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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Educating Cyber-Bigots About Trayvon


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."



Cheers

8 footnotes:

Chuck Rudd said...

You really have it in for me Zek.

How much do you actually know about this case? You attack my piece, yet it is Marcotte's that jumps to the conclusion that Zimmerman killed Martin "precisely because of the color of his skin" or some such nonsense. There is no evidence that Zimmerman killed Martin *because he was black*. He didn't pull out a gun and shoot Martin just because he was black. Can you accept that starting point? I hope so.

From there, the reports of Zimmerman's bloodied nose and his messed up head are central to the case. You apparently bought into the first report released by ABC's Matt Gutman in which a grainy video showed that Zimmerman didn't have obvious signs of injury. That contradicts the police report, and the video was later improved to show that Zimmerman did have markings on the back of his head. Add that to the eyewitness "John" who said he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman and Zimmerman calling for help.

Oh, and remember when everyone thought that Zimmerman said "fucking coons" on the 911 call? I hope you're aware that the Florida special prosecutor has determined (as did a CNN sound analyst) that he more likely said "punks".

I assume that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin because he was black. But what he didn't do is shoot Martin *because* he was black. The evidence that we know of suggests that he shot Martin after some sort of altercation. That should be clarified in any discussion of the subject.

And you are so ridiculously ignorant of the finer details of this case. Have you looked at a map of the gated community? If so, and if you have any ability to mentally navigate a map, you'd see that Martin was between Zimmerman and the townhouse where he was staying. Zimmerman stated on the 911 call that Martin ran. If he was scared and running home he would have easily made it. The athlete could have made it home from this the spot where he was described to have been in less than 20 seconds. But somehow, a confrontation ensued. Did Zimmerman catch up to Martin? Doubtful. It does not seem plausible, then, that Zimmerman was the one to directly confront Martin.

And I really do not think you understand what a second-degree murder charge entails. If Angela Corey's thin affidavit is an indicator to the amount of evidence that she has against Zimmerman then her case doesn't look very good.

Zek J. Evets said...

Chuck,

Well, you're an easy, and depressing, target.

How much do you actually know about this case? ... He didn't pull out a gun and shoot Martin just because he was black. Can you accept that starting point? I hope so.

Apparently I know a tad more than you (and yes, I have been keeping up with the reports) because I didn't justify Zimmerman's actions as not racially-motivated... by saying they were racially motivated. I mean, seriously. The starting point of Zimmerman's motivation is already beyond a reasonable doubt -- racism. What happens after IS up for debate, but the evidence supports Martin as the victim, not Zimmerman.

You apparently bought into the first report released by ABC's Matt Gutman in which a grainy video showed that Zimmerman didn't have obvious signs of injury. That contradicts the police report

Actually, the police reports were altered after the fact to account for Zimmerman's injuries. There's no mention of them in the initial reports. Moreover, the witness John's testimony is not credible as we've already seen witness tampering in this case, and only now are people coming out to say what they actually saw/heard happen.

Oh, and remember when everyone thought that Zimmerman said "fucking coons" on the 911 call? I hope you're aware that the Florida special prosecutor has determined (as did a CNN sound analyst) that he more likely said "punks".

I am aware of this, and notice I've left that out of my argument in this post. But do you remember Zimmerman's history of racial profiling and vigilantism? Apparently not.

I assume that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin because he was black. But what he didn't do is shoot Martin *because* he was black. The evidence that we know of suggests that he shot Martin after some sort of altercation. That should be clarified in any discussion of the subject.

It may need clarifying to you, because apparently you are looking for a way to vindicate Zimmerman. But even a cursory analysis of the case shows the preponderance of the evidence indicates Zimmerman stalked and pursued Martin with racist intentions, and then killed him during a confrontation. Now, Martin had run away and evidence shows that he was disregarding the instructions of the 911 dispatcher to not follow Martin, indicating he continued pursuit which was in line with his previous history. This is also supported by the phone call with Martin's girlfriend.

And I really do not think you understand what a second-degree murder charge entails. If Angela Corey's thin affidavit is an indicator to the amount of evidence that she has against Zimmerman then her case doesn't look very good.

Zek J. Evets said...

