Commentary: Time to Heal This Divided Nation

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Trayvon-Martin

In yesterday’s commentary on the Trayvon Martin decision, I stated in strong terms that I have no doubt that the outcome of this trial would have been different with an African-American defendant.  This comment, more than any other in the 1400 word essay, drew reader attention and at times criticism.

People who believe this case had nothing to do with race need to wake up and smell the coffee – this case had EVERYTHING to do with race.  There are people – some with good intentions – who believe that somehow by ignoring the racial dynamic we can move on from a national history steeped in racism from its founding to its dealings with Native Americans, its slavery and post-slavery saga to the present day.

I could not disagree more.  To me, only by embracing our past and confronting our present can we move on.  If you read the reactions, you will see this remains a nation deeply divided on the issue of race.  Ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room will not make it go away.

As I wrote yesterday, “There is no doubt – none – zero – zilch – that if the roles were reversed here, the verdict would have been different. Had Trayvon Martin killed George Zimmerman under the exact same conditions, he would have been convicted. No doubt in my mind.”

One of the more thoughtful comments deserves additional reflection: “Your statement seemed strange to me in context of an otherwise well-balanced essay. I’d like to explore why you make this statement; why you see things this way.”

They ask: “Do you really perceive that not just some Americans, but most Americans are that racist or racially biased; that they would let their racial bias/hatred over-ride the evidence brought forward by prosecutors and the defense?”

My belief is that we learn more from points of disagreement than agreement, so I want to address these thoughtful questions.

A lot of people seem to have stopped reading on the quoted passage and did not read the next comment: “It is unprovable, of course, but the impact of race in this nation is no longer 100-0. Now it’s more like about 20%, just enough to change the outcome of a close case. It is a perverted sort of progress, but progress nonetheless.”

What I’m saying here is that racial issues are no longer completely black and white.  We had a long history in the south of white people attacking blacks, either through lynchings meant to intimidate, racially motivated attacks for perceived slights against white or the white establishment, or outright acts of terrorism like the bombing of a black church or the killing of Medgar Evers.

Back in the day these crimes were committed, authorities would either refuse to follow through on leads or the jury would engage in the practice of jury nullification and disregard the evidence.

That is not what happened here.  In fact, one of the mistakes made by the prosecution appears that they bowed to political pressure to prosecute the case.

The bottom line is that I do not believe that the jury simply disregarded facts in this case.  What I believe, as I tried to articulate yesterday, is that the facts of the case were difficult to gain a conviction on.  The prosecution has a huge burden to prove criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt and I believe in this case that they did not meet the burden.

So why do I believe, in a reversed situation, an African-American would get convicted?  I think we all bring into our experiences prejudices and preconceived notions.  In a moment, I will argue that this is what this case was about from the start to the finish.

But a jury evaluating an African-American, with points in question, motivations and actions, is more likely to view such actions through a more skeptical veneer than they might have Mr. Zimmerman.

In the end, I believe, as I stated, the racial bias filter is no longer all or nothing, but perhaps a variation of gray that pushes us from leaning toward acquittal to leaning toward conviction.

If you have a somewhat close call, I think there is enough bias – some of it unconscious – to sway opinion.

There are two key racial questions in the case, and the jury question is just one of them.  The other question is if Mr. Martin had been white, would Mr. Zimmerman ever have pursued him?

Here, I think the Florida Executive Director of the ACLU makes the critical points.

“The tragedy in this case is that the needless death of a 17-year old is yet another example of the deadly consequences that come from seeing the world through racial stereotypes,” said Howard Simon.  “The confrontation that resulted in Trayvon Martin’s death occurred because, in a neighborhood that had experienced recent burglaries, George Zimmerman saw a young Black male as a threat to his community.”

It is difficult to see this discussion outside of the bounds of a racial discussion.  But the key question is how do we move beyond that discourse.

Mr. Simon offers,  “Following the verdict in the Zimmerman case, our collective task now is to hasten the movement toward racial equality and an end to racial profiling in Florida and throughout the country. It is necessary to increase not only the commitment, but the work to end the policies in our schools and in our criminal justice system that are responsible for removing people of color from school, robbing them of the opportunity for an education, arresting, incarcerating them, and destroying their future at alarmingly unjust and discriminatory rates.”

He concludes: “The deadly confrontation between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin is a horrific reminder of the toxic mix of an armed citizenry and a society that still makes too many judgments filtered through racial stereotypes.”

I agree.  In a lot of ways, this is more difficult to confront than the Medgar Evers situation or even the Rosa Parks situation, where you had clear-cut cases of racial prejudice.

How do we heal?

One of the more beautiful thoughts I saw was posted by a friend on Facebook. What if George Zimmerman had, instead of pursuing Trayvon Martin, offered him a ride home that night?

As inconceivable as things might seem at this time, one path forward might be for the Martin family to pursue reconciliation with George Zimmerman.  Imagine a victim-offender mediation session based on restorative justice principles.

Imagine them sitting down in a room, each expressing the loss and how events impacted them and then, instead of focusing on anger, dissension and bitterness, they focus on healing, moving forward and finding ways to make the world a better place.

This is a tragic situation.  One young man is dead and he did not need to be.  Regardless of whether the reasons are a crime or a series of mistakes occurred, that fact remains.

George Zimmerman will never be the same.  Whatever he is saying on the outside, this burden is going to follow him.  There is the public stigma and also the private angst.

There is a way through this, but both sides will need to embrace change that will not be easy.  But through themselves, they can heal not only themselves but the entire world.

Anyone who believes we are past race in this nation need only look at the rhetoric and discourse to know that is not true.  But we are getting closer to that day – the last steps, however, will be the most difficult.

There is a Talmudic aphorism, “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”  It is too late for Trayvon Martin, but not too late for everyone else.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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124 thoughts on “Commentary: Time to Heal This Divided Nation”

  1. SouthofDavis

    David wrote (under the headline “Time to Heal This Divided Nation”):

    > I stated in strong terms that I have no
    > doubt that the outcome of this trial would
    > have been different with an African-American
    > defendant.

    I don’t think that America is a “Divided Nation” It is unfortunate that David (and so many others in the media) can’t get past the fact that ALL “African-Americans” (and the other hyphenated people of color that they treat as victims of the white man) are not ALL innocent victims of racism.

    The only “division” I see in America is the (so called) “leaders” of the Black, Latino and Native American Communities that seem to try their best to “divide” America every time someone in the group they “lead” gets shot by a member of another group.

    When an American that is of Japanese, Irish or Russian decent is shot by a cop we don’t have the major networks getting interviews with “leaders” of their communities standing in front of angry mobs (protesting by getting new Air Jordans at Foot Locker) or make movies about the people that got shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fna_RrNeBy0

    http://movies.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/movies/fruitvale-station-is-based-on-the-story-of-oscar-grant-iii.html?_r=0

  2. medwoman

    “Ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room will not make it go away.”

