George Zimmerman, the man who set off a nationwide furor when he shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to death in Florida on Feb. 26, is a registered Democrat and self-identified Hispanic, according to a state document released on Tuesday.
Zimmerman's state voter registration document shows that the 28-year-old registered as a Democrat in Seminole County, Fla., in 2002. Zimmerman apparently went on to identify himself as a Hispanic American, according to the document, which was released Tuesday by the Washington Free Beacon.
The revelations on the voter form confound the message pushed by some observers on the left, who contend that Zimmerman was motivated by right-wing attitudes and the actions of conservatives:
"[Republican politicians] reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with African-Americans and people of color, calling us lazy, undeserving recipients of public assistance. In the case of Trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences," MSNBC political analyst and Democratic fundraiser Karen Finney has said, condensing many of the left's argument about how the right has contributed to the mindset that led to Trayvon Martin's death.
Liberal and African-American politicians, activists and political observers from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to President Barack Obama himself have spoken from the gut about their belief that there were racial undertones to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The fact that Zimmerman is a Democrat eats away at the foundation for the next step in many of their thought processes, which is that Zimmerman was motivated by right-wing beliefs.
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Democrats and Republicans alike have jumped to conclusions about those who perpetrated a whole range of violent crimes in our nation's history, but often these tragedies can not be distilled so easily.
So those who immediately saw red in the mind of Zimmerman, should perhaps have taken the time to consider that he's been true-blue all along. Yet another wrench in a case that is anything but black-and-white.