Well, I probably know more than you, being that I'm working in a legal writing profession at this time. but let me define it for you: "a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility." Zimmerman stalked and pursued Martin with a gun based on racist motivation and vigilantism. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. Gee, that seems like 2nd degree murder, doesn't it? And beyond a reasonable doubt considering the evidence: history of racial profiling and armed vigilantism, not part of registered neighborhood watch group, did not follow neighborhood watch protocol by carrying a gun, evidence of racial profiling and racist thoughts, 911 call where Zimmerman ignored instructions, testimony of eyewitnesses who heard Martin screaming for help, the sudden silence after the gunshot, the officer in charge of the scene who is himself suspected of racist negligence, the altered police reports, the failure of the Sanford PD to follow proper protocol in a suspected murder, the lack of motivation to investigate the case, the racist tropes used in attempting to portray Martin as deserving death, the lack of evidence on Martin's body of any signs of a struggle consistent with him beating Zimmerman to the alleged degree, the lack of injuries on Zimmerman from evidence taken at the scene consistent with an alleged attack by Martin to the severity where Zimmerman feared for his life... i mean, I could go on. Did you happen to read the links I provided?

Ahh, but what am I doing throwing facts and evidence at you? Even Zimmerman standing over Martin's body, smoking-gun still in hand isn't really enough for you apparently. No, you're too "smart" and "unbiased" for that, haha. Sadly, that's why I chose your post to write about, because your level of willful ignorance motivated by your own racism is exactly my point.

Thanks Chuck -- for reminding everyone why they should care about racism in America. Because it leads otherwise intelligent, compassionate people to act like soulless fools.

Dick Boss said...

"Well, I probably know more than you, being that I'm working in a legal writing profession at this time."


I can tell you work in a legal writing profession. You seem to be trying really hard to sound smart.

"...but let me define it for you: "a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility."

Well, Mr. Legal Writing Professor (or are you a TA?), you left out the most important element of 2nd Degree Murder in the state of Florida which is the mens rea (look it up) aspect of the crime: a depraved mind. Good luck finding any evidence- I mean actual admissible evidence, not the tripe you list below- to support that.

"...And beyond a reasonable doubt considering the evidence: history of racial profiling and armed vigilantism..."

Vigilantism? The dude was a fucking neighborhood watchman in a neighborhood that had seen a spate of burglaries and home invasions. Besides, as with most of the "evidence" you cite, it is not relevant and therefore inadmissable at trial.

"..not part of registered neighborhood watch group..."

Since when do you have to be a "registered neighborhood watcher"
to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in your neighborhood?


"...did not follow neighborhood watch protocol by carrying a gun..."

Irrelevant. He was lawfully carrying a gun under the concealed carry statute in Florida.

"...evidence of racial profiling and racist thoughts..."

Where is there any evidence of racists thoughts?!? He didn't say "fucking coons" he said "fucking punks." The former was the only hook to hang a racial profiling accusation on and the sound analysis has shown that at the very least it is impossible to tell what he said. So this point will not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"...911 call where Zimmerman ignored instructions..."

This is undisputed and this is why he *could* be convicted of manslaughter because a jury *may* find that he showed a reckless disregard for life. But any subsequent circumstance- like being attacked and defending himself- could then overcome even the manslaughter charge.

"...testimony of eyewitnesses who heard Martin screaming for help..."

The one witness "John" clearly said that Zimmerman ("the one in the red sweatshirt") was the one crying for help. It's a question of contradicting witnesses. It's really hard to determine something beyond a reasonable doubt when there are witnesses who all don't agree and the one who actually saw the most- "John"- supports the Defendant's story.

"...the sudden silence after the gunshot..."

This proves nothing. If you are screaming for help and you pull the trigger in the heat of the moment, I'm sure the startling crack of a gunshot will jolt you into silence as well.

"...the officer in charge of the scene who is himself suspected of racist negligence..."

There is no such thing under the Law as racist negligence. I can kinda see what you are trying to say here, but as a person in a legal writing profession you should be more precise with your words.

"...the altered police reports..."

Altered? Or do you mean updated? Police Reports are updated after the fact all the time even for something as simple as a fender-bender, let alone a case as complex as a homicide.

I won't go on with the rest. Going through all of your weak arguments has been tiring enough.

Zek J. Evets said...

Dick Boss,

Nice name. Totally makes you not a troll. Oy vey... here we go.

