WATCH: Executive Director Discusses the Zimmerman Aquittal with NBC4 News in Columbus

Image

WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

Sharon Davies, executive director of Ohio State’s Kirwan Institute for the  Study of Race and Ethnicity, said Zimmerman’s decisions may have been guided  by an unconscious bias. She said  racism in America today is more subtle.

 

“We made it through the civil rights era and we think of those scenes as racism – that’s what it  looked like and we don’t see that anymore,” Davies said. “So we convince ourselves that race doesn’t operate on the human mind but the reality  is that race does shape judgments about individuals.”

 

“Unconscious racism is a bigger issue for us today,” Davies said. “It’s an issue for whether we’re talking about police officers and the way police officers engage  citizens on the street and it is an issue when we’re talking about a  civilian like George Zimmerman who, without even realizing it, may be  judging someone like Trayvon Martin in a way in which he wouldn’t judge someone who wasn’t a young black male.”