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July 15, 2013

Multiracial Zimmerman Protest Photos: Sign of Change or Wishful Thinking?

One thing that struck me immediately about the photo coverage of the Zimmerman verdict, distinct from at least recent civil rights protest imagery, was the number of widely-published newswire images highlighting a multi-racial response. (Regarding geography, the first four pics are from Seminole, the next three are from New York and the last, the 10 freeway in L.A.) What I can’t tell is if these images are reflective of an instinct to come together and that result, or the photos are more cherry picked and wishful.

The first three images above by Getty’s Scott Olson outside the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center certainly deliver a powerful solidarity statement, particularly the white woman reaching out to embrace the black child.

I guess we could also say that the “all together now” spirit of these photos is at least consistent with the largely nonviolent nature of the nationwide reaction. To the central question though, and perhaps an ironic one with the recent passing of Rodney King: can we say that the  reaction to Zimmerman and the Florida “stand your ground” law is reflecting progress –across the broad middle, at least — in getting along?

(photo 1 -3: Scott Olson/Getty Images caption 1: Tanetta Foster is comforted by Erika Rodgers (L) after she breaks into tears in front of the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center after learning George Zimmerman had been found not guilty in the Murder of Trayvon Martin on July 13, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. caption 2: Melinda O’Neal (L) breaks into tears and hugs Shedrick Burfect in front of the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center after learning George Zimmerman had been found not guilty in the Murder of Trayvon Martin on July 13, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed 17-year-old Martin after an altercation in February 2012. caption 3: Kat Crowe, left, and Melinda O’Neal comfort each other in front of the Seminole County courthouse after learning George Zimmerman had been found not guilty late July 13 in the Murder of Trayvon Martin. photo 4: Brian Blanco/European Pressphoto Agency caption: Demonstrators reacted to the not guilty verdict at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center. photo 5: John Minchillo/AP caption: Demonstrators converge on Union Square in New York Sunday, July 14, 2013 during a protest against the acquittal of neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.photo 6: Keith Bedford/Reuters caption: Worshippers at the Middle Collegiate Church hold prayer services wearing hoodies in support of slain teenager Trayvon Martin in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his trial in New York, July 14, 2013.photo 7: Adrees Latif/Reuters caption: Hundreds of activists demand justice for Trayvon Martin after marching to Times Square from New York’s Union Square July 14, 2013. photo 8: Robyn Beck / AFP-Getty Images caption: Police officers confront protesters on the 10 Freeway.)

  • http://www.futurebird.com Susan Donovan

    I think it’s real. It’s a very mixed crowed in NYC. Realy I have never seen a protest that represented NYC quite so well in terms of diversity.

    Normally, I get frustrated with some of my white liberal friends when they don’t “get” some issue– but the killing of a young man — still moving out of childhood has moved a lot of people.

    In fact, I’m more conservative than many for once.

  • http://www.futurebird.com Susan Donovan

    I think it’s real. It’s a very mixed crowed in NYC. Realy I have never seen a protest that represented NYC quite so well in terms of diversity.

    Normally, I get frustrated with some of my white liberal friends when they don’t “get” some issue– but the killing of a young man — still moving out of childhood has moved a lot of people.

    In fact, I’m more conservative than many for once.

  • Stanco55

    Noticed it too. Don’t know about “the broad middle,” but certainly in the youth. It seems there is progress in that demographic, racially- just as they have helped advance the conversation on homosexuality. And I hope that it is a lasting change, one that does not degrade with age.

  • Stanco55

    Noticed it too. Don’t know about “the broad middle,” but certainly in the youth. It seems there is progress in that demographic, racially- just as they have helped advance the conversation on homosexuality. And I hope that it is a lasting change, one that does not degrade with age.

