Discussions Of Racial Profiling In Light Of Trayvon Martin Case

By: Greg Gullberg Email
By: Greg Gullberg Email

- Valdosta, Ga. - April 19, 2012 -

The Trayvon Martin case has spurred conversations everywhere about how laws and racial profiling affect society.

Thursday Valdosta State University students and faculty held a panel discussion. Four panelists dissected Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.

But most of the talk was aimed at racial profiling and how it factored into the Sanford teen's death.

"So you notice there's a whole laundry list of things young black men are not supposed to wear. But I can't think of one thing that a young white male can't wear. The only thing I can think of is wearing a ski mask at a bank; it's probably not a good idea for anybody," said Dr. Thomas Hochschild, a professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Valdosta State University.

Trayvon Martin was the unarmed Sanford, Florida teen who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman.


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  • by Reality Check Location: Earth on Apr 21, 2012 at 08:45 PM
    EVERYONE IS A LAWBREAKER!! All you morons who use the cliche "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time" fail to realize that every adult has broken the law at some point. There are literally thousands of laws on the books - most of them we don't even know about. The only difference is how the criminal justice system chooses to penalize certain groups of people.
    • reply
      by ??? on Apr 22, 2012 at 07:29 AM in reply to Reality Check
      Good point. Everything is illegal these days.
    • reply
      by no mens rea on Apr 22, 2012 at 09:55 AM in reply to Reality Check
      I agree that there are thousands of laws on the books, the vast majority of them are outdated, useless, or unconstitutional. However, if I break a law that is left over from the 1800s, such as having someone with a lantern walk in front of my motorcar after dark, I don't really expect to be arrested. But if I break a law that is relevant today, like assault and battery, burglary, drug dealing, etc., then I fully well expect to be arrested if caught. I do see your point, but there are some "crimes" that we just don't have to be concerned about.
    • reply
      by Not Thinking on Apr 23, 2012 at 03:18 AM in reply to Reality Check
      "The only difference is how the criminal justice system chooses to penalize certain groups of people." And the moon is made of green cheese. Really, you do have a fascinating case of selective blindness. Some nut-cracker could make a career out of studying you, I'm sure of it.
  • by Anon on Apr 21, 2012 at 07:19 PM
    A few questions. Since this was a gated community, did the dad or his fiancée let anyone know that Trayvon would be living there (I.e., homeowners' association)? Where did the money come from to pay for his gold teeth? Doesn't sound like something mom and dad would agree to pay for. What were the charges against him for the stolen jewelry and for attacking the bus driver? Why did the mom send him to live with his dad? I imagine the fiancée was thrilled with that idea. Why havent we heard anything from her? Is there a connection between the neighborhood break-ins and Trayvon's arrival in Sanford? I'm sorry, but this was no model "child." The media needs to stop wrongly portraying him as such. If Zimmerman had known Martin, he would have had more of a reason to be suspicious of him, not less.
    • reply
      by Alice on Apr 22, 2012 at 05:06 AM in reply to Anon
      @Anon--you couldn't have said all of this better. I agree with you 100%.
  • by Carrie Location: Lake Park on Apr 21, 2012 at 06:28 PM
    Only ignorant people support racism.
  • by Frank on Apr 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
    Well, Let's see; Dispatcher says, ' we have a report of a black male driving a (whatever)... To all black males driving that type of 'whatever'. You are going to be stopped. If the dispatcher had said, 'white male', you will be stopped. Has common sense gone out the window?
  • by Kudzu Location: Thankfuly not Tallahassee on Apr 21, 2012 at 03:05 PM
    This is first hand knowledge.When faced with the possibility of death or serious injury,a person doesn't go through a checklist of is this within a stand your ground law.Self preservation is a natural instinct.You can't make me mad enough to kill you,but you can scare me enough to kill you.I think Zimmerman knows the feeling.
  • by Robert Location: To near Tallahassee on Apr 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
    I truly wish that I had picked my own cotton.
  • by Fo Real! Location: Tally on Apr 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM
    Who Cares? also why are media outlets still showing a picture of martin when he was like 12 lol.....show his "true" image...get over racism and racial profiling...its like same sex marriage, its unfortunate but it will happen as long as mankind exists..
