SANFORD, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) - The national conversation over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin shows two sides talking about two different things: either the two minutes when Zimmerman and Martin fought face to face, or the centuries of racial context that many believe caused a senseless death.
The debate also has revealed deep resistance to the idea that justice in this case might not be black and white, but could include a gray area with important parts of both visions.
“Is justice getting the bad guy?” asks Gene Demby, who writes about race for National Public Radio’s “Code Switch” blog.
“So many of us,” he says, “have very different ideas of what the bad guys look like.”
A recent Gallup Poll also speaks to inequalities in the treatment of certain races and age demographics by police – specifically, young black men.
The findings of a recently conducted survey indicate that 24 percent of black men between the ages of 18 and 34 say they have experienced unfair treatment by local authority figures. Black women between the ages of 18 and 34 also observed unfair treatment from local authorities – as many as 18 percent noted incidents of racial profiling in the past 30 days to researchers.
According to a release on the poll’s findings, 22 percent of black men between the ages of 35 and 54 also felt they were treated less fairly by cops than their peers of other races.
“A comparable question asked of Hispanics in the same survey showed that 13 percent of Hispanic males under the age of 35 said the police had treated them unfairly within the last 30 days,” the release additionally noted.
Black people polled by Gallup also said they experienced discrimination and unfair treatment while shopping, in restaurants or movie theaters, and at work. Incidents of racism while shopping were the highest, with 24 percent of respondents noting incidents within the past 30 days.
According to Gallup, the results were found while conducting their Minority Rights and Relations poll. It was conducted between June 13 and July 5 of this year, and surveyed 4,373 American adults from throughout the country. Of those participants, a reported 1,010 were described as “non-Hispanic blacks.”
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