  • TheUrbanPoet Byll Potts

    Crack-A-Smile ((ZimmermanTrial)

    Rehashing the lashing the whip of white is popping
    Across the backs of any man that is black the court system will win ain’t no stopping
    Many years ago as we row, they said get off the ship you’re only good for share cropping
    Only in America the blood of a black man in vain is spilling steadily dropping

    The crack-a-smile walking across your path on the sidewalk, don’t move go head on, they are wrong
    Crash into them push them back illustrate who is really strong
    Land of the free not for a black man legally, “ we shall overcome? “ Damn that Song
    We can take it back to the sixties if crack-a-smile thinks that is where we belong

    No force can change the rhythm of a black mans’ walk
    Even if in the night with a weapon feeling he can rightfully stalk
    Criticizing hooded clothing baggy pants or even Ebonics when we talk
    Over two decades changing graffiti into a black man’s body outlined in chalk

    Trust me, we can re-arrange your thinking, make you wish you’d never took us from the river Nile
    In broad day light bold up in your sight flip the script you will be who we profile
    Next thing you know one million men will show like 911 after we dial
    For now go right ahead, remember we are not afraid we are watching you flashing that fake

    Crack-A- Smile

  • TheUrbanPoet Byll Potts

    Crack-A-Smile ((ZimmermanTrial)

    Rehashing the lashing the whip of white is popping
    Across the backs of any man that is black the court system will win ain’t no stopping
    Many years ago as we row, they said get off the ship you’re only good for share cropping
    Only in America the blood of a black man in vain is spilling steadily dropping

    The crack-a-smile walking across your path on the sidewalk, don’t move go head on, they are wrong
    Crash into them push them back illustrate who is really strong
    Land of the free not for a black man legally, “ we shall overcome? “ Damn that Song
    We can take it back to the sixties if crack-a-smile thinks that is where we belong

    No force can change the rhythm of a black mans’ walk
    Even if in the night with a weapon feeling he can rightfully stalk
    Criticizing hooded clothing baggy pants or even Ebonics when we talk
    Over two decades changing graffiti into a black man’s body outlined in chalk

    Trust me, we can re-arrange your thinking, make you wish you’d never took us from the river Nile
    In broad day light bold up in your sight flip the script you will be who we profile
    Next thing you know one million men will show like 911 after we dial
    For now go right ahead, remember we are not afraid we are watching you flashing that fake

    Crack-A- Smile

  • GeorgeMokray

    Anybody who doesn’t recognize that what happens to young black males, to women, to poor people can happen to you no matter how white, male, and rich you are is not paying attention. Those who are considered expendable like young black males, women, and poor people are merely the canaries in the coal mine. Especially in a society and culture that spies on everybody and everything – including this post. I raise my middle finger to you, NSA.

    Those who were out on the street after the verdict in the Zimmerman trial recognize that reality. And more of us do so every day.

    • http://open.salon.com/blog/bill_michtom michtom

      The attack on the Others has only been growing as the definition of Other includes more and more of us.

      More and more people are seeing it.

  • GeorgeMokray

    Anybody who doesn’t recognize that what happens to young black males, to women, to poor people can happen to you no matter how white, male, and rich you are is not paying attention. Those who are considered expendable like young black males, women, and poor people are merely the canaries in the coal mine. Especially in a society and culture that spies on everybody and everything – including this post. I raise my middle finger to you, NSA.

    Those who were out on the street after the verdict in the Zimmerman trial recognize that reality. And more of us do so every day.

    • http://open.salon.com/blog/bill_michtom michtom

      The attack on the Others has only been growing as the definition of Other includes more and more of us.

      More and more people are seeing it.

  • bks3bks

    Here’s the bks heuristic for crowd shots: If the photographer does not take a long shot to show the size of the crowd, there is no crowd.

    –bks

  • bks3bks

    Here’s the bks heuristic for crowd shots: If the photographer does not take a long shot to show the size of the crowd, there is no crowd.

    –bks

  • jonst

    and so it begins….assault on white man.

    • Stanco55

      No- it began several hundred years ago with something called the slave trade when Whites forcibly enchained, kidnapped and enslaved Africans by the thousands at the point of a gun (sound familiar?).

      And the abuse… continues- to this day.

  • jonst
  • jonst

    and so it begins….assault on white man.

    • Stanco55

      No- it began several hundred years ago with something called the slave trade when Whites forcibly enchained, kidnapped and enslaved Africans by the thousands at the point of a gun (sound familiar?).

      And the abuse… continues- to this day.