  • by God is glory Location: Valdosta on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM
    I wonder what Jesus would think of all the racists who have posted their filth on this site?
  • by Racist Criminal Justice System Location: Tallahassee on Apr 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM
    Blacks and Hispanics are victims of: 1) unjust laws that are written to target them, 2) racial profiling from police, 3) overworked, inept public defenders, 4) predominantly white juries, and 5) a racist prison system. The criminal justices system is a weapon used by those in power (whites) to maintain their power.
    • reply
      by Cat on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      Is there a full moon tonight?
    • reply
      by Grace on Apr 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      You need to get some help for your mental illness if you really believe this.
    • reply
      by Al on Apr 21, 2012 at 02:39 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      All I think of is THUGS, THUGS, THUGS.
    • reply
      by maybe on Apr 21, 2012 at 04:02 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      You make some good points. I don't think it's a conspiracy, though.
    • reply
      by Anon on Apr 21, 2012 at 06:53 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      Please list one law that is written to be prejudiced against you. If you disagree with a law as it is written, write to your legislators. This is the same for everyone. Whining on this blog will get you exactly nowhere. Don't break the law and you won't have to worry about your other issues.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Apr 21, 2012 at 07:16 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      If you don't do the crime you won't do the time. It is that simple and that easy to stay out of the criminal justice system.
    • reply
      by no mens rea on Apr 21, 2012 at 08:35 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      1. Name one. 2. Are they suppose to ignore the most obvious way of identifying someone. If a suspect is described as white, it instantly rules out all blacks, and vice versa. No different than a suspect being described as male, instantly rules out all females. 3. They wouldn't be overworked if people didn't break the law, nor would the public have need for them. 4. Blacks make up about 12.9 % of the American population and whites about 80%. The ratio breaks down to about 1 black for every 6.15 whites. This would indicate that on a jury of 12 people, 2 would be black, 10 would be white, on average. 5. Don't commit the crime, and you probably won't have to worry to much about the prison system.
      • reply
        by B.L. on Apr 22, 2012 at 09:48 AM in reply to no mens rea
        Actually, white non-Hispanics are 63.7% of the population. And, jury selection is not representative sample of the population - lawyers dismiss jurors who might sympathize with defendants based on things like race. That's why so many whites who committed violent crimes against blacks benefited from "jury nullification" whereby white juries would find white defendants "not guilty" despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
    • reply
      by jdk on Apr 21, 2012 at 08:39 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      I know that the sentencing disparity for crack cocaine (poor urban blacks) was 100 times harsher than it was for powdered cocaine (affluent whites). I think President Obama reduced that disparity, though.
    • reply
      by Anon on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      I thought the media just educated us that hispanics hate blacks too? Make up your mind.
    • reply
      by REAL SAD on Apr 23, 2012 at 04:06 AM in reply to Racist Criminal Justice System
      Let me get this right, if you are black or Hispanic and you rob,kill another person with a gun, you are a victim from unjust laws??????? If you are black or Hispanic and you sell drugs, you are a victim???? The criminal justice system was put in place to maintain a safe society for LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. Laws written against acts, such as murder, robbery and selling drugs are not based on a person's race. If you BREAK THE LAW you will be punished, and only the ignorant idiots seem to continue to break the law.
  • by I'm throwing in the race card on Apr 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM
    MMMMM!!! Lets see, whacha think peple, do you think that the murders of people like Rachel Hoffman, Vincent Binder, Mr Campbell in Madison County, Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman for example were racially murdered. I'd say so being that these caucasians were murdered by blacks. We wat justice
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