    It seems to me that there is another 800 pound gorilla in the room which does not seem to be going away. This gorilla is our culture’s nurturing of violence. Would a George Zimmerman have attempted to follow and or confront Treyvon Martin had he not felt empowered by his weapon?
    Or would he have felt content to make the call, and let the authorities handle the situation ? Even if suspected of burglary, is it worth a young man’s life ? Why would one choose to go out on a neighborhood patrol with a firearm if one had no intent to use it ? At the very least, I think it would be very hard to make the case that Mr. Zimmerman did not harbor some vision of himself as a righteous defender of his neighborhood.
    Unfortunately, he chose a vigilante approach rather than his non lethal cell phone.

  3. SouthofDavis

    Medwoman wrote:

    > It seems to me that there is another 800 pound
    > gorilla in the room which does not seem to be
    > going away. This gorilla is our culture’s nurturing
    > of violence. Would a George Zimmerman have attempted
    > to follow and or confront Treyvon Martin had he
    > not felt empowered by his weapon?

    It is not “our culture” that is “nurturing violence” is the Black and Latino cultures in America (take a look at the percentage of songs and videos with Black or Latinos talking about and holding guns vs. songs and videos by all other races).

    In the Treyvon shooting we had a Latino guy shooting a black guy. Google “South Sacramento Shooting” and “Davis, CA Shooting” and you can see that “our” (multi-racial) culture in Davis is not “nurturing violence” while in South Sacramento we have family members shooting at each other.

    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/05/28/graduation-party-argument-leads-to-south-sacramento-drive-by-shooting/

    When the media (and David) only gets interested in talking about violence when the guy with the gun is not Black or has a non Hispanic last name we will never make much forward progress on the violence in the Black and Hispanic communities.

    P.S. As a volunteer with First Tee for six years I heard quite a few stories about the incredible amount of violence in (the mostly Black and Hispanic) parts of town that I never even read about in the local papers…

    http://www.thefirsttee.org/Club/Scripts/Home/home.asp

  4. David M. Greenwald

    SOD:

    “It is not “our culture” that is “nurturing violence” (in)the Black and Latino cultures”

    That’s a startling comment.

    First, you are suggesting that there are separate cultures now in America, earlier you argued, “I don’t think that America is a “Divided Nation”” – which is it?

    Second, you seem to be systematically ignoring the NRA-gun culture that is certainly not endemic to the subgroups that you referenced.

  5. Morpheus

    Unfortunately, the 800 pound gorilla in the room continues to be fed and nurtured by ultra left-wing liberals and special interest groups to serve their own purposes.

    David, at first you say that “the facts of the case were difficult to gain a conviction on,” then go on to say that “I believe, in a reversed situation, an African-American would get convicted.” What you are saying here is that the jury of five white women and one black woman were racist, or at the very least must have viewed the evidence through a “racial bias filter.” But David, that’s exactly what they [i]didn’t[/i] do in this case. They had every reason to feel sympathy for the victim, a young black man, minding his own business, armed with nothing more than skittles and an iced tea. In a complete role reversal, the prosecution – rather than the defense – did everything it could to inject race into the proceeding. The jury filtered out race, and decided the matter on the facts, facts that you yourself assert “were difficult to gain a conviction on.”

    Take race out of the equation, and this is exactly the type of case that you usually scream about overreaching, unfairness, and oppression on the part of the prosecution. Why then the change? Because YOU, along with the aforementioned ultra left-wing liberals and special interest groups, have injected race into the mix.

    This case was never about race, despite efforts by far too many to make it so.

  6. Morpheus

    Unfortunately, the 800 pound gorilla in the room continues to be fed and nurtured by ultra left-wing liberals and special interest groups to serve their own purposes.

    David, at first you say that “the facts of the case were difficult to gain a conviction on,” then go on to say that “I believe, in a reversed situation, an African-American would get convicted.” What you are saying here is that the jury of five white women and one black woman were racist, or at the very least must have viewed the evidence through a “racial bias filter.” But David, that’s exactly what they [i]didn’t[/i] do in this case. They had every reason to feel sympathy for the victim, a young black man, minding his own business, armed with nothing more than skittles and an iced tea. In a complete role reversal, the prosecution – rather than the defense – did everything it could to inject race into the proceeding. The jury filtered out race, and decided the matter on the facts, facts that you yourself assert “were difficult to gain a conviction on.”

    Take race out of the equation, and this is exactly the type of case that you usually scream about overreaching, unfairness, and oppression on the part of the prosecution. Why then the change? Because YOU, along with the aforementioned ultra left-wing liberals and special interest groups, have injected race into the mix.

    This case was never about race, despite efforts by far too many to make it so.

  7. SouthofDavis

    David asks:

    > First, you are suggesting that there are separate
    > cultures now in America, earlier you argued, “I don’t
    > think that America is a “Divided Nation”” – which is it?

    We have a small number of people in America that think that “Lizard People” live here, but I’m not going to say that our nation is “divided” between those that believe in “Lizard People” and those who don’t.
    http://www.lizardpersonornot.com/

    We unfortunately also have small cultures of violence in America made up of white Meth Heads, Bikers and Skinheads, as well as Black and Latino urban youth (with the largest body count coming from Black and Latino areas).

    Most Blacks and Hispanics don’t live in urban areas and shoot at family members on a regular basis and they are happy members of communities like Davis (when they are not being hassled by the cops while mowing their lawns).

  8. Growth Izzue

    [quote]This case was never about race, despite efforts by far too many to make it so.
    [/quote]

    Bingo! Including one blogger we all know. Florida Police Chief Bill Lee had it right from the start in not arresting Zimmerman and for that he lost his job.

    [url]http://www.mediaite.com/tv/ex-sanford-police-chief-tells-cnn-he-was-fired-for-not-arresting-zimmerman/[/url]

  9. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]David, at first you say that “the facts of the case were difficult to gain a conviction on,” then go on to say that “I believe, in a reversed situation, an African-American would get convicted.” What you are saying here is that the jury of five white women and one black woman were racist, or at the very least must have viewed the evidence through a “racial bias filter.” [/quote]

    What I’m saying here is exactly as I explained in the piece. “The impact of race in this nation is no longer 100-0. Now it’s more like about 20%, just enough to change the outcome of a close case.” The 20% represents an unconscious bias. Do you doubt that? Zimmerman got benefits of the doubt that Martin would not have had the scenario been reversed. It was a tough case and a close call, race would have tiltled the reverse scenario to being a close case for conviction rather than acquittal.

    “This case was never about race, despite efforts by far too many to make it so. “

    The case in its base form was always about race and the public attention to the case has always been about race.

