I’ve heard the question asked enough and seen it asked enough over Facebook and what-not that it seems worth answering: no, George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando, late last month, is apparently not Jewish. The case has become a national sensation because Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old who posed no threat while at the same Zimmerman has yet to be charged with a crime, ostensibly because he is protected by the concealed-weapon and “stand your ground” self-defense laws on Florida’s books; there is much indication that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, was unduly fearful of and aggressive toward Martin because of Martin’s race. For much more on the case, I recommend this Mother Jones primer and John McWhorter’s take.

So, no, contra the nutcases and despite having a father named Robert Zimmerman, Zimmerman appears not to be Jewish: he is uniformly identified as “Hispanic” or “Latino.”

Speaking of Robert Zimmerman, there is an eerie resonance between the names (and more) “George Zimmerman” and “William Zanzinger.”

The Trayvon Martin Killing, Explained [Mother Jones]