Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman and a Willing Suspension of Disbelief
Without race, there is no explanation for the Martin tragedy, or the reaction to it.
I admit my initial reaction to Martin’s death was based on race – at least in a sense. As an African-American male I am well familiar with the circumstances that led to Martin’s death. Too often was I approached and stopped by George Zimmerman-types for having the audacity for walking into their stores, or through their neighborhoods. Like most Blacks and like Martin, I know what it is to be considered suspicious for no other reason than my skin color.
Whites, too, had a visceral reaction to the Martin tragedy. To many on the Left, it was an example of an all too familiar meme to them, The White Man’s Oppression of the Poor, The Weak, and The Minority, although Zimmerman is not White but a minority himself. It was Kunte Kinte being whipped into saying his name was Toby. It was the reason why so many Blacks are in poverty or in prison. It was the reason why some don’t support Obama.
To Whites on the Right, it was an example of another all too familiar meme, The White Man’s Prosecution by The Poor, The Weak, and The Minority. It was the Duke case. It was Paula Deen being tarred and feathered for calling someone a word 30 years ago that they hear every day on hip hop radio. It was Al Sharpton driving an innocent White man to suicide with false accusations during the Tawana Brawley scheme.
Worse, it was an opportunity for revenge against the Black Thug, who they see – not totally undeservedly, actually – as a threat and a societal cancer.
However, as evidence of the case began to be (honestly) reported, when it became time to put aside our emotional reaction to it, many failed to do so. The case – the crime and the reaction to it would always be about race.
Which makes sense, actually. What other reason could explain why Trayvon Martin was profiled and followed on the last night of his life, when he was simply walking through the neighborhood where his father’s fiancee lived, to be home with his father?
What other reason could explain why anyone would think that Zimmerman had a legitimate reason to believe that his life was in danger, when the medical examiner reported what we should have been able to easily observe from the pictures ourselves, that Zimmerman’s injuries were minor and not life-threatening?
What other reason would explain why anyone would think it was the armed Zimmerman shouting for help on that 911 tape, when the shouts ended the moment the shot was fired?
What other reason could explain why so many still believe Martin jumped out from behind bushes to attack Zimmerman, when those bushes were shown not to exist?
What other reason would explain why so many take as gospel Zimmerman’s story that he – despite being ‘grounded and pounded MMA style’ and ‘having his head bashed repeatedly against the cement,’ – managed the almost physical impossibility of being able to pull out a weapon that was holstered on his back and shoot the teen on top of him in the chest? Or why so few notice “Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that Mr. Martin pounded his head on concrete in his final moments did not fit the crime scene, since Mr. Martin’s body was found on the grass a substantial distance from any concrete,” as Attorney Lisa Bloom puts it in the NY Times?
What other reason could explain why anyone, but especially conservatives, and especially by those in the conservative media, would so easily believe that Zimmerman’s story, when Zimmerman’s story was clearly not credible and often found to be dishonest?
What other reason could explain why Zimmerman was in fact canonized by the conservative media? Karin McQuillan for example in The American Thinker wrote how Zimmerman was “an outstanding race-blind man”, despite Zimmerman’s arrest record and that he posted on his MySpace page how every Mexican he ran into had a knife providing evidence that Zimmerman was neither “outstanding” nor “race-blind”. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh both entertained their audiences with their arguments that Zimmerman should not have even been tried. Ann Coulter, on hearing that Zimmerman was found not guilty shouted out “Hallelujah!” as if world peace had just been declared and the Son had returned to lead his flock.
What other reason could explain why Martin was so savagely attacked by conservatives who – when they weren’t too busy filling their social media pages with examples of Blacks attacking Whites and making apocalyptic predictions of Blacks rioting through the streets – portrayed Martin as a threat to civilization, based Martin’s love of pot, rap lyrics, and other examples of thuggishness?
Pat Dollard – a highly respected right-leaning journalist and columnist – has since the verdict gone beyond dancing on Martin’s grave. He has been using his twitter account to spit upon it too. His best-of tweets include such gems as “the racist criminal in this case got his justice the moment he was shot after assaulting George Zimmerman,” “Here’s what the black community needs to learn from the verdict: You will now be held accountable for your rampant violence and crime,” and “It is appalling & disgusting that the black community is so nearly uniformly despicable in its demand for GZ to be lynched because hes white.” His greatest hit however is undoubtedly “how many victims did George Zimmerman save that night” by killing Trayvon Martin?
Fortunately not every conservative favors such blatant racism. David Horowitz, author of many books on the Left, including the ironically titled Hating Whitey and The Race Card: White Guilt, Black Resentment, and the Assault on Truth and Justice, recently posted a very insightful column at FrontPage Mag, writing:
It is a fact that many, if not most conservatives have already concluded that George Zimmerman is innocent of any crime in connection with Trayvon Martin’s death and should be acquitted if justice is to be served. Indeed, this opinion was formed long before the trial began as a reaction to the outcry of liberals that Zimmerman was guilty — and guilty of being white – and that the crime was murder, and must be punished. But just because a lynch mob has formed to condemn Zimmerman in advance of the facts, does not mean one must conclude that Zimmerman is innocent of Trayvon Martin’s death.
The political melodrama that surrounds, and often overwhelms the judgments in this case reflects a culture war that has been roiling in this country for decades. It is a war in which the liberal ethos of “political correctness” requires that whites are bad and blacks are victims. Right-thinking individuals are justified in rejecting this poisonous standard. But in the interests of justice, the political melodrama should also not be allowed to obscure the reality of this trial: it is about the death of an unarmed 17-year-old, who was not a felon, who was on a neighborhood run to get Skittles, and whose life has been extinguished. Given that the young man was unarmed and that he inflicted very superficial injuries on his adversary during their scuffle, Zimmerman’s claim that he was in fear for his life has to be taken with a grain of salt, to say the least.
