The attacks put a sharper edge on recent polling data, which show that whites and blacks view the Trayvon case differently. Twice as many blacks and Hispanics as whites (73 percent versus 36 percent) say race played a major role in the shooting, according to a recent Monitor/TIPP poll.
Given the huge amount of media coverage in the Trayvon Martin case, the fact that only a handful of attacks with some kind of tangential tie to the Trayvon shooting have occurred suggests that Americans are overwhelmingly resorting to words to settle their differences.
Indeed, some commentators suggest the case has helped to bring simmering tensions out into the open.
“I’ve sat … tight-lipped as my white peers questioned the existence of racism in their post-racial American, white privileged minds,” writes Rachel Hislop for the Daily Grind website. “But then a young black man named Trayvon Martin was killed and the dirty blanket was finally pulled off the taboo conversation of the very present demon that is race relations in America, and I’ve decided that I am tired of staying quiet. I am ready to have this conversation.”