  10. David M. Greenwald

    “We have a small number of people in America that think that “Lizard People” live here, but I’m not going to say that our nation is “divided” between those that believe in “Lizard People” and those who don’t.”

    Blacks and Hispanics do not make up the same small proportion as the lizard people constituency, so I’m not sure where this conversation goes. I suspect if we looked at polling we would see a sharply divided public on this issue and if we drilled down there was be a sizable split on the reactions by whites versus blacks – do you disagree with this?

  11. J.R.

    [quote]Anyone who believes we are past race in this nation need only look at the rhetoric and discourse to know that is not true.[/quote]

    You certainly demonstrate this regularly with your race-based perspectives and your obsession with race as the explanation for everything.

    It is rather inconvenient for your morality tale, so just go in ignoring it, that in this case Zimmerman has a black grandmother and is Hispanic.

  12. JustSaying

    DG: As I wrote yesterday, “There is no doubt – none – zero – zilch – that if the roles were reversed here, the verdict would have been different. Had Trayvon Martin killed George Zimmerman under the exact same conditions, he would have been convicted. No doubt in my mind.”

    JS: What I said yesterday.

  13. Growth Izzue

    So let me get this straight, this case wasn’t about race but if the roles had been reversed it would’ve been about race? Convoluted liberal thinking.

  14. Frankly

    Over this last month 40 young black men died in Chicago. But, they were killed by other black men, not a white Hispanic man.

    But then this one killing gets all the media attention, and those other 40 get zero attention.

    The divide of this nation is caused by the race-obsessed media of which the Vanguard has a long storied history of being right in the middle of.

  15. Frankly

    Oh, and let’s not forget all the children that have been killed by drive-by gang shootings. Where are their stories in the national media? What are we not seeing marches, protests and riots over their killing?

  16. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]Oh, and let’s not forget all the children that have been killed by drive-by gang shootings. Where are their stories in the national media? What are we not seeing marches, protests and riots over their killing? [/quote]

    That was the point my dirty laundry story made on Saturday.

  17. Morpheus

    “The case in its base form was always about race and the public attention to the case has always been about race.”

    Sorry, David, this case was never abotu race. The only reason that it is an issue is because special interest groups and ultra left-wing liberals insist on injecting race into the equation.

    Great job feeding the gorilla in the room another banana……

  18. Frankly

    [i]I suspect if we looked at polling we would see a sharply divided public on this issue and if we drilled down there was be a sizable split on the reactions by whites versus blacks – do you disagree with this? [/i]

    If a tree falls in the forest, and only a few people know about it, and the media does not report on it, how will the public be sharply divided about it.

    Here’s the thing. The media has enflamed race relations related to this story to create reporting fodder. Race conflict sells like the Romans sold Coliseum blood and gore. It is a form of nasty tabloid entertainment, but it is more sinister because it does significant damage to society.

    As our once justifiably-respected profession of journalism continues to degrade into a standard of nasty tabloid entertainment, we need to revisit what our First Amendment rights should protect, and what the media should be liable for in damages and harm.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    Morpheus: I’ve asked others this question, I’ll ask you. (1) who gets to determine whether its about race and (2) what is the narrative that does not involve race?

  20. David M. Greenwald

    “The media has enflamed race relations related to this story to create reporting fodder.”

    It’s an interesting point, but did the media inflame the public or merely respond to the public?

  21. B. Nice

    When Obama was elected, I remember being struck by the fact that my then 4 year old daughter took no special notice that Obama and his family were black. She noticed differences in people’s appearances but different skin color held no more or less significance then different hair color or different eye color.

    She entered Kindergarten the following year. On the day during black history when they learned about Rosa Parks she came home and proceeded to tell me proudly that, “back then I would have gotten to sit in front of the bus, and (here she named the only african american girl in her class) would have had to sit in the back.” Ugh, not the take home message I’m sure anyone wanted. Skin color was no longer just about our physical differences, it became I reason why some people are treated differently then others and on some subtle level she felt a little superior because she was white and “would have gotten to sit in the front of the bus.”

    As she has grown and matured she understand the way black people were treated was unjust and immoral, but I wonder deep down does she still have that little feeling of superiority? Do I?. It is this place were I see some of the unconscious and subtle racism coming from.

  22. Don Shor

    [quote]we need to revisit what our First Amendment rights should protect, and what the media should be liable for in damages and harm.[/quote]
    I believe that is about to be tested in this case.
    [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2013/07/14/zimmerman-lawyer-to-move-asap-against-nbc-news/[/url]

  23. J.R.

    So a mostly white jury finds that a young man of Hispanic and African-American ethnicity acted in self-defense and some try to use it to advance a narrative about our evil racist society. Pathetic and contemptible.

  24. Morpheus

    David, I’m glad you asked these questions.

    (1) who gets to determine whether its about race?

    Not who, but what. You are asking the wrong question. That’s the main problem with your assertion that this is about race. The objective facts determine if it’s about race. The facts of this case, facts that you yourself assert “were difficult to gain a conviction on,” were always about self-defense, something that was borne out by the jury’s acquittal. That TM was Black and GZ was Hispanic was not relevant.

    (2) what is the narrative that does not involve race?

    That’s an easy question. The evidence submitted in the case. The prosecution’s closing arguments, while not evidence, are a prime example of trying to improperly inject race as an issue into the case.

    Let’s get down to a couple of basic facts, but reverse the races.

    George Zimmerman (Hispanic) was walking through a gated community (otherwise minding his own business) late at night, one that had been beset by a rash of burglaries. As he was standing on a random person’s lawn texting, he is spotted by the neighborhood watch volunteer Trayvon Martin (Black), who then starts following him. Black guy is a wanna-be cop who ignores dispatch’s advice to stay away, leave’s his truck when he loses sight of Hispanic guy. Hispanic guy calls a friend, and tells her that “some Creepy-ass Nigger is following me.” Moments later, a fight between them ensues. Larger Hispanic guy beats smaller Black guy, breaking his nose and repeatedly slamming his head on the pavement in a “ground and pound” MMA fashion. Smaller Black guy shoots and kills larger Hispanic guy. On this set of facts, the jury would find not guilty.

    Add into this drug use by the Hispanic guy, along with other facts that the jury wasn’t allowed to hear: Youtube posts by the Hispanic Guy demonstrating his violent tendencies and fighting prowess; texts by the Hispanic guy regarding drug sales, texts by the Hispanic guy discussing the illegal purchase of a gun.

    In the end, under the exact same circumstances but with race reversed, the verdict would have been the same. The difference is, you would never have heard of this case in the media. Why? Because, with the exception of the victim’s use of an offensive racial slur, there is nothing in this set of facts that suggest “racial issues” are a part of this narrative.

