Ask the White Guy: Is Trayvon Today’s Emmett Till?

Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin did not get justice. And that’s not the only similarity.

Ask the White Guy: Is Trayvon Today's Emmett Till?Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

Q: Some very prominent Americans compared Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till. Do you agree with this comparison?

A: Recently, I was talking to a very accomplished Black woman corporate executive. She has two sons and was with her family at a hotel when the Zimmerman acquittal was broadcast. She was in a public space where a group of people were watching a television. They cheered. How do you think she felt? Her sons? Her husband? When she relayed this story to me, her voice broke as she described teaching her sons how to behave when a cop pulls them over. In America. In 2013.

My answer to your question is: yes. I doubt George Zimmerman was motivated by hate as much as the men who killed Emmett Till in 1955, but many people in crowds that cheered his acquittal sure are. The difference is in the nature of the oppressor and the motivations for cultivating that hate. That said, the conditions for the oppressed are much the same.

I think our country is facing a cabal of loosely associated self-interests that are prolonging the misery of groups that can be defined by race. Gun manufacturers benefit greatly from “Shall Carry” and “Stand Your Ground” laws—as they do from the war on drugs. (Inner-city shooters in New Jersey all have the latest handguns, and manufacturers know damned well which of their distributors are involved in straw purchases.) The for-profit prison industry was created and is sustained because of the war on drugs. Other folks involved in this loose association include the people in our Congress advocating for the impeachment of the President, a natural outgrowth of the birther movement. Nobody can tell me it’s not driven by the President’s being Black. A guy who loses his job as governor (for “hiking the Appalachian Trail”) wins a seat in Congress on a platform of “a vote for me is a vote against Obama.”

So all these “special interests” are driving their financially motivated self-interests by cultivating hate. The easiest target for these special interests is middle-aged white men*, especially those not happy with their lives and/or career progressions. The oldest trick in the book is to find a scapegoat; all despotic movements do it—al-Qaida is doing it now.

Poor Trayvon gets to be the Emmett of his generation. Although I don’t think Zimmerman has the mental capacity for cruelty that Emmitt’s murderers had, people cheered when Emmitt’s murderers were acquitted as well. People are trying to smear Trayvon’s character (Skittles and Robitussin) just like people tried to smear Emmett’s character.

Again, at the bottom of it all is economics. The oppressed are pretty much where they were 50 years ago. How does our country benefit?

* Almost 100 percent of the hate mail I get is from white men. Now that I’m in my mid-50s, I can see from my acquaintances and friends that men are vastly more angry about their perceived lack of success than women. I’m one of the fortunate few men of my age who is comfortable with where I’ve taken my life; many men are not. They don’t make the connection (as they rail about the poor life choices of poor people) that they were the master of their own destiny as well—and they don’t see that it wasn’t “affirmative action” that caused their problems. One of the most regular hate mailers to my site is a factory hand at a DiversityInc Top 50 company. He’s gone on and on for years, pouring his frustrations into hate for other people.

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  • Viola Tendler

    I don’t like other people to make generalities nor do I like it when you make generalities and lump people together. I am a native american (half breed) and I do not agree with many of the things that our President has done and stands for. I think that he is taking this country down a wrong road and a very slippery slope. My opinions have nothing to do with his race but rather his ideology. I do not think of his color when I think about his ideas. I do not think about anyone’s color when making a decision on their actions or ideas. I have always had a very mixed and diverse group of friends and aquaintenances. I did grow up in a home with a father who was very prejudiced but I made a decision, early on, that it made no sense to me and I would not live my life that way. I am 65 years old this year and pretty much say what I think at my age. I have experienced discrimination and the ignorance of others in my life but I have never let it determine who I would be. Sometimes I just get tired of hearing others bemoan their fate in life. In addition, I feel that much of what you publish tends to “stir the pot” and keep people riled up. Thaks for letting me vent and share my two cents worth,.

