In a powerfully-argued column for the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson claims that "our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent."
Robinson condemns the initial non-chalant response of the Sanford Police Department to the killing of Trayvon Martin, a killing that resulted in prosecution of George Zimmerman after it became a national story. One of the most poignant issues raised by Robinson is that, for a teenager like Trayvon Martin, it must have been frightening to be followed by an adult on that rainy night in Florida. And under those circumstances, Martin faced a "fight or flight" dilemma. Per Robinson, George Zimmerman was not the only adversary that Trayvon Martin faced on that night in February 2012. He also faced deeply-rooted American assumptions about young Black males.
Eugene Robinson's column is linked below.
Eugene Robinson: Young Black males kept from being youthful
"The assumption underlying [the Sanford authorities] ho-hum approach to the case was that Zimmerman had the right to self-defense but Martin — young, male, black — did not. The assumption was that Zimmerman would fear for his life in a hand-to-hand struggle but Martin — young, male, black — would not."
---Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post