Criticism of the New Black Panthers’ reward for Zimmerman’s arrest reveals a double standard

April 01, 2012 at 12:20 pm by: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex, White Privilege

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From The Root:

Despite apparent evidence that the Sanford police were negligent in the handling of the case, they appear to be attempting to regain a forfeited moral high ground.

“The city of Sanford does not condone the actions and recommendations of the New Black Panther Party,” officials said in a statement (pdf). “Attempts by civilians to take any person into custody may result in criminal charges or unnecessary violence.”

This statement offers insight into the death of Martin, the response of the police at the scene and an antiquated, discriminatory mindset that requires addressing now. If the Sanford police had exercised an equally balanced reaction to Zimmerman, as expressed in the statement to the New Black Panthers, Zimmerman would be behind bars today.

How can police sanction vigilante justice in the name of self-defense by Zimmerman against an unarmed child but condemn a response of “perceived” vigilante justice by the New Black Panthers? The double standard inherent in this inequitable response is solely defined by race.

Too often in American society, the very potential for black aggression is immediately met with force and an admonishment to use caution and temperance. But Zimmerman is excused for being rash, unreasonable and violent. How is that acceptable in a supposedly colorblind society? And then upheld by the law-enforcement apparatus?


Do you understand the difference between acting in the heat of the moment, and issuing a cold calculated message urging others to engage in actions which are very likely to result in someone experiencing bodily harm? Given that Zimmerman has been threatened by so many people since the shooting, he may well be armed, and it may not be Zimmerman who winds up getting hurt if someone follows up on the Panthers' offer.  Wanna be vigilantes, innocent by-standers, who knows? 

KayWhitlock 2 Like

 @iamnotaguest "Acting in the heat of the moment " - ahhh, perhaps like Zimmerman being told by the police that he "didn't need to" follow Trayvon Martin, but Zimmerman did, anyway?  Too bad the police didn't issue as clear an edict to Zimmerman, and hold him to the same set of standards they want to hold the New Black Panthers to.


Oh, and BTW, I think the New Black Panthers gig has been phony from the start.  Wouldn't be surprised if right-wing money weren't behind their little adventures that somehow are ALWAYS cited by right-wingers and white people who seek to be scared by black people as somehow the real measurement for injustice. 

Seeta moderator 1 Like

 @iamnotaguest Your remarks indicate that you did not read the article located at The Root in its entirety.  This is an issue of selective prosecution and enforcement based on race, not an issue of advocating vigilantism.