    • “In addition, I feel that much of what you publish tends to “stir the pot” and keep people riled up.”

      I view that as a compliment. People have been quiet and been suffering injustice for far too long. It’s important for people to wake up and notice the wrongs of this country. And Mr. Visconti does an excellent job in simply telling the truth. That has been an issue with popular culture for generations. People want to maintain the status quo and go along with the crowd. What Mr. Visconti discusses and the stories he brings up are TRUTH. Why would someone telling the truth come off to you as stirring the pot?

      • Delorme McKee-Stovall

        Thank you for your reply. We need connections to end this suffering. We cannot afford for more people to see themselves on the sidelines of a national and global tragedy of our own making unfold.

    • Viola,

      The distressing to me is how someone like you can pr0fess to be an “idependent thinker” but can use rhetoric directly from the right wing press, shch as, “I think that he is taking this country down a wrong road and a very slippery slope”. If you have experienced discrimination, then you should be more sensitive to the discrimination and racism that is motivating the movement against the President that you appear to subscribe to. You describe yourself as a “Native American” but have you lived your life as a minority or as a “white person”?

    • I must agree with the white guy. Everything that Obama does… some middle aged white guy has an issue with it. Those who are active Republicans do their best to place obstructions in Obamas way. Thats why the Tea Party was invented. That is after Obama became president of United States. As a half breed myself half of American Indian I’m appalled at the fact that you yourself like myself has have experienced racism and yet you don’t understand what’s going on with Obama and why these issues with his platform as far as other people are concerned you should be ashamed of yourself to even say those things wake up open your eyes because they close at right now

  • David Pittelli

    And in presuming that Zimmerman is a liar, and that Martin wasn’t smashing his head into the concrete, are you showing hated of Zimmerman?

      • Dennis Henry

        Thus Saith The Sheriff Luke.

        Mr. Visconti I do realize that honest people can disagree with the same set of facts staring, no, screaming, loudly, the truth. Your ability to dissemble in the case of Treyvon is in my opinion utterly incredible.

        I would also like to point out a remark by that eminent right wing Scholar (and freedman), Frederick Douglas, “Everybody has asked the question. . .”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone”

        No right wing fox Mr. Douglas, yet he knew the salvation of the Black man was to be left to his own device to sink or swim. And as daunting as the wave would be and powerful the political winds could blow, the best way to day after decades of government interference and government largess is to leave not only the black man but all men alone. For to earn respect is far more instructive than to simply be treated as equal.

        The tragedy of Trayvon Martin and the tragedy of Mr. Zimmerman, is all of our loss. Hope you can get more people to buy your magazine because of it, and will not begrudge you the attention, you do not deserve.

        To continue to act as though knowledge and worth are divvied up equally at birth is to Play at being the Easter bunny. The significance is lost in the candy.

        • Luke Visconti

          “All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone.”

          I hardly think the massive disparities between Black Americans and everyone else hardly constitute “Let him alone.” Between the War on Drugs, in which police emphasis is on intermodal transportation points (cities like Newark, where most residents are not white) and not on the wealthy white suburbs where the drugs are purchased at retail prices and consumed; the absolutely horrible school systems that are allowed to exist in poor neighborhoods; and the absolute white thievery, like the subprime crisis, which reduced Black household wealth from 1/10th to 1/20th that of white households, I hardly think we “let him alone” now, or at any point in the 300-plus-year history between Blacks and whites on this continent.

          Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

          • Tina Yothers

            You really are quite the race-baiting asshole, aren’t you, “Sheriff Luke”? Several of your posters take thoughtful issue with your pronouncements, and you act like the trueblood piece of rat’s offal that you are. Until today, I didn’t truly quite understand just how glad I am that one more piece of trash, like your dear St. Trayvon, is no longer free to walk the same planet as me. Screw you, and everyone in America who thinks like you and believes your racist lies.