  25. Steve Hayes

    DG: As I wrote yesterday, “There is no doubt – none – zero – zilch – that if the roles were reversed here, the verdict would have been different. Had Trayvon Martin killed George Zimmerman under the exact same conditions, he would have been convicted. No doubt in my mind.”

    If Mr. Martin had been on trial, would a jury of “his peers” have been six women, one of them black? Just asking.

  26. JustSaying

    [quote]“Suspected racism in the justice system, deep-seated, secretive and historic, was the crux of the case for millions. That was what made it a national story, instead of merely a local tragedy.’ (from a CNN report)[/quote]This is how race is involved, in my opinion. Shooting a Black kid for no apparent reason and facing the “don’t back down” Florida justice got Al Sharpton and others taking this on. So, it began as a national civil rights deal rather than what it should have been for justices to prevail: a local criminal investigation and prosecution.

    How the trial played out for this specific case is a whole different situation. An Hispanic man was found not guilty of the charges because the jury (rightly, in my opinion) felt the prosecutors put on a lousy case that made “reasonable doubt” reasonable.

    (Incidentally, check past Vanguard coverage of Yolo County and Sacramento County trials to get a feel of how reasonable people can think even “guilty” verdicts shouldn’t have occurred because of perceived reasonable doubt.)

    Given all the variables that led to this not guilty finding, I cannot buy any claim that the specific case would have played out differently if the African-American had killed the Hispanic, or if Martin had killed Zimmerman, or anyway you choose to describe this very specific situation.

    Of course, “no doubt – none – zero – zilch” is a 100% opinion which unsupported (and unprovable, in any case). Why would this fiery, rank speculation get dropped into an otherwise reasonable commentary? It just got in the way.

  27. JustSaying

    [quote]“An Hispanic man was found not guilty of the charges because the jury (rightly, in my opinion) felt the prosecutors put on a lousy case that made “reasonable doubt” reasonable.”[/quote]I sort of disagree. I mean “understandably,” not “rightly.” I think Zimmerman lied about what happened, but it was up to prosecutors to prove the case. I understand how the jury could have gotten to a not-guilty finding, and without any racial influences.

  28. Ryan Kelly

    I just don’t understand the verdict. In finding that Zimmerman was not guilty is saying that he killed in self defense. That is saying that Trayvon was guilty of armed assault – his weapon being the very pavement he was walking on toward home. That could be anyone, anywhere, walking down a sidewalk. Zimmerman chose to follow and confront Trayvon, with a fully loaded gun in his waistband, because he thought the black teenager looked like a criminal. He followed him for a distance, which he should have seen that the teenager was drinking a soda and talking on a cell phone as he casually walked through the complex. I fully believe that Zimmerman was blind to Trayvon’s behavior, because he had profiled Trayvon based on his age and gender and, most significantly, his race with tragic results.

  29. Growth Izzue

    J.R.
    [quote]So a mostly white jury finds that a young man of Hispanic and African-American ethnicity acted in self-defense and some try to use it to advance a narrative about our evil racist society. Pathetic and contemptible. [/quote]

    That’s it J.R. You nailed it. The left wanted so bad for Zimmerman to be white that they even referred to him as a white Hispanic. That would be like calling Obama a white African. David even referred to him as white in his Sunday article. They know that ruins their racism narrative if he’s not white. So like you said J.R. this case was anything but racist being that a mostly white jury exonerated a Hispanic black man.

  30. B. Nice

    [quote]I just don’t understand the verdict. In finding that Zimmerman was not guilty is saying that he killed in self defense.[/quote]

    It’s not the verdict that I don’t understand it’s the fact that based on Florida law, George Zimmerman should not have been convicted of second degree murder or manslaughter.

  31. Don Shor

    [quote]The left wanted so bad for Zimmerman to be white that they even referred to him as a white Hispanic.[/quote]
    “White Hispanic” is an actual official designation of the US Census Bureau.
    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans[/url]
    “Hispanicity is independent of race, and constitutes an ethnicity category, as opposed to a racial category, the only one of which that is officially collated by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

  32. David M. Greenwald

    I still think my “dirty laundry” story called out the media sufficiently. I’m not convinced that the media race-baited so much as over-played the case in its entirety.

  33. Frankly

    Ryan – I listened to a Sean Hannity interview of Zimmerman yesterday. Suffice to say that I don’t think Zimmerman is a super high IQ dude. His explanation of the events that led to TM being shot was complete and left no doubt in my mind that the kid attacked him and was going to probably kill him… or at least injure his brain. Zimmerman had every right to be where he was. He had every right to confirm his suspicions. TM’s actions were not defendable as him simply protecting himself from some threat. I would say it was a hate crime, and he paid the ultimate price for it.

    The case never should have been taken by the prosecution.

  34. JustSaying

    [quote]“‘White Hispanic’ is an actual official designation of the US Census Bureau.”[/quote]Good point, Don. This shows how ridiculous the discussion about race has become.[quote]“The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically.

    In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups.

    People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as “American Indian” and “White.” People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

    OMB requires five minimum categories: [u]White[/u], [u]Black or African American[/u], [u]American Indian or Alaska Native[/u],[u] Asian[/u], and [u]Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander[/u].[/quote]Every time I’ve come across these choices, it’s a matter of “self selection.” A person with all sorts of racial colors in his or her background can identify himself as “white.” Lots of people who “look like” they or their ancestors came from Mexico or South America can identify themselves as “white Hispanic.”

    We have our first “Black President” even though his mother was “white” and his father was a Black African.

    OMB renames and recategorizes as the years go on. In Hawaii, we have a special category called “hapa-haole” which covers mixes that OMB barely recognizes, partly because the political issues haven’t arisen to justify adding yet more official categories.

    We are so mixed up about race, it’s difficult for me to understand just how we can make such a big deal with such certainty.

  35. B. Nice

    [quote]He had every right to confirm his suspicions.[/quote]

    His “suspicions” were wrong and unfounded, and because of them a yound man is dead.

  36. wdf1

    If I accept that the Zimmerman case was decided correctly, then I’d like to hear how the Marissa Alexander ([url]http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/[/url]) case in Florida would be justified as a correct decision, consistent with Zimmerman’s.

  37. Don Shor

    [quote] I listened to a Sean Hannity interview of Zimmerman yesterday. [/quote]
    Great. Now all we need is an interview with Trayvon Martin, and we can judge who is telling the truth.

  38. EastCoastTransplant

    David, you nailed this piece, great work.