Well, Mr. Legal Writing Professor (or are you a TA?), you left out the most important element of 2nd Degree Murder in the state of Florida which is the mens rea (look it up) aspect of the crime: a depraved mind. Good luck finding any evidence- I mean actual admissible evidence, not the tripe you list below- to support that.

I'm a Legal Writer actually, for an advocacy firm in the Bay Area. I deal with criminals and victims every day. I also argue with administrative law judges, daily. It's quite interesting how people can appear intelligent, and even be intelligent, and yet still be extremely dumb.

Also, you don't seem to understand the concept of mens rea. Hint: it's also called intent. The evidence for Zimmerman's intent has already been provided by Chuck. But I guess racial profiling isn't up to your standard? Thankfully the law is less prejudiced.

Vigilantism? The dude was a fucking neighborhood watchman in a neighborhood that had seen a spate of burglaries and home invasions. Besides, as with most of the "evidence" you cite, it is not relevant and therefore inadmissable at trial ... Since when do you have to be a "registered neighborhood watcher"
to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in your neighborhood?


Haha, great job contradicting yourself buddy! Is he a neighborhood watchmen or a "concerned citizen" carrying a gun? This is why neighborhood watch regulations forbid firearms for precisely the reasons that led to Martin's murder.

More importantly, Zimmerman's history is relevant, as it relates directly to his mens rea (AKA intent) which you archaically define as "depraved mind".

Moving on!

Where is there any evidence of racists thoughts?!? He didn't say "fucking coons" he said "fucking punks." The former was the only hook to hang a racial profiling accusation on and the sound analysis has shown that at the very least it is impossible to tell what he said. So this point will not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Apparently you didn't read any of my other posts. Thanks for wasting my time with this one. Please go study up on the case dude. Zimmerman repeatedly focused on Martin's race in the 911 call, in addition to a history of racial profiling with a specific obsession with Black men as stated by his neighbors. Again, Chuck has already shown the existence of Zimmerman's racism.

There is no such thing under the Law as racist negligence. I can kinda see what you are trying to say here, but as a person in a legal writing profession you should be more precise with your words.

You can't have it both ways buddy. Either you consider me an expert, or you don't. Pick and choose.

And yes, racist negligence is a colloquial term. But it can still be prosecuted because it violates the equal protection clause. See: the Civil Rights movement.

Altered? Or do you mean updated? Police Reports are updated after the fact all the time even for something as simple as a fender-bender, let alone a case as complex as a homicide.

I won't go on with the rest. Going through all of your weak arguments has been tiring enough.


Altered. As in changed. As in different from before. You wanna argue semantics? Go ahead, but that really shows you've already conceded the point. Thanks for being transparent.

So yes, the police reports were altered, the lead detective was told to stop investigating, witness testimony was tampered with, in addition to many other screw-ups by the Sanford PD. Again, read the post dude, BEFORE commenting.

Maybe then you won't be too tired to make a decent comment. At least you had 2 things right, but sheesh!

Actually, just go back to whatever bush-league bridge you normally troll under, because I doubt you can afford the toll on this one.

Zek J. Evets said...

Dick,

I don't publish homophobic comments. Thus, you've been moderated.

You can disagree as vehemently as you want. You can argue in bad faith as much as you'd like. You can make as many frat-level insults as you can possibly come up with.

But it doesn't do anything to change the fact that you're trolling. You obviously have no interest in any discussion that doesn't include insults, slurs, and discriminatory remarks.

Try commenting after you've grown up. Until then, sit on it.

lifeexplorerdiscovery said...

If its one thing I've learned is that it is futile to debate online. No one is going to let someone else over the internet change their opinion whether right or wrong. If anything, someone fighting your opinion only makes you believe stronger in said opinion. I know that I tend to do that.

That is why I ended up creating (and constantly deleting) blogs, so that I can just say whatever I wanted and control the situation however I wanted.

Zek J. Evets said...

Lifeexplorediscovery,

Yeah, debating online is pretty futile. The only people really interested in it are those who're typically incapable of having a serious one because they're A) batshit crazy, B) ignorant and refuse to educate themselves on the subject first, or C) only interested in proving you wrong, not having a real conversation.

That said, I'm all about calling shit out. For me it's about naming it, challenging it, and then speaking out to others so that they can be more aware of it.