Are we our brother’s keeper? America seems to be increasingly divided in its opinions in what happens, and even in simply taking notice.
The verdict in Florida regarding the shooting of an unarmed teen should raise concern and key questions about guns, court systems, legal justice, race relations, and many other issues of import for the state of our Nation’s social fabric and for the future of an increasingly diverse if separate America. This separation seems to include what we notice and what we care about.
Be sure to visit the Policy ThinkShop for commentary on the importance of what happened in Florida for how after the legal system addressed the death of Trayvon Martin millions of people might now see America and how America sees millions of people through the eyes of our local police departments and justice systems.
The Pew Foundation has released a troubling survey about apathy and neglect for matters that should matter to all of us…
“The final days of the trial of George Zimmerman, which concluded July 13 with a verdict of not guilty, attracted relatively modest public interest overall. In a weekend survey, 26% say they were following news about the trial very closely.
This is lower than interest in the initial controversy over Trayvon Martin’s shooting when it erupted last year. In March 2012, 35% said they followed news about Martin’s shooting very closely.
However, the story has consistently attracted far more interest among blacks than whites – and that remained the case in the trial’s final days. Blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to say they tracked news about the Zimmerman trial very closely (56% vs. 20%).
Moreover, fully 67% of blacks say they watched at least some live coverage of the Zimmerman trial, compared with 38% of whites. About one-in-five blacks (21%) say they watched “almost all’’ of the trial coverage; just 5% of whites reported watching almost all of it.
The Pew Research Center survey was conducted July 11-14 among 1,002 adults. In 237 interviews conducted July 14, the day after the Zimmerman verdict, 29% say they were following news about the trial very closely.
The Zimmerman trial and Trayvon Martin shooting have drawn less interest than some other racially charged incidents in recent years, including the riots that followed the Rodney King verdict in 1992 (70% very closely) and O.J. Simpson’s arrest in 1994 (48%).”