What we have learned through the process of the trial thus far is that the only surviving witness, Zimmerman, is not credible. He has lied on several revealing occasions. First about not having any money to post bail when he had $150,000 in his account. Second, about not being aware of the Stand Your Ground Law, when he had taken a class that discussed the law. Third, and most importantly, about Trayvon jumping out of the bushes to attack him — because those bushes don’t exist. So, one has to ask, did he also lie about returning to his vehicle and that only then was he attacked? Or was he still following Trayvon, provoking the alleged attack?”
Nicholas Wapshott, author of Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, also provides lucidity on the Martin case, pointing out in a column on Reuters that “Young Martin’s death should cause us to stop and consider the broader principles of policing and justice. The reckless pursuit of an unarmed black boy in a hoodie by a vigilante inspired by suspicions based on race shows how dangerously unjust it is to use racial profiling as a means to detain suspected criminals.”
Wapshott also points out that the Martin case underlines that Stand Your Ground laws are “pernicious.” Given how these grounds were used by many to justify the killing of Martin and others like Martin, it is easy to see why he said this. This article from the Rolling Stone magazine http://tinyurl.com/knocsj2 relates the story of Jordan Davis, another unarmed Black Florida teen, who was shot and murdered by White 45 year old Michael David Dunn after a brief verbal argument when Davis would not turn his “thug music” down. As I write, Dunn is on trial pleading not guilty based on the Stand Your Ground law, saying he felt threatened when he fired upon the teen.
It has all been about race. Martin would not have killed if he was not Black. Zimmerman would not have been made a hero if he was Black. And it is impossible to come to this conclusion without also coming to the conclusion that this world is more racist, and more dangerous, than I had previously thought.
Interesting that my comment was censored. Too much factual information for this overly emotional topic, I suppose? I have to wonder if I had picked Team Trayvon if it would have been shared by now. Or maybe it just takes 72 hours to proof a comment at the rate of 2-3 comments per day?
Without race, there is no explanation for the Martin tragedy… <– This part is the part that kills me the most. This is just plain FALSE. Just. Plain. False. In fact the very idea that this event cannot be explained apart from race is the most shocking claim that gets made (well, ONE of the most shocking). And yet, this claim gets made by so many people that comment on this case that I sometimes wonder if I’m “taking crazy pills.” What does this comment even mean, that “without race, there is no explanation for the Martin tragedy?” There are literally THOUSANDS of ways this could have happened without race playing a factor. Based on WHAT evidence does this claim even get made in the first place? The tragic irony here is that George is accused of drawing a conclusion NOT based on facts or evidence (despite that, in ANOTHER ironic twist, he did EXACTLY that), when in reality, those who claim that Martin was “profiled” do so (meaning they make this assumption about Zimmerman and his behavior) without even a SHRED of supporting evidence, based solely (and I repeat, SOLELY) on the color of his (and/or Martin’s) skin. Isn’t this the VERY things people are accusing Zimmerman of doing? And yet, according to Zimmerman, Martin was wandering around aimlessly in the rain, was acting as if he might have been on drugs, and seemed to him to be looking into windows. And this isn’t a claim he “made up after the fact” – these were his words to dispatch BEFORE he even knew the color of Martin’s skin. Keep in mind this is the SAME Martin who smoked enough pot to get kicked out of school for it (suspended) and had broken into and burgled a house just 4 months before and was caught with the loot and a screwdriver days after tagging school property (or rather, the same Martin that was merely caught with the loot and the tool that, according to police, was likely used to attain it – after all, to be fair, perhaps he knew the burglar or perhaps he stole the loot from the original thief or perhaps he bought it from the one who burgled the house in the first place – at ANY rate he was INVOLVED in the burglary). Do I think smoking pot is terrible? No. Do I think it's quite possible that someone who has been kicked out of school for drug use could very well have either been on drugs that night or could have been acting like it? Sure. So again, WHERE is the evidence of racial profiling? There ISN’T any. The logic goes like this: Martin was black, Zimmerman isn’t, ERGO, Martin was profiled. That’s it. That’s the sum total of the evidence for the single most repeated and apparently most important “fact” about this entire case to so many people. Never mind that the fact that Martin wasn’t armed is NOT proof that he was profiled, or that the fact that he lived in the neighborhood is NOT proof that he was profiled either. And again, the fact (if it WAS a fact, which it probably was) that he wasn’t about to break into someone’s house and steal something (which VERY possibly would have been the second time in 4 months) isn’t proof of profiling either. NONE of this is proof of profiling. The only FACT about this is that there IS no proof of profiling. None whatsoever. So I’m sorry, but anyone who isn't at least partially blinded by race should vehemently disagree with the statement, “Without race, there is no explanation for the Martin tragedy." Plain and simple…
Too often was I approached and stopped by George Zimmerman-types… <– “George Zimmerman-types??" Again, with ZERO proof, the author lumps Zimmerman together with every other person who has ever “stopped someone” or been suspicious of someone BASED ON RACE. As I showed above, this claim is unfair, unfounded, and, well, in THIS case, arguably racist…
I know what it is to be considered suspicious for no other reason than my skin color. <– Yeah. This sucks. Period. But I'm sorry, this isn't Zimmerman's fault…
What other reason could explain why Trayvon Martin was profiled and followed on the last night of his life, when he was simply walking through the neighborhood where his father’s fiancee lived, to be home with his father? <– Seriously? How about we start with the reasons that were actually STATED? That reason being SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR. Walking around, in the rain, seemingly aimlessly. As if he was on drugs. Looking into windows… If Zimmerman had seen a white kid dressed the exact same way, acting in the exact same manner, who are we to say he would have acted differently? And if we DO say this (that he would NOT have called the police) then are we basing this on the FACTS of the case? Or are we basing this on our emotional reaction to past events? In other words, if “whites” or “Latinos” (or whomever) aren’t allowed to have reactions to present and future events based on past experience of race (and I’m not submitting that they should), then blacks shouldn’t be allowed to either. Isn’t this fair? In other words, if I shouldn’t base my feeling that a person will or will not potentially break into a house on the fact that young black males, as a group, are more than 30x more likely to do so than, say, a randomly selected white person (random age, random sex), then why does the black community get to assume that Zimmerman was profiling Martin without any evidence, and based solely on the past actions of total strangers, as groups – strangers that have nothing whatsoever to do with this case or with the cost of tea in China (which, btw, is anywhere from between $13-$45 depending on the quality)…