          • Luke Visconti

            Hi, Tina. Maybe those comments are “thoughtful” in your “asshole, rat’s offal, trash and screw you” world, but they’re not here. How’s life in Atlanta otherwise, smiley? Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Many black people cheered publicly when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering two completely innocent white people. How do you think the victims’ families felt. Were blacks being racist for cheering the acquittal of an obvious murderer?

    • You make a very good point. No doubt in my mind that OJ killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. What happened after that was Gil Garcetti, the district attorney, did his usual job – which worked on ordinary people
      – but OJ got the best attorneys money could buy. The lesson here is that the average person (white, Black, Asian or Latino) would have been railroaded into a conviction. OJ beat the system because the system was sloppy – sloppy justice is justice denied. People cheered because the sloppy Los Angeles legal system was beat at its own game. By the way, I won a bet on that one – I knew the state didn’t prove its case.
      – Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I, too, cheered when OJ was acquitted, even though I suspect he may have been guilty — or at least, involved — in the murders. I watched the entire trial, on TV, and the prosecution did an extremely poor job. They failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I cheered because the jury reached the correct result, under the state of the evidence. Our system — in which we say it’s better for the guilty to walk free than for the innocent to be convicted — worked, at least in this case, largely, as pointed out by Luke, because of OJ’s financial resources.

    • I cheered when OJ was acquitted because I did not feel that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and some of the witnesses were obviously tainted—the racist cop and the guy who lived in the pool house who was obviously stoned. Plus there were issues not fullly examined about Nichole’s sister’s owing money to a drug cartel. Nobody really knows except OJ I am a white person.

      • Thanks twinkie for your honest opinion. YES. OJ had a powerful legal team behind him. Many African Americans incarcerated for crimes they ddidn’t commit are not so fortunate. Especially if the media is adding their spin. In addition I believe that the media helped to make the OJ case more of a black and white issue.

    • Many blacks in the community cheered because what has been done to folks in the black community in terms of violence against black bodies in the form of rape, murder and enslavement for centuries in America with no repercussions for the white aggressors felt vindicated by Simpsons acquittal. It was as if the white community finally felt the pain and anguish so many black mothers and fathers have felt for centuries when presented with the news that their children were brutally murdered and their murderer would go free simply because of his status in society and sense of superiority. I must admit it is quite dysfunctional for any community to have such an eye for an eye approach to justice when any innocent person is murdered, but please remember that the white community does this on a concious and subconscious level every day when black and brown bodies are reported murdered on the news. It’s that unspoken “they got what they deserved” mentality. In the case of young Martin, it was screamed quite loudly. It is not until EVERY body is valued as sacred regardless of race or gender or social or economic status that we as a society has transitioned to a true sense of humanity. I won’t hold my breath though . . .

    • Just for the record, I am one Black person who did not cheer when O. J. was acquitted. I personally think he is guilty and that he is currently and will continue reaping what he has sown. In my opinion, however, Zimmerman is also guilty and is currently and will continue reaping what he has sown.

    • Lollister Banks

      After watching the entire trial, I was convinced of two things (and this from one who has worked in the law for many years): 1) Somehow, OJ was guilty; and, 2) If actual law prevailed, there was no way he would be found guilty. The reasons are not racial, but financial and legal: the burden of proof is on the PROSECUTION to prove the defendant did what they said he did. It is not required for the defense to “prove” he didn’t, thus, OJ was found not guilty. I remember that day oh so well because I sat in a conference room at a firm of 100 employees, only 6 of us were people of color (I am Native American/Black/Hispanic). I was the only “colored” employee in the conference room as we waited for the verdict and several of the white leaders were making horrid racial comments. One white man, head of the government division, went to the window and actually said, “Are the n*ggers burning cars yet?” and he laughed. That is burned in my memory not only for how disrespectful it was, and not only because of the sympathetic look I got from a few of the white women who were embarrassed by their men’s behavior, but because it was THAT VERY MOMENT that I hoped the verdict would be Not Guilty. And when the verdict was read and those same cocky white people got angry, I stood up, smiled, quietly said, “Hallelujah” and walked out. Then I went to my desk and filed a formal complaint against every person in that room. If you don’t have to live in the skin of those who face crap like this Every Day Of Their Lives for no other reason than because of their color, then you have no right to EVER say they shouldn’t “bemoan their fate.”

