Earlier today, Obama gave a speech about the Trayvon Martin murder trial, in which Obama compared himself to the slain teen, saying he “could have been” Trayvon 35 years ago.
Although conservatives are claiming that Obama was race baiting, the following statistics about the unequal treatment of blacks and whites by the U.S. justice system should give even conservatives a pause.
As the following Frontline chart shows, when the Stand Your Ground Defense is used, it is far more likely that juries will find the killing justifiable if it is a white person killing a black person than if it is a black person killing a white person.
It’s clear that U.S. justice system is failing to give black people the same treatment that it gives white people.
Although I didn’t like how some of the media tried to inflame racial tensions in their coverage of the case, race should not be ignored when thinking about the outcome. Personally, I think if George Zimmerman were a black man who killed an unarmed white boy just because he “looked suspicious” and because the white boy supposedly hit Zimmerman (after Zimmerman stalked Martin at night!), this would have been a different verdict. And evidence suggests I would be right.