What other reason could explain why anyone would think that Zimmerman had a legitimate reason to believe that his life was in danger, when the medical examiner reported what we should have been able to easily observe from the pictures ourselves, that Zimmerman’s injuries were minor and not life-threatening? <– Again, seriously? Is this a serious question? (I feel like O'Mara during closing)… How about we start, AGAIN, with the EVIDENCE? First off, “life in danger” is NOT what you need for self defense. “Fear of great bodily harm” is all you need. And this is as it should be. Secondly, “minor” and/or “not life-threatening” injuries have almost nothing whatsoever to do with self defense. Nothing! Look up the law, dk! It's clear the author knows next to nothing about self defense law…
What other reason would explain why anyone would think it was the armed Zimmerman shouting for help on that 911 tape, when the shouts ended the moment the shot was fired? <– Holy hell. Again… Seriously? Um, how about EYEWITNESS testimony, Zimmerman testimony at the immediate arrival of the SPD, grass stains, Martin’s bruised knuckles, a TOTAL lack of evidence of ANY bodily injury on Martin, need I go on? Has this guy even watched the trial? Has he followed this case at all? I guess I should pose the question directly: Dk, did you?
What other reason could explain why so many still believe Martin jumped out from behind bushes to attack Zimmerman, when those bushes were shown not to exist? <– I guess I’m starting to get my answer… Those bushes don’t exist? What are you referring to? I have to ask again, did you watch the trial?
What other reason would explain why so many take as gospel Zimmerman’s story that he – despite being ‘grounded and pounded MMA style’ and ‘having his head bashed repeatedly against the cement,’ – managed the almost physical impossibility of being able to pull out a weapon that was holstered on his back and shoot the teen on top of him in the chest? <– This is not anywhere NEAR a physical impossibility. Dk your biases are becoming more blatant by the paragraph…
Or why so few notice ”Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that Mr. Martin pounded his head on concrete in his final moments did not fit the crime scene, since Mr. Martin’s body was found on the grass a substantial distance from any concrete,” as Attorney Lisa Bloom puts it in the NY Times (http://tinyurl.com/k92r2kw)? <– This is just a flat out falsehood. I watched the entire trial. Ms Bloom clearly didn’t watch the trial either. Unfortunately you can’t always rely on a New York Times op-ed. It was NEVER even remotely established that Zimmerman's claim that his head was being slammed against concrete did not "fit" the crime scene. Absolutely never…
What other reason could explain why anyone, but especially conservatives, and especially by those in the conservative media, would so easily believe that Zimmerman’s story, when Zimmerman’s story was clearly not credible and often found to be dishonest? <– Dk, are you getting ALL of your information from the media? Did you do ANY primary source material work at all?
What other reason could explain why Zimmerman was in fact canonized by the conservative media? <– I don’t think he should have been “canonized” and I will NEVER support the conservative media. They’re all ratings whores. Shame on them. I can somewhat support you here…
Karin McQuillan for example in The American Thinker wrote how Zimmerman was “an outstanding race-blind man”, despite Zimmerman’s arrest record and that he posted on his MySpace page how every Mexican he ran into had a knife providing evidence that Zimmerman was neither “outstanding” nor “race-blind”. <– Agreed that “Outstanding race-blind man” is overblown. What the hell do they do know about Zimmerman anyway? I WILL say that “classical” racists don’t take black women to the prom, don’t seek out black business partners, and don’t organize community support groups for local black homeless men who get attacked by stupid ass white kids. Does this make him a hero? Of course not. And what about the “Mexican” comments from MySpace? Again, are we kidding here? Would a black guy be called a racist for saying something like, “happy to be leavin the ‘ward. so tired of niggaz startin shit. movin on and movin up…”? Of COURSE not. And neither SHOULD they…
Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh both entertained their audiences with their arguments that Zimmerman should not have even been tried. <– Agreed. Meaning I agree with the local Sanford police department, the State prosecutor, the FBI (who interviewed just under 40 witnesses), and finally, the jury (who was exposed to literally everything that there was to know about the case except for quite damning information about Trayvon which I AGREE it would not have been fair to include). So, yeah. Plenty of support on this one…
Ann Coulter, on hearing that Zimmerman was found not guilty shouted out “Hallelujah!” as if world peace had just been declared and the Son had returned to lead his flock. <– I basically did the same thing. I was TERRIFIED for our legal system. My stomach was filled with butterflies the night of the verdict. Thank GOD they did the right thing, thank GOD they followed the JUDGE'S instruction, thank GOD they were shielded from media bias, and thank GOD the found a man who was NOT GUILTY to be… Well… NOT GUILTY…
What other reason could explain why Martin was so savagely attacked by conservatives who – when they weren’t too busy filling their social media pages with examples of Blacks attacking Whites and making apocalyptic predictions of Blacks rioting through the streets – portrayed Martin as a threat to civilization, based Martin’s love of pot, rap lyrics, and other examples of thuggishness? <– There are lots of reasons for this (not the social media stuff), but both parts – the attacks and the social media stuff too – are probably largely due to good old-fashioned ugly racism. Just like the majority of the OPPOSITE behavior – Trayvon the hoodied angel, etc – was the result of the exact same thing: good old fashioned ugly racism. Sad. Also, there WAS rioting. Thankfully however, it didn’t get out of hand…
Pat Dollard… <– Well, quite frankly, this guy (Pat) sounds like a racist piece of shit, which is why I didn't even do him the honor of re-quoting him.
