Columnist portrayed Zimmerman badly
Regarding John Colon’s column, “A tale of our national racial divide,” April 26, Aspen Times Weekly): Not only do the factual events surrounding the shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., beg for clarity, so do other aspects of this highly charged case.
In constant question has been George Zimmerman’s identity. Apparently great confusion has surrounded this topic. Celebrated journalists from the Los Angles Times, New York Times and Reuters Service continue to identify Zimmerman incorrectly as white-Hispanic or Hispanic only.
Now, columnist John Colson, who labeled Zimmerman a mixed Latino-Hispanic, also can be added to the list. No such racial category exists. Hispanics are not a race; they are an ethnicity. Zimmerman, who is of mixed ethnicities, should have been correctly defined by one of the following descriptions: half Peruvian and German-American or half Peruvian and Jewish American, whichever is applicable. This definition would fully include his maternal and paternal heritage. His race is white. It’s difficult to comprehend why journalists, many of whom are graduates of prestigious journalism programs, would falter in this arena of reporting.
Let us hope that a more sinister agenda is not intended by this miscalculation. Should the outcome of his tragic and sensitive case not meet the public’s acceptance, such incorrect labels could plant the seed for urban chaos between cultures. Many innocent individuals, and Latinos in general, could suffer repercussions.
If this outcome comes to fruition, I hope individual reporters will be held accountable. In addition, celebrities and organizations who have suggested taking unsavory actions should also be held responsible. Hopefully, this event will not come to pass, and justice will be served through the judicial system.
As an aside, a discussion regarding multiculturalism needs to be held. Many children in America are biracial or maintain multicultural identities. Neither population should be placed in one box. Rather, their identities should be accepted and celebrated.
Louisa B. Caucia
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