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Friday, March 1, 2013

An Open Letter to Beth Kassab, Orlando Sentinel Reporter

February 27, 2013

On 2/24/2013, Beth Kassab, Orlando Sentinel reporter, published a story “What we know one year after Trayvon Martin shooting.”

Ms. Kassab,

Re: What we know one year after Trayvon Martin shooting

In short, “we” know a hell of a lot more than you seem to as reflected in your piece.

These “the truth is somewhere in the middle” pieces are so devoid of thoughtfulness and actual understanding of the facts that have been released in the wake of the tragedy, all I can say is that your piece was LAZY and intellectually incurious.

What we now know about you as a writer….

1) You don’t know the difference between race and ethnicity.
Zimmerman IS white, being ½ Hispanic doesn’t change that, & even if it did, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be racist against blacks.

2) You’re ignorant about how racism manifests itself

Serino asking “You got any problems with black people?” does not mean the SPD adequately considered racial motivation.

3) This case DOES fit many of the molds of a racially motivated crime. Unfortunately someone like Zimmerman is not unique and neither is the victimology of Trayvon.

Zimmerman’s behavior was SOOoo prosaic anyone should’ve been able to see this coming. The truth is, someone devoid of racist thoughts, wouldn’t have seen Trayvon as being suspicious. Not to the degree where they’d feel justified calling the police and stalking and pursuing another human being in the menacing manner and to the degree Zimmerman did Trayvon. It was Zimmerman’s surety of Trayvon’s “type” that gave him the hubris to behave so aggressively It doesn’t take a social genius to see what was at play there. And writers like you have a duty not to be so obtuse about it.

Facts released have shown that Zimmerman has had issues with racism in his past. It may be difficult to prove racism that reaches a level of being prosecutable, but that does not mean that his racism is no longer self-evident when examining what led to the tragedy on 2/26/2012

The problem is, there are a lot of “marginally” racist guys like Zimmerman out there, and the failure of shallow thinkers/writers to see that even “mild racism” is inherently dangerous, as it was to Trayvon, is a serious negligence in journalism today. Writers like you have a higher duty than to write pieces that put forth such false equivalences & feigned “moderation”, as you did with this one.

The truth is, among other things this case really IS “about a black teen who was shot and killed for no reason except that a Neighborhood Watch volunteer who presumed all black teens were inherently suspicious” & as more evidence comes out, Wolfinger in particular WAS “either apathetic or bigoted Sanford SA who told cops to sit on their hands instead of arresting the known killer—and they did. For God’s sake, they never even bothered to impound Zimmerman’s truck and collect evidence from it.


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