Originally posted on American Anthropological Association:
Today’s guest blog post is by Dr. Steven Gregory, Professor of Anthropology and African-American Studies at Columbia University:
All black males are [potential] criminals.
Trayvon Martin is a black male.
Trayvon Martin is a criminal.
This flawed syllogism rests at the crux of the Zimmerman trial. It was at the heart of the defense team’s case, the reasoning of at least one juror (B-37), and the public pronouncements of many Americans who believe that the acquittal of George Zimmerman was just. It was this erroneous major premise that the prosecution failed to refute, largely as a consequence of Judge Debra S. Nelson’s incomprehensible ruling that “racial profiling” could not be argued in court.