Dominion of New York

The 411

March 30, 2012

Readers Respond to Our Trayvon Martin Coverage

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Written by: Kelly Virella

Daniel Lewis, in response to “56 Years Later, America Gets a New Emmett Till”

This whole country is built on a legacy of theft and barbarism, and 50 years isn’t going to change that completely. I have known plenty of people of all colors who are good, and plenty who are not good people. The fact of the matter is that much of the racism that exists in this country was purposely started by the rich. When the south was settled, the English quickly found that tobacco didn’t grow out of the ground on its own. So after killing the Natives off, they brought in African people as slaves. Well, then the Englsih discovered that since people don’t like being enslaved, and the salves outnumbered them ten to one, they needed to have some other White people to manage them… So they took my ancestors from Scotland and brought them to the South, to do things like settle land that wasn’t suitable for plantations (in order to defend against the Natives), and to help continue suppression of Black people. They told poor White southerners that we were White and needed to stick together, although people such as my family were just one step above the Black people in society. If it wasn’t for this artifcially created race problem, poor Southerners of all colors would put aside their differences. Why was Martin Luther King shot? Becuase he supported an integrated union strike. Malcolm X likewise was murdered when he returned from Mecca and realized that we are all human beings… The Black Panthers likewise saw that its economic oppression that keeps us down, and racism is used to divide and conquer the working class in this country. Incidents and attacks as these are used to divide us. Trust me, as a White person from the Appalachians who lives in North Dakota, I find more in common with Black people from down home than I do with White people up here…. Its sad that so many people, of both colors, fall for this strategy.

Lawrence, in response to a reader who said “Racism is mostly a white thing” while commenting on “George Zimmerman’s Father: My Son Hispanic, Not Racist

That is JUST plain stupid…Blacks are just as racist as Whites…or Asians…for that matter. I know many Blacks who harbour quite a bit of racism, and try to date an Asian woman (particularly Korean)…You will see how quickly she gets harassed by her parents/friends/and the Korean community…

Racism exists among all races. Spike Lee is racist. Al Sharpton is VERY racist. “Racism is mostly a white thing” has got to be one of the most ignorant things I have heard today. I am shocked sometimes by what I hear/read on various Facebook walls from my former Black highschool mates. Recently, one girl posted on my friend’s wall and said that White people are the devil and are responsible for all evil in this world…

I posted that I was very disappointed to see that kind of thing on my friend’s wall, and he apologized and a few people replied, but for the most part, a LOT of people didn’t condemn her for her comment.

So…STOP making generalizations….Are YOU racist? If not, GOOD! But don’t be so ignorant as to claim that racism is mostly White…

Racism IS, however, a flaw/illness that EVERY human is capable of displaying…Our job is to remove this flaw from our daily lives…just as we remove hatred, fear, anger…We are ALL equally capable of being racist, or angry, or negative…and if you choose to host such feelings, you will be the one that suffers. I, like many of the Black, White, and Asian people that I choose to associate with, do NOT allow racism to exist in my heart.

Stephen Marsh, in response to “George Zimmerman’s Father: My Son Hispanic, Not Racist

I’m from England and I am absolutely stunned by this horrific story. Something is badly wrong with the law in Florida (and the USA) if Mr Zimmerman doesn’t go to jail for this… Reverse the positions and a black man would already be in jail, awaiting trial for murder, for the same act..

He left his vehicle and followed the child, seeking a confrontation, against the advice of the 911 operator. He then confronted and murdered Trayvon, for the sole reason, that Zimmerman believed a young black male in his neighborhood must be regarded as a threat.

I don’t know the guy, so I can’t 100% guarantee he is a racist, but he does appear to call him a coon on the recording and his actions back that up. As for his father saying he’s not a racist because he has (had) black friends.. That is laughable – the stock defense of a racist.. And btw Zimmerman Snr, Junior doesn’t have any black friends anymore!

Even if he isn’t prosecuted, he will never be safe again, which is not a nice way to have to live, but he only has himself to blame…

Laribo, in response to “George Zimmerman’s Father: My Son Hispanic, Not Racist

mainstream US racial-ethnic discourses have failed to adequately account for the complexity of Latino/Latin American identity, which is why there is so much confusion throughout the internet, blogosphere, TV, and other media in how to talk about George Zimmerman’s race/ethnicity. but as Latinos/Hispanics continue to increase in numbers and in political power, it’s inevitable that US racial-ethnic discourses are going to be increasingly transformed in order to accommodate and come to terms with the emerging Latino majority.

….but enough of this. overshadowing this entire discussion of the complexity of Latino/Hispanic identity is the horrific murder of Trayvon Martin by a deeply troubled and racist man who is STILL NOT IN JAIL for murdering an UNARMED TEENAGER WITH SKITTLES. i am so appalled and disgusted that the Sanford police (who described Zimmerman as “white”, by the way) has NOT ARRESTED HIM. i heard some of Trayvon’s screams in the some of those 911 calls on TV a while ago, and i am so disturbed, horrified, saddened… wat the hell is wrong with our country. i pray for Justice for Trayvon Martin.


About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.