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Justifiable Homicide: Favors White Gun Shooters

Is there really such a thing as white privilege?

George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’ Mara, thinks there is none for in his remark during a press conference that the privilege is with black people. He said if Zimmerman had been black, “He never would have been charged with a crime.”

This remark sounds strange as U.S. crime, and court statistics does not back up such claims.

A research by PBS’ Frontline is getting a second look after the acquittal of George Zimmerman. The study revealed that if you’re going to use self-defense as an alibi, you’d better be white. PBS looked into the data compiled by John Roman, a senior analyst at the Urban Institute’ Justice Policy Center and came up with a conclusion that in “Stand your ground” states, Caucasians who kill black people have 354% chances of being exonerated from any criminal liabilities and even in non-“Stand your ground” states, the chances of being freed is still high at 250%.

Even in a black-on-black or black-on-white crime, a black defendant still loses on self-defense claims whether he is on a “Stand your ground” and non-“Stand your ground” state. The bar graph demonstrates these facts.

But is this a proof of injustice? According to Frontline, it’s not quite. They say:

“So the disparity is clear. But the figures don’t yet prove bias. As Roman points out, the data doesn’t show the circumstances behind the killings, for example whether the people who were shot were involved in home invasions or in a confrontation on the street.”

“Additionally, there are far fewer white-on-black shootings in the FBI data – only 25 in both the Stand Your Ground and non-Stand Your Ground states. In fact, the small sample size is one of the reasons Roman conducted a regression analysis, which determines the statistical likelihood of whether the killings will be found justifiable.”

The list of cases is very short. It can be enumerated anecdotally. Examples of the black victims which made it big on the news are Oscar Grant III, James Byrd, Amadou Diallo, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin. Some of them were killed by police officers while others by civilians. Sometimes the perpetrators were made to pay for their actions, just like with what happened to Byrd’s case. Others were sentenced by the courts but leniently compared to sentences given to black defendants. For example, Johannes Mehserle, white and a Former police officer, was only sentenced to two years of jail time with credit for time served and, therefore, ended up spending 11 months. Trayvon Martin’s killer was acquitted and the case of Michael Dunn, gunman of Jordan Davis, is still on progress.

Few truths can be deduced from the statistics. First, the life of a black person isn’t valued as the lives of others. Secondly, if you’re a black person claiming self-defense, the court will unlikely to believe your story. It is shocking and depressing, but it’s the kind of reality that many in the black communities have been living in for centuries.