George Zimmerman (Seminole County Sheriff`s Office/Getty Images)

***Damon's latest for Ebony on the similarities between Ray Rice defenders and the people defending George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson***

For (many) Black people, this is the most maddening and exasperating part of racism. Not the actual racism. But the denial that the actual racism exists.

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Knowing this, and how frustrated so many of us are by this continuous insidious denial, I think about all of the doublespeak I’ve heard in the last 24 hours regarding Ray Rice. Some from people whose intelligence and opinion I usually respect. And I wonder how a Black person — a Black person who’s just as angry as other Blacks are when (some) Whites (and some Blacks) deny that racism exists — can actually attempt to excuse Ray Rice’s assault on his wife with a straight face.

I wonder if they realize saying “She might have hit him first” is no different than saying “Well, Michael Brown might have been high.” I wonder if they know that thinking this is all just a plot to disgrace Black men is the exact same thing as thinking George Zimmerman was just persecuted by overzealous race-baiters. I wonder if they’ve grasped that their unblinking support of Rice, even in the face of overwhelming visual evidence, makes them spiritual twins with the Staten Island teachers wearing t-shirts in support of the precinct that has seen two unarmed Black men die at their hands in the last year. I wonder if they realize arguing it was a fair fight between Janay Palmer and Ray Rice — who, along with being a professional football player, is a trained boxer — is as stupid as arguing Michael Brown was “armed” because he was 6’4 and 300 pounds.

Most of all, I wonder why some of us can’t exhibit the same compassion and sensitivity for victims of this type of abuse — Black female victims especially — that we demand White people give to us.

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(Read the rest at EBONY)