    There was no way the State was getting a murder conviction based on their evidence. But “legally” innocent is not the same as morally innocent. Was race a huge part of the verdict? I’m not sure, and I doubt it. But race was definitely the biggest component of the crime. Trayvon was stalked and confronted for being a young, black, male by an unstable vigilante-racist. There was racism in the charge brought – the prosecution likely knew they couldn’t make a murder charge stick with that evidence. There must be at least a half-dozen laws on the books in FL that they could have charged GZ with that had a better chance of sticking, but would have been less popular. If GZ were black, the prosecutors would have brought those charges, too.

    Anyone who doesn’t think we still live in a deeply divided America has been in Davis too long, probably enjoying the farmer’s market and free parking.

  39. Frankly

    Question…

    Zimmerman said, and it was confirmed, that he and other neighborhood watchers had tracked kids from all races at different times.

    So, this one ends up in a physical altercation.

    My question is would a young black male generally be more likely to respond aggressively and physically than say an Asian male, or a Hispanic male, or a Caucasian male? If the answer is yes, then Zimmerman cannot and should not be held responsible for this fact. Out of all the other times he cased and followed someone walking among their homes in their neighborhood, none of these ended up in a physical altercation.

    Now maybe there are social and other explanation why TM decided to get physical. Or maybe it was just his personality or individual upbringing. In any case, none of this is Zimmerman’s fault. Because if TM had not attacked Zimmerman and Zimmerman had still shot him and killed him, this would be 180 degrees a different story and trial outcome. And if not, the ire of the race-baiters would be justified.

  40. K.Smith

    [quote]Now maybe there are social and other explanation why TM decided to get physical. Or maybe it was just his personality or individual upbringing. In any case, none of this is Zimmerman’s fault. Because if TM had not attacked Zimmerman and Zimmerman had still shot him and killed him, this would be 180 degrees a different story and trial outcome. And if not, the ire of the race-baiters would be justified. [/quote]
    Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator to stand down, and to NOT follow TM, so -if- TM attacked him, he shares the blame in escalating the situation.

  41. B. Nice

    [quote]Zimmerman said, and it was confirmed, that he and other neighborhood watchers had tracked kids from all races at different times. [/quote]

    Franky, a little off topic, do you think it’s okay for armed civilians to target and track kids because they are walking around a neighborhood?

  42. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Franky, a little off topic, do you think it’s okay for armed civilians to target and track kids because they are walking around a neighborhood? [/quote]

    Yes, because that particular neighborhood has been getting robbed on a regular basis.

  43. SouthofDavis

    K.Smith wrote:

    > Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator to stand
    > down, and to NOT follow TM, so -if- TM attacked
    > him, he shares the blame in escalating the situation.

    If I tell my sister not to wear a low cut shirt to a biker bar and she is raped in the back of the bar does she also “share the blame”?

    I am not a Zimmerman defender and the guy seems like an idiot, but people that are attacked are raped should never “share the blame”…

  44. Frankly

    According to Zimmerman he did stand down. He walked to an area where he would tell the police a specific location away from his house and where TM would not hear him speak his address, and TM met him where he walked. The prosecution story was that Zimmerman purposely followed TM, but obviously the jury did not buy it.

  45. K.Smith

    “If I tell my sister not to wear a low cut shirt to a biker bar and she is raped in the back of the bar does she also “share the blame”?

    I am not a Zimmerman defender and the guy seems like an idiot, but people that are attacked are raped should never “share the blame”… “

    I think this is a bit apples-to-oranges.

    Someone wearing a particular outfit into a bar is a far cry from someone emboldened by carrying their almighty firearm defying an -official- order to NOT follow a so-called suspicious-looking individual and wait for the police to arrive.

    I don’t see this is “blaming the victim,” but rather exercising some common sense. I agree with Medwoman (or whoever made the comment above) that had Zimmerman not been packing heat, he probably would not have been emboldened to approach TM and the whole sorry incident wouldn’t have happened.

    On what planet is it OK to protect property at the cost of someone’s life? Had any of the recent burglaries involved harm to persons? If they had, then maybe (-maybe-) I could see Zimmerman’s point in pursuing the young man, but barring any evidence of that type, why not just stand down until police arrive?

    Is property really worth it?

  46. Growth Izzue

    This is starting to surface more and more. Much was made of the innocent Trayvon walking alone with his skittles and “tea”.

    [quote]

    Trayvon, with his hoodie up, grabs two items from the shelves of 7-11. One is the Skittles. The other is Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail. The media avoid the name of the real drink — possibly because of the racial implications of the word “watermelon,” but possibly to avoid probing the real reason for Trayon’s trip.

    Trayvon, in fact, had become a devotee of the druggy concoction known as “Lean,” also known in southern hip-hop culture as “Sizzurp” and “Purple Drank.” Lean consists of three basic ingredients — codeine, a soft drink, and candy. If his Facebook postings are to be believed, Trayvon had been using Lean since at least June 2011.

    On June 27, 2011, Trayvon asks a friend online, “unow a connect for codien?” He tells the friend that “robitussin nd soda” could make “some fire ass lean.” He says, “I had it before” and that he wants “to make some more.” On the night of February 26, if Brandy had some Robitussin at home, Trayvon had just bought the mixings for one “fire ass lean” cocktail.
    [/quote]

    Here’s another story about the concoction and the media agenda:

    [url]http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/26/harper-media-misreporting-rampant-in-trayvon-marti/[/url]

  47. SouthofDavis

    K. Smith wrote:

    > I think this is a bit apples-to-oranges.

    If you believe that blaming a man for his actions, is totally different from blaming a woman for her actions (like many in the media) than I can see why it seems a bit apples-to-oranges to you…

    > why not just stand down until police arrive?

    Here is a video of what happens when you “stand down until police arrive”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1KmTAY67zA

    > Is property really worth it?

    Like everyone else I don’t know who “started it” but Zimmerman apparently shot the kid to save his life (and stop his head from getting bashed in to the ground) not to protect property…

  48. Growth Izzue

    SOD
    [quote]Like everyone else I don’t know who “started it” but Zimmerman apparently shot the kid to save his life (and stop his head from getting bashed in to the ground) not to protect property… [/quote]

    And that’s the bottom line that many of these liberals refuse to acknowledge.

  49. K.Smith

    “If you believe that blaming a man for his actions, is totally different from blaming a woman for her actions (like many in the media) than I can see why it seems a bit apples-to-oranges to you… “

    If you follow someone late at night and make them feel unsafe to the point where they might reasonably defend themselves, that is -your- fault. You incur blame for that–or at the very least a share of the blame.

    A woman walking into a bar or anywhere wearing a low cut shirt, a mini-skirt, a burqua, or being completely -starkers- is not considered by most reasonable folks as provoking anyone.

    The former action, however, could be read as a provoking action. The latter, not so much, unless a rapist is looking to make a sorry excuse for himself.

    Apples to oranges. This false analogy has been making the rounds of the Internet since the beginning of the trial (at least).

