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The older brother of George Zimmerman is speaking out in defense of his family, and trying to put to rest the notion that they are racist.

Robert Zimmerman Jr. addressed attendees at an event thrown by the  Orlando chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Thursday (Nov. 1), in attempts to respond to a “tidal wave of misinformation” about his brother and family.

Speaking in Spanish, Robert explained that initially he and his family had to be silent for legal reasons. He also reiterated that, contrary to popular belief, he and his siblings were not raised to discriminate against others.

Son to a Peruvian mother and white father, the family’s Hispanic heritage was something that they were taught to embrace. “We didn’t grow up with racism,” he said. “We grew up with a Latino mother and white father. Theirs was an interracial love story.”

Accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hoodie and suspected to not have reason to be in the Florida neighborhood where he lost his life, George Zimmerman has long denied that any racial profiling took place. With heavy media scrutiny driving his brother to go into hiding, Robert asserted that the case, and forthcoming second-degree murder trial, has taken its toll. “George is not the same as he was before. We have also changed because we are facing the reality that our brother, in defense of his life, took another’s life, and that is the worst situation that anyone can or could be in: to defend themselves in that way.”

Over the summer, George sat down for his first television interview which aired on Fox News, and further explained his bi-racial background. He also released a video in Spanish, via his personal website.

On the contrary, a former co-worker accused the 29-year-old of racial bullying, while posts on an old Myspace page showed his anger against Mexicans.


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