Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Local White Man Has Awkward Elevator Ride With Black Man Streaming Zimmerman Trial On Cell Phone

By James J. Hamilton

PITTSBURGH—A local white man endured an awkward elevator ride in a Grant Street office building yesterday with a black man who was streaming live footage of the George Zimmerman murder trial on his iPhone. The white man, Phillip Jenkins, had left his office to go to lunch Monday afternoon and was riding the elevator downstairs by himself when a black man got on holding an iPhone that was streaming video. “Zimmerman trial,” the black man told Jenkins. “They say the prosecution is having a hard time.” “Really? I haven’t heard that much about it in the last couple days,” Jenkins said, trying to sound like he was only slightly behind in keeping up with a news story to which he had been paying no attention whatsoever and was only vaguely aware was going on. The black man did not follow up on Jenkins’s reply, and an awkward silence fell over the elevator until it reached the lobby and the two men went their separate ways. “It was only three floors, but the elevator is really slow in that building,” said Jenkins, who reported wondering whether it was racist for him to have not been paying attention to the trial, whether it was racist to assume that the black man wanted Zimmerman to be found guilty, and whether it was racist against Hispanics to hope Zimmerman would be found guilty.

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