by Ezili Danto
George Zimmerman is Peruvian white. As Haitians, we know the hard way, how the majority of Latin Americans treat the Black or the Native indigenous.
We live, on an Island with Dominicans where the Bateys are where Haitians are enslaved. Most folks born in Mexico or Latin American countries are defined as Hispanic and that term is only defined as "non-white" in the US.
"Hispanic" outside of the US generally mean descendants of European whites from Spain no matter their skin tone who identify in aesthetics, ideals, habits and nationality as WHITE. And that whiteness identification makes them supposedly superior to Black Brazilians, Black Peruvians as well as Haitians.
Of course in America needing the numbers, the Irish became white. Soon though, as America needs more numbers, all the Latinos along with Japanese, will be categorized as whites? Zimmerman used the confusion to alternatively identify himself as Hispanic and white. Depending on who his family wanted to manipulate. Much has been forgotten about Zimmerman's many inconsistencies, and the attempt to have his wife hide monies raised from the white communities for his legal defense.
one light in this case, is the Latino/Latina communities, used to being
considered as almost lowly Blacks in the US, refused to let Zimmerman
divide them from standing with the Justice for Trayvon defenders.
George Zimmerman had a choice of race and ethnicity
Zimmerman had the benefits, privileges and choices of race, presumed "Americanism" and ethnicity that Trayvon Martin could never have because he was Black and seen as an unassimilated Black youth. These privileges operate to further institutionalize racism.
On the US census and government forms, Hispanics have a choice to define themselves as white Hispanic or non-white Hispanic. The choice is fictional like the white race. A political choice depending on the individual identification for those who can get away with it in the US. For even if an African marks himself as non-Black, his features and skin color will operate to deny him privileges others who can pass for Italian, Israeli, Argentinian white, Hispanic white, Spanish white or Greek are accorded.Trayvon Martin, dark-skinned Blacks and Blacks without features culturally defined as European features, do not have such political and survivalist choices under white supremacist's US.
Historically, in the US whenever poor people came together to fight the oligarchs/robber barons/one percenters to push for change because the conditions were so oppressive for all working peoples, no matter skin color, in each case the ruling class turned to white supremacy to beat back the efforts from below. (Watch, for instance - The Invention of the White Race.)
Zimmerman and how white supremacy works
Here's how George Zimmerman's acquittal worked the white supremacist's US system. George Zimmerman's brother, Robert, told Bill Maher that George is not white, could "NEVER be white." He identifies their mother as Afro-Peruvian and his father as a US-born white, "our father is from German descent" he says. This, to somehow show George Zimmerman cannot be racist.
Later on, the family publicly dropped the identification with Afro-Peruvian and their Hispanic roots.
Fox News, Robert Zimmerman "passed" the family as white for the
benefits that that provides in America's injustice system. The family
dropped the emphasis and identification with being part
African-Peruvian. The Zimmerman family specifically said that they :
"... chose NOT to publicly identify with their Hispanic roots since the fatal shooting in order to emphasize self-defense."
In white supremacy America, that strategy works. Especially notable is that Zimmerman's white US-born father is a judicial officer in the US who probably knows well the legal privileges of being white to that of part "Afro-Peruvian."