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Poll: Is Trayvon Martin Controversy All About Race?

If the unarmed teen gunned down by a neighborhood watchmen were white or Hispanic, would the case cause so much controversy?

Would the case of Trayvon Martin cause so much outrage if he were not black?

Every few days, new details emerge in the case, but this much is clear: the 17-year-old victim was unarmed, doing nothing illegal, and he was black. The shooter, George Zimmerman, was 28-years-old, armed with a handgun, and he is Hispanic.

More than a month has passed, and reports are still filling the media, crowds are still gathering to demand Zimmerman's arrest, and people are still wearing hoods to show support for Martin.

Some commentators accused the police of racism for setting Zimmerman free without arrest.

This raises a question. Would this case draw so much attention -- and outrage -- if the victim were of a different race?

Something similar to the Martin killing happened in Old Town Temecula a few years ago.

An off-duty Costa Mesa police officer named Scott Dibble shot two unarmed men -- one was killed, the other, 30-year-old Shaun Adam Vilan, was wounded -- during a bar brawl in Old Town outside of in 2008.

Like the Martin case, the shooter claimed he acted in self-defense and was never arrested.

What was the difference? Was there an element that makes the Martin killing more outrageous than the one in Temecula, or was the only difference the race of the victim?

Tell us in the poll below.