The reaction to this trial and the attention it garnered was all about race. Very true. But you falsely assert that Trayvon was profiled because he was black. He was profiled because he was a young man, out alone on a dark rainy night, in a neighborhood where he was not known. Zimmerman made a horrible choice to pursue him, especially armed, where his job is to report suspicious behaviour to the police. If there were a crime for aggressive harassment or menacing, I think the prosecution would have a case.
But Zimmerman was charged with Homicide/Manslaughter. The burden is for the prosecution to present a case beyond reasonable doubt. You may not think it is likely that Zimmerman’s version of the story is true, but it is reasonably plausible. Thus, the verdict was just.
The largest racial component is the reaction afterward. The legal system determined Zimmerman was not guilty of homicide or manslaughter beyond reasonable doubt, yet so many marched to the tune of no justice, no peace. There were follow up attacks against whites and hispanics “for Trayvon”. For rational people, the response means that because Trayvon was black, and Zimmerman was less black, that mob rules should apply, and I believe nothing short of Zimmerman’s lynching would appease the mob. That is the most critical take away I had from this story.
Most of the comments of those disagreeing with the post make it clear that they believe Zimmerman’s version of events about how the conflict that ended Martin’s life started. Zimmerman claims Martin assaulted him from ambush. Therefore all that happened after is justified.
I do not believe Zimmerman’s account. In the alternative, I believe Zimmerman confronted Martin possibly tried to detain him for police. He may have purposefully or inadvertently revealed that he was armed. Martin more than likely resisted being detained by someone with no authority to do so and who is also armed and in that scenario, its completely reasonable to see how they came to blows. Martin is the one lacking a deadly weapon in this scenario and having been followed by this person in the dark already, had every reason to fear for his life and respond with force to protect it.
That is the much more likely and plausible scenario that night than the narrative of the black ninja teen striking unseen from behind non-existent bushes. It is a scenario that is a natural extension of what Zimmerman was doing (stalking Martin and calling cops on him for merely walking down the street) and what Martin was doing (walking home in the rain from a store).
In either event, there is little to be gained in rehashing it. Trayvon is dead and can’t be brought back. Zimmerman is acquitted and that can’t be undone. We are all, whether on one side or the other, left with a bad taste in our mouths, that I know I won’t erased for me no matter what does or does not happen to Zimmerman next.
So I suggest rather than remaining divided by Zimmerman, we become united by Marissa.
She is in jail for a 20 year stint because she was wrongly denied the use of the Stand Your Ground defense (yes, I know GZ did not assert SYG at trial, though self defense argument rests on same underlying statutes). She should not be there. Let’s get her out and those on both sides can feel good about it. http://politicalseason.blogspot.com/p/freedom4marissa.html
This is seriously the most biased load of crap I have ever read. Part of the problem with a good part of the Black Community is their bad reputation. They are responsible for creating it. The violence and crime are horrific! Many of us from different parts of the world, and born here, started out as poor, and worked hard to build a life. No one held anyone down, however your character may hold you back. Take responsibility for your actions and everyone will respect you, be honest and polite in your dealing with others and you will be loved. Many of us have had very unpleasant and and frightening encounters. Yes..White people are repelled by violence, and nothing will change that. How about the Black Community change that..it is THE barrier that divided us. So sad that seems to be swept under the rug. You can’t expect being racist and towards whites is going to give anyone a warm fuzzy feeling. We just avoid it.
DK, you, like a lot of other people commenting on this case, are making judgements that you can’t honestly don’t know for sure is true. This is a very sad, tragic event and all the speculation on motives is wrong to do. Unfortunately, George Zimmerman is the only one who knows the truth, well, besides God in heaven, that is. He may very well be as racist as Hitler, or he may have just made a terrible mistake. Trayvon may have been a thug, or an angel, but he’s dead and I believe he didn’t deserve to die. But all the speculation, all the judging and name calling on both sides is uncalled for. That is why, when the Al Sharpton’s and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world start ranting and raving, the people who really care about truth should tell them to “shut up, we don’t need your input.” I quite frankly believe that the loudest voices in this argument are the very ones who keep racial strife alive in this country, both black and white. Also, I doubt if they care one hoot in hell, about Trayvon Martin, he’s just a political tool. We all are flawed humans because of sin, and satan uses skin color to divide us. We are all just different shades of brown.
