What If Trayvon Were White?

A new color-reversal photo tries to get to the heart of racism in America.

Posted: 05/16/2012 10:20 AM EDT

A shocking new photo reverses the skin color of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman and begs the question: how would public opinion be shaped if Trayvon were white and Zimmerman Black?

The photo harks back to a similar tactic used by ESPN The Magazine last year when the publication ran a photo of a white Michael Vick next to a column about the impact of race on the quarterback’s legal and public image woes following his felony dog fighting conviction.

While the photo is certainly sure to get people talking, Touré, author of the 2011 ESPN Vick piece, said at the time that color-switching doesn’t do much to get people thinking about how deep the roots of race and class run in America.

Wrote Touré:

“The problem with the "switch the subject's race to determine if it's racism" test runs much deeper than that. It fails to take into account that switching someone's race changes his entire existence. In making Vick white, you have him born to different parents. That alone sets his life trajectory in an entirely different direction.”

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(Photo: Courtesy thegrio.com)