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Latino organizations dismiss George Zimmerman, question his ethnicity

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

The death of Trayvon Martin has sent racial shock-waves through the country, and while the focus has largely been on anger from the black community, the fact remains that the alleged shooter, currently in hiding from vigilante threats, is a self-described Hispanic man.

But if George Zimmerman was hoping to find support in the Latino community, he should look elsewhere.

“The Latino community joins the African-American community and other communities in condemning George Zimmerman as what he is – a murderer and a racist,” Roberto Lovato, co-founder of the online Latino advocacy organization Presente.org, told The Daily Caller.

The group is acting on Trayvon’s behalf. Presente.org has joined with Color of Change to petition for the arrest of Martin’s murderer.

“Todos somos Trayvon! (We are all Trayvon!),” Presente.org wrote, urging supporters to sign the petition. The group also has a petition to condemn Geraldo Rivera for blaming Martin’s hoodie for his death. According to Lovato, the petition currently has 18,000 signatures.

La Raza has rallied for Martin with the civil rights community as well.

The organization’s urged so much in a March 22 post at the Huffington Post.

“NCLR joins allies in the civil rights community in calling for a real investigation for this grievous failure of justice,” president and CEO Janet Murguía wrote.

Murguía further encouraged members of the Latino community to participate in a rally to demand justice for Martin that evening at the First Shiloh Baptist Church in Sanford, FL.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, La Raza spokeswoman Lisa Navarrete reiterated the importance of an investigation.

“I think at the end of the day the indisputable fact is that the police did not do a thorough job, certainly given the 911 calls and everything else there was clearly much more to this than the police initially thought and should have been investigated and hopefully now it will be,” she said.

When pressed on the fact that the New Black Panther Party has placed a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, threatening his life, she stressed the insignificance of the group noting that “all responsible folks condemn the Black Panthers.”

“Again every community deals with the fringe, there are lots of people who are chagrined by white supremacists, or the most extreme elements in the community, but that is not how the vast majority of people feel,” she said. “I think people want justice.”

Lovato added that he is not even sure what Zimmerman’s ethnicity is.

“His background is not clear,” Lovato explained. “Is he Latino? Is he white? Is he both? Who knows? It’s irrelevant. What’s relevant are his actions, his racist comments, and his cold-blooded killing of an innocent young man.”

Zimmerman’s father is a white American, his mother is Peruvian.

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