The “new” photo of George Zimmerman raises some very disturbing issues. Take a look at the black and white version of the photo, which the Florida prosecutor gave to the defense as part of the discovery process shortly after his altercation with Trayvon Martin.
Other than color, what else is missing from this photo?
Can you tell how old George Zimmerman is? To me, he looks like he could be any age from 20 to more than 50. But the graininess and lack of visible hair on the top of his head suggest that he is an older man.
The lack of color in the photo obscures Zimmerman’s race as well. As a friend of mine pointed out to me, the man in that photo is brighter in complexion than the man is in reality. The black and white photo renders Zimmerman a pale white. The whites of his eyes and his facial skin are nearly the same tone. The contrast makes his face emerge harshly from the shadows behind him.
The man in the photo above looks somewhat menacing. The misshapen nose suggests a history of brawls, the color having been drained away, taking with it the reds and purples indicating a fresh wound from a very recent attack. The vacant look in his eyes suggests no remorse for the killing of a young man, which the man in the photo had done moments before the photo was taken.
“This man might be a thug.” That’s the nonverbal message of the photo above.
Now, look again at the color photo. This is the unaltered photo, from which the grainy, black and white version was manufactured.
Seen in color, the “thug” who might be, becomes a wounded young man. Shock and fear ring his eyes. There may be small wounds or acne on his forehead. Blood drips from his nose and his lip appears to be busted open. His nose appears to be freshly broken. Instead of being a white ghoul emerging from shadows, he is a wounded man sitting in a car after a life-changing, possibly life-destroying, event has happened. The ghoul has flesh and blood after all. He bleeds.
From that color photo, taken in color at high resolution by law enforcement officers moments after the altercation, someone manufactured the grainy black and white photo and made the decision to hand that version, but not the full color version, over to Zimmerman’s defense. Who did that? Who manufactured that photo? How did they manufacture it? Why did they manufacture it?
Had the color photo been available in the days after Martin’s unfortunate death, there might never have been a backlash against the Sanford police. There might never have been a national movement to arrest and prosecute Zimmerman. President Obama might never have taken sides with the New Black Panthers, who put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, and with the usual tragedy trolls who always seek to convert corpses into political talking points. The NBC News edit that made Zimmerman sound racist could have been countered with a color photo showing Zimmerman’s wounds, corroborating his explanation of what happened that night. But someone chose to hide the color photo and manufacture the black and white, so that that photo would tell a different story.
I keep using that word — manufacture — deliberately, because that is what was done here. Someone took the high-resolution digital original and printed it out, then ran it through a copy machine several times to introduce noise, and remove the color and reduce the quality. They may have also taken it into Photoshop to manipulate its contrast and add additional noise. That is manufacturing.
In doing all of this, they deliberately stripped George Zimmerman of his humanity.
Who did this? For what purpose?
Did someone in a position of authority take a look at George Zimmerman’s name, which suggests an older white male rather than a younger Hispanic, then take a look at this young, black victim, and decide to scapegoat Zimmerman deliberately because of the narrative that his name and Trayvon Martin’s racial background provided?