The only lesson we should learn from the death of Travon Martin and the lesson that is lost on our President and Rand Paul, is that the best way to prevent this type of tragedy from happening to our own child is to teach them that no matter what someone else does, violence is never the best way to respond. The FACT is that Travon Martin is the ONLY one that is responsible for his own death. The advice that I will give my own 18 year old mixed-race teenage son, is that Travon never had any control over what George Zimmerman thought or did but he DID have control over his own actions and it was his own actions that ultimately led to his death. If we don’t teach our children that we are 100% responsible for their our own lives then we might as well not teach them anything. I’m not criticizing Travon or his family. It’s a difficult lesson for kids to accept when everyone else, including the President, is telling them to simply find someone else to blame. As a result, I could see this happening to lots of teenagers including my own. Please America wake up. This incident was not about civil rights or gun control. It’s about violence and it’s consequences. It’s about self-control and the possible consequences of losing it, no matter how self-righteous your anger. That is the message we need to come together on if we want to do right by Travon Martin’s memory and spare other teenagers (possibly our own) a similar fate.
The bottom line to me comes from something I heard over the weekend – there were 2 males involved in this case, but neither one of them acted like men. Trayvon acted like a 17 year old punk as too many 17 year olds do, trying to “prove his manhood” in some mis-guided way as many 17 year olds do. GZ for some reason felt threatened by a skinny 17 year old kid he should’ve been able to throw on the ground, and give a good spanking to. There are many reasons both acted the way they did, not the least of which “being a man” and acting like it is something not looked highly upon these days. Do real men do what they can to avoid physical confrontations? Sure, but when one is staring you in the face, there is no avoiding it, and someone starts punching you, you punch back, not pull out a gun and shoot them. Real men also don’t START fights, especially with someone physically bigger than they are for no real good reason. According to both sides, both “men” were scared. Doesn’t sound very manly to me at all.
I am a woman, a wife and a mother. If ANYONE attacks me or my family and I feel that our life is in danger, I will shoot them. I live in a state where we are allowed CCW permits. I am always packing. Will I feel remorse? Yes, but if it my life or my family’s lives, I will shoot.
Explain to me WHY a 17 y/o shoots a 3 month old white baby and THE NEWS refuses to call it a hate crime in a neighborhood which is 17% white. No national medica coverage, nothing. And yet, this case gets it all. Humpf. Zimmerman was not white and it was not race that set this off. It’s racist balck people that set this off and made it about race.
You hold a mirror up to society and see yourself.
So? What does your experience have to do with Trayvon? I have had similar experiences and I had to check my skin to see if I was Black. I surprised myself to find that I was still white but could not figure out a reason for the treatment I was receiving. It seems you have been trained to think that every bad or suspicious thing that happens to you is based on your skin.
The gist of it is that your experience and my experience have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what happened to Trayvon Martin. This case was not based on preconceived ideas, thank God!
To me it was none of the things that you claim were presented in the media! It was simply an image of a person who claimed he was defending himself but looked completely guilty because he did not have a mark on his body and it really did appear that he had murdered the young man. Although I was suspicious of the liberal media, it wasn’t until later that I discovered the media was editing tape recordings and doctoring photos in a way that would be worthy of someone who wanted to start a riot — which they almost did, and this is not over yet.
“To Whites on the Right . . . .” I could not relate to all your ranting here about what Whites thought.
To me it was always about the facts and never about race or emotion. It seems to me that the liberals are making it about race, honestly, in a rather Klan-like fashion to inflame passions against conservatives or anyone who would judge this thing apart from race.
What kind of neighborhood watchman would not think that a person fitting perfectly the description of those committing burglaries in the neighborhood was immediately innocent, even though acting like he was on drugs or something (which we later found out was true, although the jury was not allowed to know about it) — because he was Black? If Zimmerman said to himself, “he’s Black and therefore could not be one of the burglars,” he would be a racist and an idiot, but not a man of honor as he was indeed found to be!
The idea that he had no reason to fear for his life and that his injuries were minor is absurd and does not even deserve a refutation.
Anyone who thinks that it was Trayvon screaming for help at this point is dishonest or needs to watch the testimonies of those who knew both people. The scandal is when the Martin family listened to the recording together in the mayor’s office! Even then, the step brother changed his initial testimony that he couldn’t tell whose voice it was. The father also changed his testimony.
We weren’t there and can only guess how Zimmerman got his gun out. Wrestling around in the grass could have caused it to reposition. Who knows? The fact is that he did pull his gun and an eyewitness and forensic evidence showed that the muscular street fighter, Trayvon, was on top and beating the hell out of George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s story was believable and matched the evidence. You statement that it was “easily believed” is based on your own prejudice. Slight variations are consistent with those telling the truth. Contradictions, which were not present, could show that a person is lying. You seem to be showing some hypocrisy here, because you believed the Martins when they changed their story and then for the trial claimed it was Trayvon screaming for help. The double standard is the essence of hypocrisy.
Most in the “conservative media” who are listened to in these kinds of cases are lawyers who have been trained to weight evidence and go on that as the basis for their defenses or prosecutions. It is no coincidence that the prosecution in this case asked the jury to “listen to your heart.” The Bible tells us that the heart is “deceptively wicked.” The only reason the jury was asked to go there, is because even the witnesses for the prosecution supported the claims of the defense for the most part.
“What other reason could explain why Zimmerman was in fact canonized by the conservative media?”
Zimmerman canonized?! I don’t know what that even means. He was a very honorable man who is on record for sticking up for a homeless man when he thought the police were wrong. He wanted to dedicate his life to “Protect and Serve” the Black, White, Hispanic and other people of his community. He had African American friends who would stick up for him.
