Y'know, I realize I shouldn't really be reading blogs by those who promote a deep commitment to racism, but at the same time I like to know the ignorance out there in cyberspace. It prepares me for reality.
Today's lesson in racism comes to us courtesy of a blog I've frequently linked to as an example of the ethical bankruptcy of many Americans. The blogger writes about the Trayvon Martin case, this time arguing an... interesting position. Before proceeding further, I recommend ya'll check out my posts on this subject.
Amanda Marcotte has refrained from weighing in on the Trayvon Martin case. One suspects that she learned a lesson from the little spanking she sustained during the Duke Lacrosse debacle in which she lost all credibility to anyone but the most radical feminists. But she weighs in today, ever so slightly:
"Well, I have to point out that it’s conservatives, who are much more likely to not only be religious but to think that religion should be pushed on people for their own good, who are currently supporting a legal right to run around in the streets gunning people down for no other reason than you find their skin color to be darker than what you prefer around these parts."Now, I'm not a big fan of Amanda Marcotte, and certainly she's been wrong about a great many things, but for once she's in good company on this issue. (See the links above.)
This is the straight-line narrative – one lacking in nuance or imagination. The people making this argument see George Zimmerman, with a gun, making a phone call to report a suspicious person in his neighborhood. They then see a dead young man. In their world, the first must have caused the second. But as has been pointed out time and again, some shit seems to have happened in between point A and point B. Reuters is reporting that three of Zimmerman’s neighbors saw him bandaged with a swollen nose the day after the altercation and shooting.Indeed, some shit did happen between A & B, yet the blogger seems confident in deciding what happened absent evidence just like the rest of us. So that childish argument is moot. Moreover, despite the reports from Reuters, there is also ample evidence that Zimmerman did not have the injuries he claimed to have sustained. Moreover, initial accounts of the incident mention no injuries sustained by Zimmerman. So this point seems to be been raised after-the-fact, in order to validate one person's side of the story.
So the worst you can say of Zimmerman – and this is just for precision’s sake – is that he saw a black kid and drew on the recent history of black kids burglarizing his neighborhood. This same black kid then responded to Zimmerman’s reaction and escalated the encounter. So it is completely disingenuous or retarded to argue that Zimmerman “gunned down Trayvon Martin *for no other reason* than the color of his skin.” It is likely the case that Zimmerman’s *reason* for shooting Martin was that he was getting punched in the head and slammed by a guy who happened to be black.I'm sorry, could you repeat that? Let me see if I got this straight. Because of a recent history of robberies perpetuated by young Black males, George Zimmerman was well within his rights to assume Trayvon Martin was a criminal and pursue him against the instructions of the 911 dispatcher??? Because Trayvon Martin was a young Black male, who had no history of robbery, who wasn't currently engaged in robbery, and who was just walking around in a hoodie with his hands in his pockets, it's justified for Zimmerman to initiate this incident which Martin supposedly "escalated" by reacting in fear of some stranger stalking him?
Wow, so racial profiling is your justification.... Thanks. Thank you so much for making the point Marcotte was making, that everyone from the Black community to the White House has been making.
See, right there, the blogger has inadvertently given himself away. Ignorantly, he dismisses what everyone, even conservative talking-heads, have been able to understand and make an opinion on: the underlying cause which led Zimmerman to pursue Martin, which is racism.
Zimmerman saw a young Black man, and assumed that all young Black men are criminals based on the recent robberies in his neighborhood. This is racial profiling and no, it's not justified because you don't assume someone's a criminal based on their race and gender. (The latter a point Marcotte regrettably never seems to grasp.) This is the issue people are talking about when they say Trayvon Martin was killed because of his race. Black men are always assumed to be the worst possible stereotype, despite all evidence to the contrary, and consequently they are overwhelming oppressed because of this. To the point of death.
That the blogger fails to understand this, that he needs it pointed out to him, and that he doesn't understand why it's wrong speaks volumes about his personal prejudice. It undermines his credibility and arguments.
Moreover, the blogger seems quite content to leave out the relevant history Zimmerman has with racial profiling, his vigilantism, as well as his own altercations with citizens and law enforcement alike. How convenient. But this next part is even more hilarious:
On a similar note, Martin wasn’t just carrying “Skittles and iced tea” and no weapon. Fists and concrete are weapons. That’s like saying “Trayvon Martin was just wearing shoes and a pair of pants.” It says nothing at all about what actions Trayvon Martin may have taken against George Zimmerman – actions which are supported by evidence on Zimmerman’s body.Haha! Oh my goodness. Really? A teenager with fists and concrete (AKA the sidewalk) against an adult with a gun and law enforcement training? The blogger must suffer some serious paranoia, since EVERYONE walking down the street has these selfsame "weapons". More importantly, the "evidence" does not support Zimmerman's alleged injuries, as shown in initial accounts and surveillance footage from the police station.
However, let's assume, for a moment, that Martin did in fact inflict the alleged injuries on Zimmerman. Such actions are covered under the already infamous Stand Your Ground Law, as Martin was clearly a victim of racial profiling (as the blogger has shown in his post, unwittingly) while being stalked and pursued by a large strange man with a gun who'd been told not to follow him! What action would any of us have taken when confronted by such a person? So again, saying Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin -- which is also saying that Martin deserved to die -- is not only factually untrue, it is fucking reprehensible.
It strains logic and the imagination to attempt to understand the mental gymnastics undertaken by the blogger to turn a textbook case of racially-motivated 2nd degree murder and turn it into justifiable self-defense.
It would appear that in the blogger's attempt to "teach the controversy" he's forgotten some of the facts of the case... like all of them. So much for his purported journalistic cred. But then again, he is an admitted bigot.
Sadly, while debunking ignorance and bigotry is standard Saboteur Academia fare, there are far too many people willing to believe these kinds of excuses and lies. It's sickening. Yet I know that writing about it is something I've got to do. One person's voice may just be a whisper amidst the din of everything else, but enough whispers can have the same effect as a shout.
More importantly, in the words of Audre Lorde, "we've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't."