President Obama has articulated the black experience for many Americans, but his words really speak to all minorities. "There are very few African-American men in this country who have not had the experience of being followed when they were shopping at a department store, and that includes me." He described walking across a street and hearing the click of car doors locking. Or, seeing a woman clutching her purse when a young black male enters an elevator. See CBS news report. These experiences are part of our life, a life unique to minorities.
I remember a black law school classmate telling me how, back in New Orleans where he and I both attended law school, he would see white women crossing the street whenever they saw him coming their way. Yet, as I looked closely at Greg, he dressed exactly as I did, jeans, nice t-shirts and tennis shoes.
What George Zimmerman did was racist. He profiled a young man and eventually killed him for little more than a perception. And, that is what happens everyday in American work places. Caucasian managers, completely oblivious to this "other" experience in America, perceives problems that are not there and then takes actions based on that five minute perception.