Jul 23, 2013
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll looks at the wide racial gulf on George Zimmerman’s acquittal for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.
Almost nine in 10 African-Americans said Trayvon Martin’s death was unjustified, compared to 33 percent of whites. For the entirety of the poll, it continues along the same lines: At least one in eight blacks strongly disapprove of the trial verdict and want to see civil rights charges against Zimmerman, and a majority of whites both approved of the not-guilty verdict and would not want federal civil rights charges. Meanwhile, the answer to whether the criminal justice system is unfair to people of color depends on who is being asked. Sixty percent of Hispanics and 86 percent of blacks said there is unequal treatment, but a majority of whites say it is equal.
Opinions of the case also split by party: Among whites, 70 percent of Republicans approve of the verdict while only 30 percent of Democrats do so.
Across the country, Trayvon Martin’s death has prompted calls for justice, including a reexamination of how laws like Stand Your Ground exacerbate racial bias. Not surprisingly, this same debate has provoked racist and hysterical reaction as well, particularly from white conservative punditry.