Do you know Juror B37?
I do. She is the women that clutches her purse tighter while I walk past her on an empty street in fear of being robbed. And she is my ex-White boss who constantly told me over and over again how well I speak—because apparently, even professional Black women don't know how to speak proper English.
The actual Juror B37 is the middle-aged White suburban mother of two adult children who sat as a juror on the most racially charged trial since O.J. Simpson. And in less than 48 hours after the Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin, she entered the media spotlight (identity hidden, of course) when she signed with a literary agent to shop a book about the trial. But that deal fell through thanks to @MoreAndAgain and #BlackTwitter.
Many of us were horrified during her two-part interview Anderson Cooper, during which she expressed her sympathy for Zimmerman and awkwardly referred to Martin and Rachel Jeantel as "those people." Folks from Steven Colbert to the social commentators of Twitter condemned her statements as racist.
Juror B37's ignorance around race rang familiar to many of us and led to the creation of a clever Tumblr page, We All Know Juror B37, which highlights the microaggressions that Black people experience every day at the hands of people who know little, but assume everything about who we are. Check it out!
Toya Menzie is the Social Media Manager for EBONY.com. Follow her on Twitter @TheLimerickLane.
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Social Media Manager, EBONY