Stand Your Ground: Fueling the violent fire that is racism in America

by tyler.walker on February 17, 2014 - 10:39pm


The author Gary Younge is making a valiant attempt to expose the violent acts of racism that are plaguing our country, through way of vigilante gun laws such as “stand your ground.” He points to George Zimmerman and his continued mistakes post-acquittal. This speaks volumes about the type of person who would use a self-defense plea in correlation with a law like “stand your ground” to justify an unjustified killing.  Younge (2013) poses the idea on readers that there is more than a few isolated incidents such as Zimmermans, rather there is a trend developing in this country that we should focus on before violent racism takes a turn for the worst.

            Younge’s point of view helps present some major points from the article, first where he points out that this violence is becoming a trend, he uses 2 examples around the time of the Zimmerman verdict where blacks were killed by whites in very grey-area situations. He also speaks of the sort of deadly cocktail that is stigma’s toward blacks, relaxed gun laws, and statues like “stand your ground.” This combination is believed to be in favor of incidents like Zimmerman’s, as well as his acquittal.

Reference: Younge, G. (2013). George Zimmerman's Way Is the American Way. Nation, 297(14), 1-3


Younge's article sounds interesting. The 24-hour news circus seems to only pick out one case at a time to follow and I think the result is the public may cling to the belief that racially charged killings are rare. Joe Nocera, an opinion columnist at the New York Times, started a weekly gun report tracking as many gun shooting incidents as he could identify across the US in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. Civil Rights workers have a similar history in the past of documenting all the cases, not just the most spectacular, to show the larger social problem. I wonder if something like that is called for to help wake the country to this problem.