Zimmerman was not tried based on the evidence against him. He was tried, by the admission of the prosecution, on the bases of an emotional appeal. There was no evidence that he committed a murder or even manslaughter — from the beginning — and in spite of all the accusations, the initial prosecutor refused to take the case because he knew there was not enough evidence to convict and he did not want to waste state money of a phony trial based on emotion instead of intelligence.
“. . . Conservatives who . . . portrayed Martin as a threat to civilization, based Martin’s love of pot, rap lyrics, and other examples of thuggishness?” Are you trying to tell me that those are race based behaviors?! Those are facts and would have said the same thing about him if he was pink, white, brown, or green. It seems that you are the racist here!
The only clearly racist remark in this whole trial was the one that Trayvon made.
The reaction of so-called “civil rights leaders” (liberal Democrats all), was very Klan-like in spirit and tenor.
“Blatant racism”! That is such a blind accusation that it is no different whatsoever than the tactics that the Klan used in the Old South when it worked day and night inflame emotions to stop conservatives.
God knows where the real racism is and it is not in those who honestly evaluated the evidence as the Chief of Police did and got fired for; as the initial prosecutor did and was removed for it; as the defense did; and as the jury did.
Is it not possible there is a syndrome aborning that nobody wants to talk about?
I have long been a supporter of the black man’s cause. And a vocal one in an area where such sentiments were not welcome.
Is it not possible that I, and many, many more have just gotten ourselves a bellyful of reverse bias, name calling, redistribution, rape, murder and a plethora of other abuses?
I am sick of seeing Black Panthers with billy clubs being ignored by those who should be putting them in prison. I am sick of watching black men doing evil which goes unreported in the press, while the tiniest tendency towards sensible precautions (profiling, concealed carry permits, etc.) is pointed to as examples of deep-seated racial hatred.
I, a long-time friend of all downtrodden peoples, have just simply got me a bellyful.
I would suggest that the hate-mongers, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton), are the racists of today. And that Barack Obama is their king.
Please. Stop it. Before it goes too far. Before the blood, which is starting now to show, becomes a ghastly, gory torrent that will not easily be stemmed.
Where does one start with this article? As a white American I can say without hesitation I am not a bigot in any sense. I have to wonder though if so many blacks can say that? If GZ was black this case would have remained a passing glance in only the local paper. Since GZ is Hispanic (light) it got a closer look by the media and race baiters all for no good purpose.
TM has been depicted as a “child,” a “kid,” even an Obama potential child. The fact is TM attacked GZ in a brutal way and GZ, inadvisably shot him dead.
I wonder how far TM would have gone if GZ didn’t shoot him. Would GZ now be dead and no one would care? Does anyone know what really happened that night? Clearly only God and GZ know, and the jury verdict is in, not guilty.
This sad episode reveals several nuggets of truth. White Americans have had it with the victim mentality coming from the black community. White Americans will defend themselves when attacked and the results will often times be the same. I would rather be on trial than be dead. TM would be alive and well if he had just walked away, but he chose another course.
Tragically he is now quite dead, GZ is quite alive and thats what I take away from this. This case only has to do with Race to the racists among us. For GZ and people like him, it’s a life and death issue. It matters not the color of the attacker. It ought to matter less the color of the person defending them-self.
I could give a long list of recent black on white crime, but that would not serve. I could remind all that 94 percent of black victims are victimized by other blacks. But again……
God help us all to come to terms with this issue.
George Zimmerman did not make up the abrasions and contusions on the back of his head, or his bloody nose.
Zimmerman’s defense team did not make up Martin’s history of getting in fights and bragging about it via text message.
No one has yet explained how it took Martin an hour to make a 20 minute trip in the rain.
You, here, have not mentioned that Martin had already been caught with stolen goods, that that neighborhood had been plagued by break-ins, and that Martin fit that profile perfectly, particularly since he was doing anything but following a straight line, and definitely did have pot in him.
Here is the question you need to be asking: why are 40% or so of the people in prison African-American, when they only constitute some 12% of the population? Why has the nuclear family broken down, and with it the ability to transmit valuable cultural lessons?
The ineluctable fact is that blaming racism is the EASY and WRONG way out. You don’t help yourself. You don’t help your kids. You don’t help the black community, or for that matter the white community.
What you need to be looking at are large problems. There are tens of thousands of Trayvon Martin’s out there. Most of them, if they commit murder, will kill another African-American, and to be blunt the evidence is that most white Americans are fine with this. If you want to blame some sort of racism, start there.
I post this only because I think it is a travesty and a disgrace that we have such large pockets of cultural and economic dysfunction. The unfortunate truth, though, is that these problems will only be solved once we readmit the notions of non-relativistic morality, individual autonomy, and personal responsibility.
Yes! Well said, indeed.
Additional little mentioned facts are Martin’s suspensions from school. And the fact that his family had NO IDEA where he was or what he was doing that night. Trayvon’s body lay UNIDENTIFIED for hours! His dad did not know he had been shot until the next morning when he reported him as missing for not coming home the night before! The tragedy in Trayvon’s life started long before Zimmerman came along.
Agreed. The point that few ever mention is Martin had stolen property in the past and not been charged.
Why is a neighborhood watch needed? Because the cops are NOT doing there jobs, allowing theft to continue unpunished.
Imagine if Martin had been given even a curfew.
“Zimmerman’s defense team did not make up Martin’s history of getting in fights and bragging about it via text message.”
Actually, they did and had to back out the charge when they realized a fight video on Martin’s cell phone, wasn’t a fight he was in.
