5 Ways to Tell if You're Being Racist on the Internet

Railing against the above graphic got me banned from yet another Facebook. I wasn't really commenting on the mild but overt racism of the image. What set me off was the fact that the poster couldn't understand the differences between the killings of Trayvon Martin and Jacqueline Gardner, or why Martin's story inspired so much media scrutiny. Hint: It had nothing to do with the race of the victim.

Martin was an unarmed teenager gunned down by a man police specifically told not to approach Martin who was then released without charges. Gardner was attacked in her home by three men who robbed her and were immediately pursued by police for their actions. Both deaths were tragic, both were killed by people not of their race, both were initially reported in the news and then forgotten, but the similarities end there.

The thing that turned Martin into a national story was a community that wouldn't leave the question of whether justice was being done on behalf of Martin alone, whereas in Gardner's case such a question is irrelevant because all three men are in custody on murder charges and will have their day in court.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner