Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘Martin Left the House Where He Was a Welcome Guest to Buy Candy for a Younger Child; A Little While Later, His Dead Body Was Spread Out on a Lawn’

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When I asked on Twitter, there were two sorts of answers about what Martin should have done at this stage of the night: variations on “run straight home” and “not be black.” Those options are themselves mirror images. The idea that Martin, when he saw a light-skinned man looking at him strangely, should have realized his mistake and cleared out is a way of saying that he ought to have been exquisitely conscious of his blackness, of how he looked. Zimmerman’s lawyers argued that Zimmerman was properly scared; more subtly, they made the case that it was perverse of Martin not to recognize and manage his own scariness. And yet there are complications in instructing a black teen-ager to start running: Martin seems to have alarmed Zimmerman and the police dispatcher both when he moved too quickly and when he was slow. As Charles Blow wrote in the Times, “So what do I tell my boys now? At what precise pace should a black man walk to avoid suspicion?”

What Should Trayvon Martin Have Done?

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm

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