But let’s ignore that Zimmerman assaulted his ex-fiancee, a police officer, had prior complaints against him filed with the HOA about his over aggressiveness, inappropriately spent money given to him for his defense, had the initial lawyer quit on him because he thought Zimmerman was lying…
What about the “White Hispanic” reaction to it? Everyone leaves that out. George Zimmerman wasn’t white. He was like me, a half breed being shoved into one catagory or the other based on a political desire/narrative. Most “White Hispanics” refuse to pick a race. Most refuse to take sides. What has been missed in this story is the opportunities that have been missed for the last 5 years by Obama. Most, like me, are dissapointed in the President because he chose a side, instead of embracing and uniting both sides. This could have been an illustration of the problems between the black and hispanic community (no one ever wants to talk about that HUGE ELEPHANT IN THE GHETTO!), instead we’ve made it about a problem that doesn’t really even exist anymore. What a shame.
Riddle me this. If Zimmerman had not shot Trayvon, and the injuries to his head caused Zimmerman to have bleed out and die the next day… what would Trayvon be charged with? Both sides are at fault here. I think it was an extremely say and unfortunate event. But the media and those who feed off that trough are making hay. And they ought to be brought out and shamed for it, and lose any credibility they may ever have unjustly had… and we have spend enough taxpayer money on the trial and investigation. If the justice dept sticks it’s nosy nose into again for political hay – they need to have a change in leadership. Their choices in what to pursue and what not shows their racism…
exactly. great article.
Thank you! dk
Just a couple of points:
1. “he posted on his MySpace page how every Mexican he ran into had a knife providing evidence that Zimmerman was neither “outstanding” nor “race-blind””…..FYI, “Mexican” is not a race, it is a nationality.
2. The Stand Your Ground law was not part of the defense in the Zimmerman case. There was a SYG-based dismissal hearing prior to the beginning of the case and the judge disallowed it. After that hearing, SYG could not be used as a defense by Zimmerman.
That’s an awful lot of presumption packed in there, but none more than “Martin would not have killed if he was not Black.” Wrong. Martin would not have been killed had he not returned from his Father’s house to start a fight with Zimmerman.
It’s clearly all about race: for YOU. So speak for yourself. For many of us, it’s about the evidence at hand, all of which confirms Zimmerman’s account of the events.
It appears to me that you’re jumping to conclusions as much as anyone else. Only God knows the whole truth, and He WILL deal with the matter.
As a lifelong teacher of students of all colors, and loving them each for the unique individuals God made them to be, I don’t agree with this opinion.
The long story short of what went wrong here is very simple; If George Zimmerman had been professionally trained in how to interact with our youth (regardless of their color) and if Trayvon Martin had been taught by his parents to respect ALL adults in positions of authority, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!
I feel truly sorry for both sides of this mess. The greatest tribute we can pay to Trayvon is to make changes such that it never happens again.
To respect all adults? So the kid who wore the NRA t-shirt to school, should he have obeyed? Or the Valedictorian who tore up his speech when he was told not to deviate? Or how about the teenagers who refused to take off their American Flag T-shirts on Cinco De Mayo? Should they have listened?
But no, Trayvon, who decided to confront someone who was following him….that’s the one he should have respected!?
A shirt and a speech are associated with the Freedom of Speech, from where do you get the notion confronting someone with violence should be respected?
A tragedy for the Martin family could have been avoid, had he just gone home. Or is anyone going to say, the fatty GZ was faster than TM?
The fault lies with the prosecutions initial attempt at murder. Intent, malice nor a depraved mind were proven. GZ was not proven guilty.
The judge changing the instructions to allow manslaughter at the end of the trial seemed as though, she’d sought to help the prosecution. That is not the judge’s responsibility.
If the state had sought involuntary manslaughter from the start and that verdict was handed down, I doubt I’d have objected. Blame the state for failing to prove GZ guilty.
DK, Thank you. Thank you for putting my thoughts, mostly unorganized, into precisely how I felt about this case. I’m a conservative and make no bones about it on my own FB page and other internet musings and with that, I’m a “white” girl. I have been, for lack of a better word, horrified by my Conservative friends and the blatant tunnel vision of this case and George Zimmerman. My stomach has turned in the judgement of Trayvon being a “thug” and the lack of decency is heartbreaking. I can appreciate the verdict in this case but I feel the prosecution failed miserably in telling Trayvons story. I can put myself in Trayvons position, wondering why some creep was following me and then alluding him by walking off the path and into the “between” of houses. I can even put myself in a position of being brave and confronting Zimmerman. I cannot put myself in the position of Zimmerman, who overstepped his bounds. I keep seeing and hearing people defend Zimmerman for not listening to the dispatcher because they aren’t “cops” and yet in that same sentence, do not decry Zimmerman acting like one himself. A very good friend of mine posted her wishes about Zimmerman on FB last night. In short, she wished him a long, healthy life, that he would have many children, all of whom would be boys and that they would be graced with more Hispanic features then his own. That someday, when his children were older, he would remember what he did and worry that no one judged his son’s walking home from the store as he did. I wish for the same.
