Former Obama adviser Van Jones declared that “racism won” in the trial of George Zimmerman.
“The verdict: racism won. #TrayvonMartin” Jones tweeted in the aftermath of the “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial.
Jones was appointed to Obama’s cabinet in March 2009 as special advisor for green jobs, a newly created position. He is known as the co-founder of the nonprofit progressive advocacy groups Color of Change, which focuses on civil rights, and Green for All, which focuses on the environment.
Colorofchange.org executive director Rashad Robinson released a statement calling the Zimmerman verdict “another tragedy for black families everywhere.”
“A court in Florida today found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder for shooting and killing unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. This is another tragedy for Black families everywhere, and another instance of how law enforcement and our criminal justice system routinely fail Black people and communities. Were it not for Trayvon’s family and countless supporters taking action, Zimmerman would have never faced a single question about his actions at all. Tonight, as George Zimmerman walks away without penalty, the verdict sends a clear message about the minimal value placed on the lives of young Black men and boys everywhere,” Robinson wrote.
“By amplifying unfounded claims about Trayvon, news media magnified the very same racial stereotypes and false perceptions that put Trayvon’s life in danger in the first place, while ignoring his family’s rightful pleas for justice. Numerous outlets have been passing along unfounded, baseless conjecture as evidence, and reviving deep-seated stereotypes to validate Zimmerman’s defense. This type of newscasting portrays Black teenagers as inherently threatening and violence-prone, but it’s actually the unfair and dehumanizing portrayals in the mass news media that are proven to be life threatening to Black men and boys. We already know that inaccurate media portrayals lead to warped biases against Black people, which lead to negative attitudes and aggressive, harmful treatment by judges, juries, police and others vigilantes wielding dangerous preconceptions like George Zimmerman,” Robinson added.