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The Boston Globe


Eugene F. Rivers 3d

If George Zimmerman were black . . .

The tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin has raised important questions about vigilante justice, racism, “stand your ground” legislation, and the role of the NRA-financed gun lobbies. But one issue that has not been raised significantly is the crisis of black leadership in this country.

Black leaders rightly demanded justice after Martin, a black teenager, was shot to death in Sanford, Fla., by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer whose parents are white and Hispanic. But what if Martin’s assailant had been black? What if this incident had been just another “routine” Denzel-smoked-Rahim black-on-black homicide? How might black leadership’s response have been different?

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