Let's just go ahead and get this part out of the way: I don't care if it 2013, race matters and always will. Sorry, that's just how it is. To say you "shouldn't see color" is counter-productive. Everyone sees race. People naturally gravitate towards their own race. People have natural bias. Psychology proves it. And since those biases exist, stereo-types will be born. They only way you are going to fix these stereo-types is by acknowledging the differences in race and culture and learning about those differences rather than making judgments based on those differences. Now with that out of the way, why is this a race thing? Because whether Zimmerman would have been white, Hispanic, Native American, Italian, or anything else, it wouldn't have mattered. What does matter is that Trayvon was black. Believe it or not, there is a stigma against young black men. Young black men are seen as a threat in this society. Unless that young black man looks like what society wants them to look like (clean cut, nice clothes, handsome, ect.), he is seen as a "thug", "up to no good", and "uneducated". To be the mother of a black son, you know this. You know your child will one day have this stigma placed upon him. You know that the same ones coming up and cooing over how cute he is a baby are the same ones who will question his motives when he is a teenager walking home in the dark. She has to raise him differently. She has to be harder on him. She has to let him know at some point that because he is black, people will be judging him based solely on that, even though it's not right. Even though she knows her child is just as wonderful as any other mothers child. She knows that just as her child is being judged so is she because at the end of the day if the child does something wrong, it must have been because the parenting was lacking. It must of been because she was uneducated, uninformed, on welfare, drugs, or just has too many children to be bothered with the problems of one. People say "just get over it. It's not that big a deal. Your imagining that race matters that much, and if you think it does, your the racist one." Not really, I just have enough experience and common sense to know that it does. I am only 26, but have been experiencing racism since I was a very small child, starting with my own mother who was ashamed of having a child from a black man. Then from the children I went to school with because where they were from, people didn't "mix races". I was too black for the white kids, too white for the black kids, and I couldn't speak Spanish so a couldn't hang out with the Hispanic kids. When I was a teenager my family had a party for one of my younger cousins at the club house pool in their neighborhood, which was a suburban, nearly all white-neighborhood. In the middle of the party a white family comes in and starts complaining and saying we couldn't be there because the pool was only for people who lived there, and threatened to called the police. I am only 26, so these things didn't happen that long ago. And let's be clear, I am NOT saying all racism is directed towards black men, or black people in general. That's my example because that's what this involves. Racism can exist between any race or culture and be directed towards any race or culture. That point is it does exist and is very prevalent, and you can't fix a problem without acknowledging it.
This is NOT about the verdict. The verdict did not surprise me. I am a Criminal Justice major. I know how the law works, so I know why he wasn't convicted. So don't bring that up to me because I don't care. It's about racism and stereotypes and how they affect people and acknowledging that whether you like it or not it does in fact play a role.