Trayvon Martin’s case has become such a hot button national issue that USA Today/Gallup recently took a poll to gauge Americans’ opinions on the topic and how much bearing race has on those different stances. In a random sample of 3,006 adults, 242 of whom were black, and the remaining 2,764 who were non-black, stark racial divides were seen on a number of key issues in the case.
In terms of who’s even paying attention to developments surrounding the murder, 52% of blacks say they are following the news about the case very closely with just 19% of non-blacks saying the same. The breakdown on other issues is as follows:
- 72% of blacks say Zimmerman is definitely or probably guilty of a crime; 1% say he is not.
- 32% of non-blacks say Zimmerman is definitely or probably guilty, while 7% say he is not.
Race as a factor in the case
- 72% of blacks say racial bias was a major factor in the events that led up to the shooting death of Trayvon; 13% consider it only a minor factor.
- 31% of non-blacks say racial bias was a major factor, 26% say it was a minor factor, and 25% say it wasn’t a factor at all.
Likelihood of George Zimmerman’s arrest if the victim was white
- 73% of blacks believe Zimmerman would have been arrested had the victim been white.
- 35% of non-blacks say he would have arrested had the victim been white.
Today it was announced that Trayvon’s case will not go before a grand jury, leaving the decision of George Zimmerman’s indictment entirely up to special prosecutor Angela Corey who could make a decision as early as this week. Many are hoping this means the neighborhood watch captain will soon be behind bars for good, but the prosecutor made it a point to say:
“The decision [not to put the case before a grand jury] should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case.”
One thing we know for sure is black people will continue to rally their support around Trayvon’s family in their call for justice, and hopefully as more and more facts continue to be presented, people will understand Zimmerman’s guilt, no matter how blind they are to the role race played in a number of decisions surrounding the case.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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