  • jonst
  • Jason E

    An injury to one is an injury to all. It’s often pointed out that the electorate in the US is becoming less white. This is a major threat to an aging white population (they are seeing themselves as a minority for the first time in their lives, and they don’t like it). There children and grand children don’t necessarily share there point of view and that scares them even more. I remember as a boy in the 1970’s hearing older white people discussing children of mixed race couples. They would talk about how cute they were but how unfortunate it was that would never be fully accepted by either race. I remember people saying sure someday there could be a black president but never in our lifetime. They may even add a line about how there grand pappy would “spin in his grave”. America will move on from racism, and I for one hope it comes in my lifetime.

  • Jason E

    An injury to one is an injury to all. It’s often pointed out that the electorate in the US is becoming less white. This is a major threat to an aging white population (they are seeing themselves as a minority for the first time in their lives, and they don’t like it). There children and grand children don’t necessarily share there point of view and that scares them even more. I remember as a boy in the 1970’s hearing older white people discussing children of mixed race couples. They would talk about how cute they were but how unfortunate it was that would never be fully accepted by either race. I remember people saying sure someday there could be a black president but never in our lifetime. They may even add a line about how there grand pappy would “spin in his grave”. America will move on from racism, and I for one hope it comes in my lifetime.

  • Cactus

    I think, with the election of Obama, many white people thought that
    the racist past was over. This trial has made them see (at least those who
    would see) that it lives and thrives. I’m sure some are surprised to find out
    how close to their home it does survive. I’ve heard more shock and sadness from
    whites than blacks. Of course, black people already knew how bad it was.
    Blacks are arrested for marijuana possession four times more than whites. But
    the rate of usage is the same. http://tinyurl.com/nytblkvswht0604

    Of course, the racist emails are already going around — in an
    attempt, I’m sure, to rip apart any coming together. Together we just might get
    something done, or at least make a start. There are those who want to destroy
    any attempt to do so. I doubt I’m the only one who sees those ’stand your
    ground’ laws as not-so-subtle permission to take aim at any black man one comes
    across. It’s no accident that 9 of the 16 states that have these laws are
    southern states. The others have enclaves of white supremacist groups and/or
    republican governors. Except NH, don’t know why.

    Also, that white woman embracing the black child — it just might
    be her child. That Cheerios commercial may not be so avant guarde, but rather
    be reflecting reality. Granted, I live in a big city, but I see more and more
    often one or both white parents with black or mixed race
    children.

  • Cactus

    I think, with the election of Obama, many white people thought that
    the racist past was over. This trial has made them see (at least those who
    would see) that it lives and thrives. I’m sure some are surprised to find out
    how close to their home it does survive. I’ve heard more shock and sadness from
    whites than blacks. Of course, black people already knew how bad it was.
    Blacks are arrested for marijuana possession four times more than whites. But
    the rate of usage is the same. http://tinyurl.com/nytblkvswht0604

    Of course, the racist emails are already going around — in an
    attempt, I’m sure, to rip apart any coming together. Together we just might get
    something done, or at least make a start. There are those who want to destroy
    any attempt to do so. I doubt I’m the only one who sees those ’stand your
    ground’ laws as not-so-subtle permission to take aim at any black man one comes
    across. It’s no accident that 9 of the 16 states that have these laws are
    southern states. The others have enclaves of white supremacist groups and/or
    republican governors. Except NH, don’t know why.

    Also, that white woman embracing the black child — it just might
    be her child. That Cheerios commercial may not be so avant guarde, but rather
    be reflecting reality. Granted, I live in a big city, but I see more and more
    often one or both white parents with black or mixed race
    children.

  • 1nancy2

    s….Yes, and it makes me sick, sick I tell you. What we have done to blacks, native Americans, you name it, is an outrage. I can’t stand that smiling Z. gargoyle, beast, monster, creep, jerk. I am totally disgusted that he gets to walk, again, and can take his gun too.

  • 1nancy2

    s….Yes, and it makes me sick, sick I tell you. What we have done to blacks, native Americans, you name it, is an outrage. I can’t stand that smiling Z. gargoyle, beast, monster, creep, jerk. I am totally disgusted that he gets to walk, again, and can take his gun too.

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