    • Clay Berger, I am an African American and I did not cheer when OJ was acquitted. I was surprised and believe money and fame acquitted him. (Where was the family when he beat her over and over again??? I was pissed about that also..but that’s another story). Some people feel just because Garner was arrested in the past for selling cigarettes, he was such a criminal he deserved to die. (Crazy thinking). And Mike Brown deserved to die because he spoke up when a police officer disrepeated him (African Americans are tired of being disrepeated by authority. We know the police are humans that have their own backward thinking – “some police..not all”). But what is the excuse in the John Crawford case??? Did he deserve to be murdered by police in WalMart?? He picked up a toy rifle and continued shopping…. and police ran into the store and shot him dead!!! So for everyone that thinks Garner and Brown “deserved” (makes me sick to say deserved) what they got… speak on John Crawford???

      Let’s be clear… NO ONE DESERVES to be gunned down by police when they can hand cuff them properly… police sometimes shot and asked questions later (if they asked a question)….. especially when the person doesn’t look like them. Police tend to give people the benefit of doubt based on race, fame, money, one of their own, etc.

      Let’s remember Civil Rights and Women’s Rights were written on paper and didn’t mean anything until PEOPLE forced them to mean something. Although Garner, Brown have made news recently let’s be clear… African Americans have been telling this story for decades…. Remember the song, “Cop killer” by Ice T or F**k the Police by NWA?? Society is only NOW seeing a small eye full of something that’s been going on for TOO LONG. (The hangings changed to the police and justice system being unfair. Women don’t receive equal pay, Congress doesn’t look like American, etc. etc. etc.) I believe you get the point!! Well maybe some of you do… We have NOT grown enough as a country… Do realize the racist people who hated MLK, JFK, Women rights, Civil Rights are still living today and many still think the same…. They are our grandparents, some parents, etc… these people are in Congress, Police stations, Judges, teachers, preachers, etc….. and they have taught others to think the same way. Some didn’t listen but some did…. WHICH ONE ARE YOU????

  • More “hate mail”?

    Is Trayvon Today’s Emmett Till?
    My answer to your question is no. Till was abducted and murdered after his act, if he even did whistle at a white lady, as his kilers claimed. Trayvon was, as forensics people and witnesses testified, shot in lilkely self defense while astride and raining blows down upon a prostrate victim.

    • Trayvon, like Emmett, represents the systemic racism in our society. He was an innocent teenager walking through his own neighborhood, and like Emmett, his murderer was not brought to justice and is being protected by people who have a financial benefit to making sure he isn’t brought to justice. Not because the murderer is/was important, because the financial benefit is. In Emmett’s time, it was Jim Crow, which held captive an almost no-cost labor force. In Trayvon’s time, it’s the prison industrial complex and the war on drugs, which has spawned a hydra-headed plague on our society, including an out-of-control gun industry which feeds both sides of the equation – the drug dealers as well as the private citizens who know LEO isn’t adequate or even set up to protect them. – Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • The problem is the Stand Your Ground laws that allow people to use guns with impunity and claim self defense. In both cases, an innocent kid was murdered for no good reason, so there are a lot of similariities. However, Zimmerman did not break the law whereas the murderers of Emmit did, but nobody did anything to them for it.

      • Luke Visconti

        In both cases, the murderer went free. It’s a matter of increased sophistication. Emmett’s murderer and conspirators went free because of a bald-faced subversion of the law; Trayvon’s murderer is free because the law was cleverly written to allow an “open season” for people who can trust the judicial system to apply the law favorably for them. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • Sorry, I never bought Zimmerman’s story of how he claimed he felt threatened by Martin when HE was the one who followed him with a gun,confronted him, JUMPED on him (according to his friend Rachel Jeantel’s testimony) fought with him, and then shot him. Zimmerman obviously jumped on him and started the fight, and Martin had every right to stand HIS ground and defend himself–funny how not too many people point that out.