    “Like everyone else I don’t know who “started it” but Zimmerman apparently shot the kid to save his life (and stop his head from getting bashed in to the ground) not to protect property… “

    The precipitating cause for the whole incident was Zimmerman following the kid because he was afraid the kid was going to burgle someone’s house.

  50. Growth Izzue

    [quote]The precipitating cause for the whole incident was Zimmerman following the kid because he was afraid the kid was going to burgle someone’s house. [/quote]

    So does that make Zimmerman a killer? It was maybe a bad choice but that in itself doesn’t put Zimmerman away for 30 years. It comes down to what happened in the altercation and the evidence was on Zimmerman’s side.

  51. K.Smith

    “So does that make Zimmerman a killer? It was maybe a bad choice but that in itself doesn’t put Zimmerman away for 30 years. It comes down to what happened in the altercation and the evidence was on Zimmerman’s side. “

    I’m not sure, GI. It’s a complex case for certain. I was only reacting to the absolutist statement that Frankly made: “(N)one of this is Zimmerman’s fault.”

  52. JustSaying

    [quote]“So does that make Zimmerman a killer?”[/quote]Of course, Zimmerman is a killer. That he won’t be punished for anything, though, is really complicated.

    In spite of what he told Hannity (and what his attorneys suggested [u]might[/u] have happened), I think he lied to have a cover story to keep from being prosecuted his negligent panic that night.

    I notice that none of this discussion involves claims that the prosecutors proved a case against Zimmerman–leaving the jury with reasonable doubt (the standard on which we all agree).

    To my mind, this just gets filed along with other cases in which a probably guilty killer goes free to support a system designed to keep innocent people from being convicted. It’s one more price we pay for justice.

  53. AdRemmer

    In addition see what prosecutors & jurist said about it…

    Wow, ‘thinks’ like a attorney/lawyer…needs to assimilate more second hand knowledge…

    Perchance we can think like doctors too — just because, we talk to them too (w/o ever taking a course, taking boards, undergoing residency and all that other direct training and the like)….?

    You make the call…

  54. B. Nice

    [quote]Yes, because that particular neighborhood has been getting robbed on a regular basis.[/quote]

    GI, what if you matched, (or your kids, or loved ones) matched the description of a robber. You would be okay with an armed civilian following you?

  55. Frankly

    [i]Is property really worth it?[/i]

    LOL.

    This reminds me of a quote from wealthy Canadian Celine Dion, the one that was quoted saying she spends $100,000 on shopping sprees to pamper herself, after Katrina: “let them loot”.

  56. Growth Izzue

    JustSaying
    [quote]Of course, Zimmerman is a killer. That he won’t be punished for anything, though, is really complicated.
    [/quote]

    Maybe that’s the difference between your world and mine. I don’t call someone a “killer” when they have to shoot someone in defense of their life. Just as I don’t call a policeman or a soldier a killer if they have to shoot someone while doing their duty.

  57. K.Smith

    “LOL.

    This reminds me of a quote from wealthy Canadian Celine Dion, the one that was quoted saying she spends $100,000 on shopping sprees to pamper herself, after Katrina: “let them loot”.”

    I see nothing remotely humorous in my question. I would be hard-pressed to use lethal force because I felt my -stuff- was in danger.

    My kid? Yes. My belongings? Take them. They’re not worth my life, and they’re not worth anyone else’s.

  58. Frankly

    K. Smith, I’m sorry, but you can’t be serious. Do you have any idea what the world would be like if we could not or would not protect private property with force, including deadly force if necessary? Come on know… walk that thought through a full fact pattern. Do you have money in the bank? How would you pay for food and shelter and healthcare if those thugs could just take it? Unless you have lots of money like Celine Dion or can just call up the wealthy relative to get more, it could be a very big deal to have personal property stolen.

    Where would you draw the line? Everyone must have a line. What if you only had one car and could not afford comprehensive insurance and you would lose your job without it and someone tried to steal it? What if your neighborhood was plagued with home invasions where thugs would steal stuff but there was also that one case where they raped and beat a girl before leaving?

    I appreciate your clear passivism and care for the sanctity of life, but your point is overly simplistic by a long shot.

  59. Frankly

    [quote]Two new studies challenge previous claims that children raised in gay households are no worse off than those raised by married heterosexual parents.

    In a survey of 2,988 adults aged 18-39, those raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories when compared to children of married heterosexual couples.

    The New Family Structures Study found that those raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19.

    “Children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father and especially when the parents remain married to the present day,” University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus said in his study.

    A second study challenges a popular American Psychological Association report that has long claimed there is no difference in being raised by gay or heterosexual parents.

    Both studies were published in Social Science Research.[/quote]

  60. K.Smith

    Of course I have a line, and I would probably draw it at someone invading my home and threatening me or my family in some way.

    The vast majority of states don’t allow the use of lethal force to protect property, but only human life that is endangered. If you were allowed to pull a gun every time you suspected someone was walking in your neighborhood to commit property crime, it would be a total free-for-all. I think you’re overstating your case in your first paragraph.

    As for the car thing–really? You, yourself, would kill for a car? I think that’s nuts, but to each his own, I guess.

    This case has nothing to do with that, though, and my whole point was that lethal force wouldn’t have even remotely been required if Zimmerman had followed the 911 operator’s order, and -not- followed Martin.

    It was the suspicion of Martin possibly being in the area to commit property crime that led to Zimmerman confronting him (again, against the direct orders of the 911 operator).

    Like it or not, he has to accept that responsibility.

  61. Davis Progressive

    congrats frankly, you’ve conclusively shown us the danger of allowing citizens who do not have the training or maturity to take the law into their own hands. the funniest part is you seem to think the fact that someone might lose their car might justify the loss of a young life.

  62. JustSaying

    [quote]“Maybe that’s the difference between your world and mine. I don’t call someone a “killer” when they have to shoot someone in defense of their life. Just as I don’t call a policeman or a soldier a killer if they have to shoot someone while doing their duty.”[/quote]You’re probably correct. In my world, I don’t see that Zimmerman “had to shoot” anyone dead “in defense of his life.”

    Maybe, just maybe, he [u]thought[/u] he was defending himself by shooting Martin. That’s still an open question for me. But, it really doesn’t matter much since the jury decided that the state didn’t make it over the “reasonable doubt” requirement.

    You’re definitely right that police and soldiers get a different category because their killings are considered justifiable…usually.

  63. B. Nice

    [quote]Is property really worth it? [/quote]

    If my choices were

    (a) potentially getting robbed or (b) as Frankly put it a “dude with a not so high IQ” patrolling my neighborhood with a gun following innocent kids around.

    well I probably don’t need to answer that question. My laptop is not worth the cost of burglar’s life, much less an innocent kids.

