In the week following the George Zimmerman verdict, a stream of articles were published comparing the targeting of young, Black men and the policing of Black communities to the targeting of young, Arab men in combat zones and Barack Obama’s drone war. In particular, these columnists compared Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Black boy who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman almost two years ago to Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, the 16-year-old Yemeni-American teenager who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen around the same time.
Trayvon Martin‘s death is on tape. Anyone with a decent internet connection and a strong stomach can listen to his final moments. They’re heartbreaking. It would be nice to think that this was an isolated incident, that Trayvon’s death at the hands of George Zimmerman is something that has never happened before and could never happen again. Unfortunately, that’s just not true when it comes to being black and male in America.