Originally posted on CrimeDime:
Trayvon Martin’s death is inextricably bound up in his age, his hoodie, and his race. An older white woman, even in a hoodie, would not have been a likely target for George Zimmerman. But Trayvon, in his youth, his masculinity, and his racial identity as an African-American, fulfilled the stereotype of the unknown criminal offender.
While we most often think of white privilege – that unearned assumption of benign intent and general positive regard – as a function of white behavior, it is important to recognize that white privilege, and its opposite, is an activity of those of other racial and ethnic identities as well. It was Jesse Jackson who famously said, “I hate to admit it, but I have reached a stage in my life that if I am walking down a dark street late at night and I see that the person behind me is white, I subconsciously feel relieved.”
Despite the fact that African-Americans comprise about 12.6% of the population, they account for about half of homicides.