      Keep in mind, Martin didn’t know who the heck this stranger following him was—for all he knew, Zimmerman could have been some thug trying to rob him. If I see a strange person following me at night for no reason,the first thing I’m going to think is, “This person wants to rob me–I’d better run!” No one ever seems to consider that Martin was scared and just wanted to get away from this strange guy after him. And it’s interesting how Martin, who had no history of criminal acts, was demonized online as a “thug”, yet Zimmerman, who has a police record of violent confrontations and domestic abuse dating back a decade, who played up as the “nice guy”—there was definitely some racism in that. The man obviously has some mental issues, and was on prescription drugs the night he tailed Martin. That’s why the recent incident where he finally got arrested for pulling a shotgun on his girlfriend didn’t surprise in the least—it was only a matter of time before he did that to someone who wasn’t going to take his nonsense. I’m glad they at least took away his gun,thank goodness, because he ‘s the last person in the world who should have one.

  • Ruralcounsel

    Visconti throws around a lot of unsupportable assertions (opinions disguised as facts). How gun manufacturers benefit for “stand your ground” laws is tenuous to the point of absurdity. They benefit the most from the foolish politics of gun control advocates panicking the public into buying millions more weapons at full retail every time they rev up their “sensible” gun control rhetoric.

    The obvious distinction between Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin is that Emmett didn’t break any laws, while Trayvon apparently tried to bash someone’s skull open against the pavement. An immense distinction capable of recognition by just about anyone willing to view the episodes more factually than emotionally.

    Your friend isn’t the only person who has to give her children lectures on how to behave around law enforcement. As a white middle aged attorney with three teenage sons, I am better positioned than many to know of the dangers of belligerence, inexperience, and excess testosterone around people with authority, power, and often hair trigger tempers and sociopathic attributes when that authority is challenged. It isn’t any different because of race, except that the frequency might be higher for blacks to be stopped (and the relative crime rates make any LEO who doesn’t factor race in an idiot).

    Our society has plenty of room for improvement; it is made up of humans, after all. But playing the race card as a reflexive act every time someone disagrees with your politics, economics, or social policy is guaranteed to “stir the pot”. And that is no compliment. There has been more injustice historically than any of us can imagine, to almost every tribe, clan, country or race. Trying to lay that burden on the backs of people who were not living when those injustices occurred, to the benefit of people who did not endure them, is a recipe for unending enmity.

    • Luke Visconti

      I don’t see any facts backing up your unsupportable assertions, Mr. Attorney. According to the FBI, NICS checks (background checks for firearms purchases) soared from just over 9 million in 1998, the first year they were used, to 19.5 million last year. Keep in mind that NICS checks are not required in most personal firearms sales and there are 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the U.S., so the 19.6 million NICS checks are just scratching the surface of the gun situation. The $33 billion gun industry employs more people than GM. We have more guns per capita, by many times over, and more prisoners per capita than any other country.

      Almost 60 percent of prisoners are Black and Latino, who are only 30 percent of our population. Yet drugs are far less expensive and far more available.

      I think we have created a problem and blame the victim, and you don’t see it that way. But interestingly, you don’t have it quite right. Regarding your profiling comment, more facts: Colorado, 81.3 percent white, is at the top of the heap for drug consumption. Urban areas are far safer than rural areas.

      By the way, there are almost four lawyers for every 1,000 people in this country—highest in the world. I agree that our society has a lot of room for improvement; I’d assert that this statistic is where we should start because having all these attorneys apparently hasn’t done a lick of good for the common citizen. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • What exactly does “playing the race card” mean? Also, your last paragraph appears to say that injustices belong to “yesteryear”. Are you saying that racial injustice no longer exists? Or are you just saying that the racial injustice of today is different than the past racial injustices? What time periods are you referring to? These are sincere questions.