TVOR April 04, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I never said this murder was in any way justified or that the victim had it coming. My comments were solely to point out how the media only presents those facts that help sensationalize the story and create false impressions.
Jamie Henson April 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446/trayvon-martin-case.html It basically said in Paragraph 7 that Zimmerman Tailed Trayvon. He was in his truck, saw the kid, called the police, then followed him (officers told him not to).
T 22 April 04, 2012 at 05:20 PM
You're exactly right. My son was murdered in February and I haven't received any information from Detectives about the case. They can't release info to the public or it could hurt their case. I don't understand where all of this information is coming from on the Trayvon case, if they can't release info. That's why I say, it shouldn't be tried in the media, they are trying to incite anger. The Detectives on my sons case have done an excellent job and I think people should give the Florida detectives the benefit of the doubt to bring it to a conclusion. Stop believing everything you read or hear. Rumors are dangerous.
Temecula resident April 04, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what you have been thru... Let's just hope that Justice prevails and that the guilty are in fact punished for their crimes...
T 22 April 04, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Thank you Temecula Resident, yes, thank you, it is extremely dificult. I struggle with this Trayvon case because it's so sad in so many ways. I don't agree with people, the media, and social networking trying to discredit the deceased boy, it's not right and his parents don't need that. But, in saying that, I feel the same about Zimmerman, as you said "let's hope justice will prevail!"
Paul Jacobs April 04, 2012 at 09:42 PM
If it were not for media coverage, there would be no call for justice. Media coverage has brought to light this idiotic "Stand Your Ground" law. Media coverage has shown a doctored police report and how different people receive different treatment in a land that boasts of equal opportunity and freedom. Reality is another story, and it took a month for this one to make the news.
Cik Bast April 04, 2012 at 11:30 PM
That "Stand Your Ground" Law saved a minorities life, and ended another minorities life.
David Shisler April 04, 2012 at 11:44 PM
What upsets me is how they made a white on black issue out of this. Retreat at Twin Lakes is a gated racially mixed community. The community was having a rash of burglaries attributed to young black men, thence Zimmerman is suspicious seeing someone out in the rain, thats black, 6ft 3, about 150lbs that he doesn't know. He calls the cops, he has done this numerous times in the past, there is a good probability that he has been told more than once, don't make contact, so he followed. What we don't know, who picked the fight, who threw the first punch. Officer Timothy Smith first on the scene stated Zimmerman was bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, the back of his clothes was wet with grass. This shooting is being investigated by three agencies including the FBI, the findings will be released when their ready, but don't say this is white on black.
TemecuMom April 05, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Seriously???
TemecuMom April 05, 2012 at 03:58 AM
So Brandy Green (the gated community resident) is not allowed to have overnight guests (Tracy and Trayvon Martin)? He was there as a guest invited by a resident of the gated community.
JP Blair April 05, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Well said David Shisler, by no means did this start out as a white/black issue. I don't think Zimmerman woke up that morning with the intention of wanting to kill a black teenage boy. As usual, the media is instigating the white vs black issue and as usual we're all falling for it and taking sides. Zimmerman seems to be guilty only of being an over zealous wanna-be cop who after being told "do not contact" by pd dispatch, found himself in a situation where he was by himself and way over his head. The media is playing a very dangerous game by playing both sides. They start by displaying photos of Martin 3 to 5 yrs younger than he actually was. Then they show Zimmerman exiting a police unit with what appeared to be no injuries to his person. Hmmm more fuel to the fire. Then, the media uses its own video technology to enhance the video, to show injury to the back of Zimmerman's head. Can you see how the media place the middleman. As David Shisler said, there are 3 agencies handling along with the FBI. Whether you like it or not, we must put our trust in them and not the media. Oh by the way, has anybody heard about the 13 yr old white teenage boy who was burned by 2 black male juveniles in Kansas City for being white. Where's the outrage from our beloved President or religious leaders. Just sayin' how it works both ways
Galactic Cannibal April 05, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Welcome to America .. The land of the Free and Home of the Brave" where every year 14,000+ people are murdered here. Its like having 4 +....... 9/11 events every year. During the 8 year WAR with IRAQ (we attacked IRAQ) over 112,000+ people have been murdered in the U.S. "The land of the Free and Home of the Brave" The murder of the black teen Martin is just one drop blood split in the American slaughter house. But our national media have turned it into propaganda racist fest.
Cathy Sue Paino April 05, 2012 at 10:21 AM
TSlusher, the laws in Florida are different then in Ca...unfortunately, their laws are that info has to be released whether it could hurt or help the case ( if you followed the Anthony case this is where I found out about it) it is the Freedom of Information Act. I believe Trevor's and Trayvon's case both should be tried in the court not in the media..and no matter what, they were innocent victims and should not be persecuted.
JJ Mclure April 05, 2012 at 01:05 PM
what about the black on black killings that the media ignores
DTrader April 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM
This is a Racist issue. The PRESS are the racists. They said that a "WHITE Hispanic" was the shooter. They also showed Trayvon as a 12 year old in the articles and on TV to make it look obvious that Trayvon was a victim of a RACIST attack. The press are the BIGGEST RACISTS and all those that elevate this issue as a RACIST issue are in fact the real RACISTS!!! If this incident had been reported using the facts rather than saying a "WHITE" hispanic or using misleading photos, this issue would NEVER have blown up into the issue it is today. As of today (and maybe never) we will know if Trayvon was a victim? Did he attack Mr Zimmerman? It appears that he did. Hope that info will be discovered somehow.
