Sunday, April 01, 2012

Trayvon Martin: Latino Silence over Zimmerman Draws Fire

Note:  In the picture accompanying the story below Martin is still shown as he was when about 12 years old  -- not as the 6'3" brute that Zimmerman encountered.  The media have a lot to answer for in this story

The shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin by a Latino man in Florida has provoked a national discussion about racism, ethnicity, and racial profiling in America—with the media referring to the shooter, George Zimmerman, as a "white Latino," a term that has been greeted with derision by some.

Now critics are questioning why prominent Latino rights groups have remained on the sidelines of the discussion of race and the case.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh tore into the National Council of La Raza on Tuesday, criticizing the group’s president, Janet Murguia, for omitting Zimmerman’s ethnicity from her commentary on the incident.

A caller had prompted the conversation wondering why the community hasn’t stood behind Zimmerman “seeing as how he is the victim, how he was assaulted.”

But advocates within the Latino community say these remarks are divisive and take away from the real issue.

“That has come out as part of the backlash, pitting people against one another,” said Lisa Navarette, a spokeswoman for La Raza. “We want a full and thorough investigation. If findings are consistent with what is being reported in the media then everybody who has played a role, regardless of race, should be held accountable.”

Leaders in the Latino community also say that as divisive as the remarks may be, they raise a issues about the way this country thinks about ethnic groups.

“We have paradigms in this country: Initially it was just black and white,” said Navarette. “This is complicated because the media tried to put it into that paradigm but it didn’t fit.”

Tweets indicate that a number of people are paying attention to his race --and questioning what a “White Latino” is. These discussions, while valid, show how little mainstream America knows about Latinos and minorities, experts say.

“This is much more complex than simply saying this guy is Hispanic and we (Hispanics) have to defend Hispanics,” said Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy. “There is a whole question going on like, ‘Are Hispanics capable of being racist?' ‘Why are they calling him a white Hispanic?’... That shows a lack of understanding about the Latino community.”


MS: Suspected teen robber shot:  "A robber was shot earlier Saturday evening when he held up a barber at gunpoint in Jackson.  Jackson Police were on the scene around 5:30 at Elegante Coiffures Beauty and Barber Salon on Medgar Evers near the intersection of Rutledge Avenue.  Witnesses told WLBT  that a barber stepped outside to go to his vehicle when he was suddenly approached by a person with a gun.  Police say the 17-year old took money from the barber and attempted to take his vehicle.  Another barber in the business saw the two struggling. That co-worker then retrieved a weapon and opened fire striking the suspected robber in the face. He then ran across the street and hid in the woods.  Police later took him into custody on Hollywood Street.  The 17-year-old is being charged with armed robbery of an individual.  No word on his identity or his condition. No one else was injured."

WA: A homeowner shot and killed a man who broke into the bedroom where the homeowner and his girlfriend were hiding:  "The incident started just after 11:30 p.m. Friday night in the 300 block of SE 5th St in North Bend. A couple had been sleeping when they woke up to the sound of glass breaking.  The suspect had broken the rear sliding glass door, entered the house, and then started "trashing the house." The couple, a 46-year-old man and his girlfriend,  hid in a bedroom as they  talked to  the 911 operator.  The couple told police that they could hear the suspect ransack the house.  The suspect was yelling, "Where are you?  I'm going to kill you!"  The man living at the home retrieved a handgun from his nightstand and yelled numerous times, "I have a pistol. Get out of my house!"  West said within a short time the suspect kicked the door down and at that point the homeowner fired several shots, killing the suspect.  "What's interesting in this case is that the homeowner showed incredible restraint," said Sergeant Cindi West."

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