      I do not think the “recipe for unending enmity” was cooked up by African-Americans, nor do I think that African-Americans are the ones continuing to stir the pot.

  • Luke – you’re so far off on this one. Emmett Till was murdered because he was black – period end of story.

    Trayvon was killed (not murdered) by Zimmerman in self defense. Zimmerman was tried and found not guilty. You can say all day long he was guilty, but the court found him not and his trial was not a sham case like those in the 1950s and 60s.

    • Luke Visconti

      They were both sham trials, this one showed evidence of several decades of refinement in hucksterism by the powers that be. The “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida is so broad in its scope that the jury had to vote not guilty. “Shall Carry” and “Stand Your Ground” laws are the result of the four-decade-long War on Drugs that certain groups have used to create our prison-industrial complex. (We imprison more people per capita than China, Russia and even the former Soviet Union.) By simultaneously allowing certain neighborhoods to be used as intermodal distribution points for drugs and painting the Black man as a bogeyman, we end up with these laws—and a crowd of white people cheering the death of a teenager.

      Zimmerman started it, the situation got out of control and we have a dead teenager. He’s guilty. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Dontez Jackson

        Luke, could you please provide to the people arguing here, where in the trial ZImmerman’s defense team used the “Stand Your Ground” defense? It would settle a lot of arguments.

    • I said it on previous posts and I’ll say it again.
      One person was carrying a gun – an adult
      One person chose to engage – an adult
      One person is dead – a child.
      Say it to yourself again —- A CHILD!
      Till – Black, did not commit a crime yet was charged, tried, convicted and executed by citizens that had no right to do so
      Trayvon – Black, did not commit a crime yet as Zimmerman’s actions prove, he tried, convicted and ultimately executed a CHILD that he had no right to do. You can cloak it in Stand Your Ground, self defense or anything else that makes you sleep at night, Trayvon didn’t get to exercise any of those rights. He didn’t get a chance to achieve his potential, Zimmerman has and we’ve seen what his potential is.

  • “By the way, there are almost four lawyers for every 1,000 people in this country—highest in the world. I agree that our society has a lot of room for improvement; I’d assert that this statistic is where we should start because having all these attorneys apparently hasn’t done a lick of good for the common citizen. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc”

    That’s one heck of a statement for someone who is allegedly a beacon of inclusion and acceptance.

    • Luke Visconti

      “Inclusion” does not mean a suspension of judgement or reason. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and 15 years of Law Enforcement experience. Citizens should have a right to defend themselves and others from serious bodily harm or death. Ron Zimmerman in not guilty of murder. It would have to be premeditated. He did unjustly pursue this kid and I believe he provoked him. To call Zimmerman a murder or to say he is innocent of any crime is making a judgement based on emotion and is biased. Trayvon’s death is a tragedy no matter what his demeanor or behavior was.

    • Luke Visconti

      Your last eight words reveal your true feelings. Trayvon’s “behavior” (walking through his own neighborhood with candy in his pocket) has everything to do with Zimmerman being a murderer. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I should have been more clear in my post. I don’t know what type of kid he was. By “behavior”, I mean whether his behavior was good or bad is irrelevant in justifying Zimmerman shooting him. The reason I stated “behavior” in the first place was because, I know some people on social media was using this saying Trayvon wasn’t an “angel”. In my mind that is irrelevant. We don’t shoot teens for being bad. Murder has to be a premeditated act by most legal definitions. I don’t believe Zimmerman saw the kid walking and decided that he would kill him. If that was the case, he’s definitely a murder. I believe he is guilty of man slaughter. I guess I’m rusty on writing etiquette and tone.