TVOR April 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Well said Dtrader
T 22 April 05, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Cathy, no, I was not aware of the state laws being different. Thanks for letting me know, it makes sense now.
Brenda April 05, 2012 at 08:25 PM
True G and JJ. This is just anotther murder of thousands in our own country. Out military need to be out patrolling OUR STREETS. 2nd, this "self proclaimed gun toting security guard need to be in jail". It was murder, and let the jury decide what degree. 3rd, yes the kid did have the hoodie, the swagger, the drooping pants, but that doesnt mean he did anything other then mouth off at the big, large, ahh "full of himself Mexican security guard". Mouthing off is not a crime, neither is how you wear your clothes. As someone said above, its not one race killing another race as much as it is races killing each OTHER. Blacks do kill blacks more then any other races. Mexicans, Asians, gangs. If there is white guys in those gangs they can be involved also. Hells Angels kill other motorcycle rivals, no matter what color, its a motorcycle gang thing. 4. So this crap is not racist as much as it is just gangs, turf, drugs, etc. So that 93% killing of black on black sounds correct. Hell in a driveby the black on black kill their targets little sisters for godsake playing in the front yard when they let loose with bullets. So do hispanics and Asian gangs. The race card stuff is just not working anymore, or many a very small small percent. Like in this case. Not even sure it was race as it was big fat guy scared of his own shadow playing big shot. Sorry wasnt going to post anymore, but had to get in this one.
SPB April 05, 2012 at 10:58 PM
This whole thing is a country wide Rorschach test. People see whatever it is that validates their pre-existing beliefs. If you think everybody is racist against black youths, then you'll see it as a case about race. If you think our country needs stricter gun control laws, you'll see it as a case about gun safety. If you don't trust the police, you'll see it as a case where cops weren't doing their job. I am of the belief that no one besides those involved know what happened, and any conjecture at this point only serves to validate pre-existing biases.
temeculan April 06, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Jamie, Paul and other “reverse racists” - 1) owning and carrying a gun and defending one's self or one's neighborhood is LEGAL. (for now) 2) Being 17 years old does not excuse stupidity, arrogance, assault or any other act. 3) all of us - black, white, Asian, Latino, et al, need to drop the "race card" victimhood excuse whenever something goes wrong. 4) The fact that 93% of murders in the black community are "black on black" crimes should disturb and concern all of us. Being distracted by an isolated incident of dubious origin and speculating on who's a racist is simply a waste of time and resources. The so-called "black leaders" need to go back to their neighborhoods and look for ways to save their youth from the predators that sell them drugs and shoot them down in their front rooms and front yards. 6) Let's let the courts do their job and stop the "race baiting" speculation.
Patrick April 06, 2012 at 01:01 AM
We can deduct from the poll results -at this time- that 21% of the participants are mentally deficient.
Lynda StarWriter April 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Was the shooting related to RACE, as in ethnicity? Only Mr. Zimmerman knows and my guess is, he'll be grasping at any and all straws to justify his wholly, unjustifiable, irreversible actions. It is most definitely a RACE for justice which has been stymied by cowardice, first and foremost demonstrated by Mr. Zimmerman. Secondly, the craven actions of Sanborn's leadership (an oxymoron) at a most critical juncture in this despicable tragedy reflects directly on a weak police department. The force will no longer stand tall among the citizens, as the police chief hides like a weak-kneed traitor, leaving the incident to the dictates of a confused, outraged, nation. Shame on you, chief. Take off your badge and keep running as far, far away as you can. A RACE to prove that the whole incident, which occurred in the blink of Trayvon's youthful eyes, is wholly, miserably, intolerable? Yes... it's more than enduring the unfathomable loss of a young, African American kid...whom I didn't even know. It doesn't matter that carrying a gun is legal -- who really cares, until the gun is aimed and fired, unwittingly? The NRA, the guy next door, my mother? There is no finish line, no ethnic bounds, no clock to beat in this RACE. There is an answer, however. That's what the outcry is all about. Who is RACING to find the answer for Trayvon's unnecessary death? Then, WHO will answer for it? At the very least, Zimmerman is allowed due process. How ironically woeful and sad.
JJ Mclure April 06, 2012 at 01:07 PM
4 blacks killed a non black jeweler in Lancaster a few days ago. Read the news on CBS 2 in LA. Where is the outrage from the black community when they do the killings.
Galactic Cannibal April 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Hang them from the highest tree. Same punishment goes for all murderers. Each year in the U.S. 14,000+ people are murdered.
TVOR April 06, 2012 at 06:35 PM
"An armed society is a polite society"
Brenda April 06, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Exactly JJ.
SPB April 06, 2012 at 11:23 PM
So places like Somalia and Afghanistan are bastions of goodwill in your opinion?
TVOR April 07, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Just a quote meant to stimulate discussion. Somalia and afghanistan are two of the worst armpits in the world, mostly because of who controls or controlled them.
James Mullins April 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM
The man would be alive had he not attacked the neighborhood watch citizen.
Jeff Walters May 10, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Yes, it is all about race. Sad to say but it looks that way to me. By the way, according to the "defendant" on trail, this young black man did some seroius butt kicking. Maybe that is why this all happened. This should have never happened, period! The police should have been called to investiagte and all would be O.K. The young black man that was, in my opinion, murdered, was no saint himself. However that doesn't give somebody the permission or the right to take his life. I feel sorry for the family that has to live without thier son. And I feel sorry for the family that has to live with thiers, even though he is behind bars.

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