  64. Frankly

    Davis progressive, some people require their car to go to work to make money to feed their family. But I guess if you believe we should keep increasing food stamps to more people, it makes sense that you would not value a car that way.

    You liberals are a hoot. Neither you nor your ideological buddy K. Smith have commented about where you would draw the line. Once you do that I will jump all over you for being uncaring, callous, dangerous, a hazard, etc.

    You see, it is all about the line. The difference is I understand what the world would be like with your line… and it would be a mess. You unfortunately are living in an irrational la la fantasy of idealism. You cannot even connect the dots that you live in Davis largely because of the low crime brought to us by police that will pull a gun when they encounter a thug stealing a car, combined with their fear that some resident might do the same. If you just let people steal stuff without any fear of personal danger, you will eventually have anarchy in the streets because of the mess just like Brazil.

    Get real please.

  65. JustSaying

    Juror #37 just telling Anderson Cooper that first vote taken was: 3 not guilty, 2 guilty of 2nd degree murder, 1 manslaughter.

    After discussions, they moved toward manslaughter. Then, the instructions were “so confusing,” she noted. They struggled over meanings of “heat of the moment” and “stand your ground” issues.

    Ended up that if Zimmerman himself felt in fear for his life, there was no charge that could fit. This juror saw it this way. And, apparently, the rest of them ended up there as well with the last manslaughter holdout came around.

  66. K.Smith

    “You liberals are a hoot. Neither you nor your ideological buddy K. Smith have commented about where you would draw the line. Once you do that I will jump all over you for being uncaring, callous, dangerous, a hazard, etc.”

    Apparently you don’t completely read comments, but only pick out “ideological tidbits” that you can amplify and scorn.

    I said above that I would draw the line at someone breaking in and threatening me or my family.

  67. Frankly

    [i]Of course I have a line, and I would probably draw it at someone invading my home and threatening me or my family in some way.[/i]

    Ok, so the thug was just after some change to buy some drugs and he is there bleeding from your gun-shot wound dying on your living room floor.

    Or, let’s get you off that hook and let’s say they carjack you and take your car and your wife and your daughter… oh wait… it would be too late because you originally thought they just wanted your car and you didn’t pull your gun.

    That is the other problem with your feel-good passive absolutism, often times you don’t know what “property” the thugs want to take. That line isn’t apparent and it is subject to change based on the thug’s vision of opportunity. If I find you breaking into my car, and I might very well visit you with a firearm because there is risk that you might be looking for keys to get into my house, and you might have a firearm too. And if you attempt to attack me, I might very well shoot you in self defense.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just don’t break into my car or my house or any cars or any houses for that matter. That is not hard to understand. That property is not yours. You know you are breaking the law and putting yourself in danger. If you do and get shot, it is your fault. Easy peazy.

  68. JustSaying

    Oh, sorry, it was: 3 not guilty, 1 2nd degree, 2 manslaughter.

    In any case, this juror was very convinced by the defense. When asked whether she felt sorry for Martin, she replied “I feel sorry for both of them.” Of course, Zimmerman is a free man and Martin is a dead kid. What fascinating dynamics must have been involved in these jury deliberations.

  69. B. Nice

    [quote]But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just don’t break into my car or my house or any cars or any houses for that matter. That is not hard to understand. That property is not yours. You know you are breaking the law and putting yourself in danger. If you do and get shot, it is your fault. Easy peazy.[/quote]

    Or don’t be a young black man wearing a hoodie walking around your dads neighborhood at night. Easy peazy!

  70. Frankly

    [i]Or don’t be a young black man wearing a hoodie walking around your dads neighborhood at night. Easy peazy![/i]

    No, you can be a young black man, white man, brown man or any color man walking around a neighborhood, but when a neighbor inquires what you are doing you say politely, I was going to the store (you don’t need to say “to purchase products that I use to get high on”), and I am now going home. Sorry I caused you any concern sir.

  71. B. Nice

    [quote]but when a neighbor inquires what you are doing you say politely, I was going to the store (you don’t need to say “to purchase products that I use to get high on”), and I am now going home. .[/quote]

    He didn’t owe anyone any explanation for what he was doing. Neither would you if you were doing the same.

    [quote] Sorry I caused you any concern sir.[/quote]

    What exactly besides being there did he do to cause concern? Why in the world would an innocent person have apologize for causing someone else concern?

  72. biddlin

    Frankly, I know you hate that a black man is President of the United States. I know you think you’ve had it harder and been more righteous than anyone else on the planet, rising above it with personal strength of character and hard work, while the rest of us moochers and looters just voted for Democrats and they took it from you and gave it to us .I understand you value property rights over human rights. We have all heard the same nonsense from you ad nauseum, in two personas now . Much as you feel free to comment on events that you do not attend and articles you don’t read, you continue to regale us with your ignorance and racism. Your posts have become predictable and increasingly inane.
    Here are undisputed facts:[b] Trayvon was in his own neighbourhood, walking home and until stalked by George Zimmerman, minding his own business. No property crimes, no break-ins, Trayvon was the victim.[/b]
    Zimmerman was the aggressor.He shot and killed an unarmed teenager. Whether the jury convicted him or not, it was wrong and it was all George Zimmerman’s fault.
    Hopefully a civil jury will get it right or a federal civil rights case can be made.
    I have had no small task today, explaining to British friends how someone can carry a concealed weapon and shoot an unarmed man to death and no crime has taken place. I have not been very successful. As I have said before, I don’t think white Davis has the motivation to openly deal with racial differences, and therefore lacks the capacity to listen to their neighbour’s stories without editorialising to suit their own experiences. But with folks like you embarrassing them publicly, maybe that will change. Biddlin ;>)/

  73. jimt

    biddlin,

    Rather than stereotyping a white (Latino roots not important to the narrative, I understand) with an abhorrent act of wantom murder; why not consider there may be an element of truth to George’s story that he was getting his head bashed into the pavement (supported by physical evidence of bleeding cuts, bruises) by this childlike teen just minding his own business? There’s the excuse that George’s wounds were not that severe; but should George have waited until his neck muscles got tired and too weak to resist the downward forcing of his head into the cement; resulting in more severe impacts into the cement that could kill him? Personally I doubt that Trayvon meant to kill him; probably just meant to shut him up (assuming George was the one yelling for about 30 seconds; and Trayvon wasn’t the one yelling for 30 seconds until George pulled the trigger); but often teenagers don’t realize the damage that even moderate blows to the head often cause; and Trayvon may have inadvertantly murdered him unless stopped somehow (I personally wish George would have had pepper spray and not a gun; pepper spray would also have stopped Trayvon). This event was a tragedy for all involved; but there is no compelling evidence that it was motivated by malevolent intent; the evidence supports at most poor (but not criminal) judgement by Z-man in getting out of the car; and possibly poor judgement by Trayvon if he indeed threw the first blow and was indeed hitting George’s head into the sidewalk, and poor judgement by George in carrying a firearm (rather than pepper spray or other nonlethal defense); when he did not have adequate training to act in the capacity of a responsibly competent armed patrolman.