        • Luke Visconti

          Zimmerman observed Trayvon doing nothing more than walking in his own neighborhood. Whatever NRA-inspired, after-the-fact attempted demonization-bamboozlement is immaterial. If you pursue and confront an innocent person while armed, whatever happens after that is entirely on you. And it’s murder. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

          • I agree that he should never have pursued, and that he is entirely responsible, but that still isn’t murder at least not by definition. We will have to agree to disagree on this one. I can tell you are very intelligent. I have recently started reading your articles with in the past month. You have wrote and commented on some articles that have made me examine my prejudices and opinions. I want to believe that is one of your missions. I have two children to finish raising. I want them to be more open minded than my parents were and treat people as fairly as they should be treated and learn about diversity.

          • Luke Visconti

            I appreciate the courteous tone. Thank you for taking the time to write. We both serve the mission of raising open-minded children. Thanks again. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • You judged me based on my last eight words. That’s that white privilege stuff I’ve been reading in your articles! (that’s supposed to be levity) ha ha

        • Luke Visconti

          I’m not sure how that’s white privilege, but it was the last eight words that mattered. Since Trayvon is dead, we can only be sure of Zimmerman’s behavior—he was a self-appointed neighborhood-cop-wannabe (who failed to get on a police force) watch guy, cruising his neighborhood with a pistol. He was advised to not follow Trayvon by the 911 dispatcher. He did not take that advice. He got out of his car to see where Trayvon walked off to. He got within arm’s length of Trayvon. He shot Trayvon in the chest and killed him. Those are the facts, counselor. Testimony from a perpetrator in a court of law describing the behavior of the person he killed is self-serving. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Luke, I’m a little late posting on this subject. You seem to know about people’s life experiences. I understand prejudice. I was with a friend that is a black pastor from south central L.A. A few years ago in Virginia Beach VA. When some stupid people drove down the street and yelled very racial comments. It was disgusting and embarrassing. I watched the Trayvon trial and the stand your ground laws were never involved in the trial. Although I think Zimmerman is an idiot . I do think that it is self defense. I’m a licensed concealed carry citizen and have used a firearm in an attempted home invasion years ago (luckily no one was shot). I do not believe that it was a racial issue. Just bad judgement on both parties.

    • Luke Visconti

      We disagree. I don’t think Zimmerman would have bothered me—a 54-year-old white man—walking through that neighborhood, even if I had a hoodie and it was pulled up because of rain. Yet, numerically, there are far more white male burglars than Black male burglars. There’s another reason—he would know that a 54-year-old white man in Florida could very possibly be carrying a pistol whereas a teenager would not. As far as self-defense, I don’t think I’d call it that considering he provoked the fight. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • I would agree with the possibility that zimmerman would not have followed an older man. Then again , as a man about your age, I’ve been in the situation where some 17 year old teenage thugs followed and attempted to mug me (in Los Angeles). I also agree that in Florida and other states that allow conceal carry, criminals are less likely to harass us old folks.

    • Luke Visconti

      Thugs, like Zimmerman, are generally cowards and will only attack when they perceive they have an absolute upper hand. Concealed carry has lowered crime in states that have enacted it. I don’t consider myself an old guy yet—I can still bench press my own weight (hurts, but I can do it). Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Luke, I really liked what you wrote. The only very minor thing I disagreed with was your use of one word. Regarding the term “Black woman corporate executive,” the word “woman” should not be used as an adjective. (But it’s been mis-used by so many and so often that now it’s accepted as an adjective.) Instead of the word “woman” as an adjective, in the future please use “female.” For instance, you would not have written “Black MAN corporate executive” but “Black MALE corporate executive.” So, please be consistent. Thanks.

  • Marjory J Munson

    It is my opinion that Zimmerman, himself, did not expect to be declared not guilty. I saw the expression on his face when the verdict was announced and said at the time to watch for Zimmerman to attempt suicide by cop!

  • Phil Theeculards

    So you talk the talk, but have you caulked your stalk? I mean really, all this repetitive echo chamber brow beating, and yet you have failed to do ANYTHING about whitey putting radios in our teeth.

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