would have been very different if Mike and I were black. Mike and I don’t have to wear our class in order to obviate being treated like threats or criminals; we can wear hoodies and board shorts without worrying that others will be suspicious, fearful, or make assumptions about our class status. Just being “not black” affords us this benefit of the doubt. It is a privilege because it is not something we have earned, but it is gifted to us every day regardless. I have always known about my privilege intellectually, but I felt it keenly last Saturday.

That some are afforded this privilege while others are systematically denied should make us all more empathetic. People perceive and experience the same event differently, depending on visible status markers such as race, gender, age, and class. Such status markers are more than just categories, they form a “system of social practices” that organize social relations. Status markers presume difference, and so people will react to and engage with Mike or with me differently than they would with someone like Trayvon Martin, even when we’re dressed the same.

We would like to believe that we don’t make assumptions based on race or gender, but evidence proves otherwise, as this social experiment of three individuals (a white male, a black male, and white female) trying to steal a bike clearly reveals:

As the sociologist Robert K. Merton insightfully observed nearly three-quarters of a century ago, “The very same behavior undergoes a complete change in evaluation in its transition from the in-group to the out-group.” As the video above indicates, the behavior of a black male (an out-group member) is regarded entirely differently than the same behavior of a white male and white female (in-group members).

The in-group/out-group divide goes further, with grave consequences in our criminal justice system. For example, Jennifer Eberhardt’s research has shown that race affects the severity of sentences that juvenile offenders receive, even for the same crime. Just the idea of a black juvenile offender leads people to imagine juveniles more like adults. Even liberal white Americans who claim low levels of prejudice project more blame onto black boys and sentence them more harshly. As Eberhardt has shown, “race has the power to dampen our desire to be merciful.”

I don’t have children, but if I did, I don’t know how I would explain Trayvon Martin’s death or the acquittal of his killer. But even just imagining being a parent to a black son makes me feel immense empathy for the parents of young black men. Can just that simple exercise make others more aware of race and class privilege, more aware of the power they have to recognize and even challenge that privilege and its consequences? As Henry David Thoreau asked, “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”

References:

Jennifer Eberhardt and Aneeta Rattan, “The Race Factor,” New York Times, June 12, 2012.

Robert K. Merton. 1968 [1948]. “Self-fulfilling Prophecy,” in Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure, 2nd edition. New York: Free Press.

Cecilia L. Ridgeway. 2011. Framed by Gender. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cross-posted at The Society Pages.

Jennifer Lee is a sociologist at the University of California, Irvine. Her book, The Diversity Paradox, examines patterns of intermarriage and multiracial identification among Asians, Latinos, and African Americans.