I was raised NOT to go on anyone’s property…stay on the sidewalk and you don’t look suspicious. I think the whole case is sad, it is sad a 17 yr old is dead and it is sad that it has ruined the Zimmerman family as well. Trayvon was 1 minute from his house BUT 4 minutes later was fighting with GZ….if he felt threatened, why didn’t he go home. I KNOW having your home broken into is a terrifying thing. You cannot blame people for wanting to keep their neighborhood safe. If it has been broken into by a bunch of whites, blacks, hispanics, etc…..then common sense says that is what you are on the look out for. I just wish GZ and Trayvon had tried to communicate better and this whole tragedy would not have happened.
lol…really? Was that a direct quote from your parents? “Don’t walk on someone else’s property, stay on the sidewalk and don’t look suspicious”? This is the problem, everyone assumes that this kid was supposed to have all the wisdom of a grown man…say like Zimmerman. Well he didn’t, as almost all teenagers don’t. It doesn’t matter why he didn’t go home, Why didn’t Zimmerman tell him who he was???? Why didn’t Zimmerman just wait for the cops? Many why’s but “why” all of these “why’s” keep getting asked to a dead boy and not a grown man is beyond me.
At 17 years old, you should know not to jump on someone and start beating the crap out of them. If he was so creeped out, why didn’t he call the cops or run home and tell his dad he was being followed? I knew that when I was 14 and approached by a perv near an alley who wanted me to ‘crack’ his back. I did what I could to get to safety and told my parents. Had I chosen to assault the guy…I would have been taking a huge risk on his response.
Now if Trayvon truly was too immature and thought, like a 3 year old, to hit someone that irritated him, then maybe his parents and his school (who happened to keep slapping his wrists when he committed deeds that others would have done time for), need to look in the mirror. But Trayvon made his choice to be badass.
And yes, if the tables were turned and Zimmerman was the black guy, Trayvon the ‘white hispanic’……the results of this trial should have and would have been the same. And we would have never heard about it.
Thank you Cortney. And I think you make an excellent point.
Actually, Zimmerman is 1/4 black as well, courtesy of one of his grandmothers. As Instapundit points out, that’s twice as much black blood as Homer Plessy of Plessy vs. Ferguson fame.
You article here, just like the prosecution is full of falsehoods. You make many assumptions that are not backed up by facts. Just as the prosecution did, especially in the final summation. Liberals do enough race bating. First let me say my heart goes out to the parents of Travon Martin. I can not imagine any emotional pain as bad as that of a parent losing a child. Now to move one to my diatribe. The liberals including the media, Obama, Jackson, and Sharpton, have been exasebating this tragedy by injecting race into it. This case is nothing about race what so ever. The jury reached the only decision possible according to the law. With that said, could this tragedy have been avoided. Yes it could have. Zimmerman could have not done his duty as a neighborhood watch leader, he could have not exited his car. At the same time Travon could have gone home, could have run away, could have hidden, could have not chosen to attack George Zimmerman. But neither did. However the only one who broke the law was Travon. He attacked, he used violence. This tragedy happened because of his poor decision. No other reason. Now to delve deeper into racism, in the United States of America. I have lived in white neighborhoods and black neighborhoods. The whites have bent over backwards trying to satiate the black race. Sure there are still whites who take their racism to the extreme, but for the most part whites go above and beyond attempting to get along with one another. This can not be said of the black race. They as a whole (note not all of them but a very high percentage of them) have no desire to get along with the white race. The do all they can to perpetuate racial tension in this country. A white man enters a black neighborhood, and if not attacked, he is flat out told he is not welcome there and to leave. Blacks have developed a double talk so they can converse without the whites knowing what they are talking about. They will call each other nigger and dare a white man to do the same so they can use it as a racial slur, and as an excuse to attack him. They have started organizations that cater only to blacks, (NAACP, United Negro College Fund, even in our government the “Congressional Black Caucus) now these are just a few of them, but there are many of them. http://www.tnj.com/lists-resources/black-organizations-and-organizations-serving-black-communities
Yet they say this is not racism, but start any type of organization that caters only to the white race and it is racist. Until this double standard is stopped there will always be racial tension. Another thing, the black race as a whole feels the white race owes them due to this countries history of slavery, and lynchings. The fail to recognize that most of the slaves in America were former slaves owned by fellow blacks in Africa and sold to the slave traders. Please look at that again, whites bought the slaves in Africa from black slave holders. Another thing those who feel we owe them because of history, there is not a living person in the United States that was owned as a slave today. Not one. I am not responsible for what my anchestors did no more than blacks are responsible for what their anchestors did. Lyncing 90 percent of the blacks saying we owe them for all the lynchings, never knew anyone who was lynched, and for that matter they do not take into consideration that during that period one fifth of the people lynched were white.
So the way to stop all this racial tension disband all these organizaions that are black only, and leave the past in the past. No one owes anyone anything. If you want to succeed, try to fit in, get and education, and support yourself. Black, White, Yellow, Red, who ever.
I agree, Steven. Very well said.
Yep, yep, yep!
Well said, I agree that whites do go a long way to reach out to the blacks! Sad thing is they also fear them and the violence they see portrayed.
The falsity in your monologue here is that this wasn’t a neighborhood where a black teenager would have been out of place and therefore automatically the subject of scrutiny because this neighborhood was only 50% while. So much for race necessarily being a part of Zimmerman’s motive for following.
I agree that there was no evidence of racism. I wished these two would’ve exchanged a dialogue and things could have turned out so much different. If Zimmerman knew Trayvon was simply heading home to his dad’s–if Martin knew there was a problem of break-ins and he wasn’t a familiar face so George was just making sure he wasn’t up to no good. It was a total misunderstanding gone wrong. I feel Zimmerman felt threatened and went for his gun but never intended to kill him. He was trying to stop him by wounding him. It was a freak accident that the bullet went through his heart. If only the gun would have gone off a little higher or lower, he might be alive today.
Good points – perhaps we should have a discussion on why 2 ‘grown’ men had to ‘duke’ it out rather than just growl at each other and move on. If our men were less violent this kid would still be alive.