  74. K.Smith

    “That is the other problem with your feel-good passive absolutism, often times you don’t know what “property” the thugs want to take.”

    Oh, my mistake, since the scenarios you laid out are all oh-so-richly nuanced. You’re right–you’re totally right, and I’ve now seen the error of my absolutist liberal ways.

    In all instances, I would shoot the offender. Thank you so much for changing my views on this.

  75. Frankly

    [i]Frankly, I know you hate that a black man is President of the United States[/i]

    LOL! He is half white and I don’t hate him for anything to do with his race or half race, I hate what he is doing to the country and what he says. I hate the fact that he is a false leader, Teflon Messiah, American idol, cool cat of a President that has zero executive experience and shows it on a regular basis but the race baiters cannot bring themselves to criticize him and the media cannot challenge him because he is half black.

    [i]I know you think you’ve had it harder and been more righteous than anyone else on the planet[/i]

    LOL#2! I must have impressed you more much more than I think of myself.

    [i]I understand you value property rights over human rights.[/i]

    LOL#3! Now you are just making silly stuff up. Do you write lyrics for a living? Or are you a poet and you just don’t know it?

    [i]Much as you feel free to comment on events that you do not attend and articles you don’t read, you continue to regale us with your ignorance and racism.[/i]

    There you go biddlin, showing us how you be just a normal race-baitin’ liberal without much to say other than “YOUR A RACIST!”. You wear it like a comfortable ugly sweater. At least I am honest when I don’t read but comment on the title. You though must not read, or else you only read what is published on the Huffington Post. Otherwise you would not post this type of drivel because I know you are actually quite intelligent.

    Did you explain to your British friends that the 17 year old much larger punk punched him, broke his nose and was slamming his head into the ground to probably kill him? Probably not. Did you ask them why crime has been on the rise in their country… and it is not fondly referred to as the most violent country in Europe? In 2009 it had 2,034 violent crime offenses per 100,000 people, compared to 466 per 100k in the US. GB ranks #1 in this category, #4 in burglary, #5 in robbery and 13th in homicide. Your Brits are in a great position to criticize the US.

    I noticed that you wrote “editorialising”… seems that you might be a brit too.

    The worst thing for a black man these days is a white liberal.

  76. jimt

    Although it’s a bit far removed from the Martin-Zimmerman tragedy; I have to show support and agree with Frankly’s statements in the sense that you will get the kind of behavior that you reward. If criminals know that they can steal and burgle with little or no resistance; the temptation to continue to do so and to set their sights on more and more valuable items may be too hard to resist–no question that property crime rates would increase.

    I have lived in lower middle-class neighborhoods and have had talks with criminals, including theifs. Most of them do not have much respect for the people they steal or rob from; particularly those that do not put up much resistance. Heck, why not give the cowering owner schmuck a whack for kicks as they exit the scene; or something worse if they’ve had a bad day; or something much worse if they’ve had a bad life? Thus property crime can easily escalate into crimes of violence if all citizens act like passive victims.

    So personally I am grateful to people like Frankly and others who defend their property; and we should all be grateful–it keeps the criminals guessing as to who might put up a resistance; and makes property crimes against everyone less likely; and the career of a criminal theif or robber less tempting (increase in the risk:reward ratio)

  77. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]If you do and get shot, it is your fault.[/quote]

    So, I am confused. What law is it that you think Martin broke that Zimmerman witnessed ?
    If you think that he was guilty of assaulting Zimmerman, how can you be sure that, from his point of view he was not being physically threatened and was merely defending himself. The major problem I see here is that we only have one point of view, and one testimony regarding the entire event….that of Zimmerman. As has been stated several times, possibly not enough to get beyond “a reasonable doubt”, but hardly indicative of actual if not legal innocence.

  78. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, it’s just Biddlin….don’t sweat it….it’s just his usual lambastic rhetoric. You talk about predictable posts and continually hearing nonsense from someone ad nauseum, Biddlin please look in the mirror.

  79. jimt

    medwoman–yes, I agree that the details of what actually happened remain murky; and that Z-man may actually be guilty of manslaughter; although I also aggree that there is not enough evidence to demonstrate this beyond a reasonable doubt.

    So given that we don’t know; why does the media and so many on this forum seem to take the default assumption that there was malevolent/evil intent by Z-man? Why not take the default position that we really don’t know; and that it is possible that what actually happened was that George was genuinely terrified about his head getting split with the next blow on the concrete; and he was in a genuine self-defense mode? Nobody knows that for certain; but surely it is within the realm of possibility?

  80. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Why not take the default position that we really don’t know; and that it is possible that what actually happened was that George was genuinely terrified about his head getting split with the next blow on the concrete; and he was in a genuine self-defense mode? Nobody knows that for certain; but surely it is within the realm of possibility? [/quote]

    Because that doesn’t fit their liberal narrative.

  81. Don Shor

    According to the juror interviewed by Anderson Cooper, they believed Zimmerman was defending himself.
    [url]http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/15/justice/zimmerman-juror-book/index.html?hpt=hp_t1[/url]

  82. B. Nice

    [quote]why does the media and so many on this forum seem to take the default assumption that there was malevolent/evil intent by Z-man?[/quote]

    I don’t Zimmerman was evil. I’m going with reckless and dangerous. Which combined with a weapon often ends badly. This is why I think he should get manslaughter.

  83. biddlin

    lambastic? GI-Though my search in The Oxford English and Webster’s dictionaries failed to find an adverbial usage, I’ll risk the assumption you found my description of Frankly overly strident,but one only need read his many execrable rantings on race and persons he considers beneath his standards for citizenship or humanity,but then you’re another one who doesn’t need the facts to have an opinion.
    Biddlin ;>)/

  84. B. Nice

    [quote]So personally I am grateful to people like Frankly and others who defend their property;[/quote]

    Owning a gun to protect your own property is one thing. I don’t want my house “protected” by some random self-appointed person, with questionable judgement and a gun. I’ll take my chances with the burglar, I think myself and my neighbors are safer that way.

  85. Frankly

    [i]Soccer star Nick Surkamp’s tweet Sunday morning: “What if George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride, to get out of the rain?”[/i]

    After he punched him, broke his nose and then repeatedly slammed his head into the concrete? I think GZ would be a bit afraid of TM at that point.

  86. Frankly

    B. Nice – TM should have been polite and respectful. He was a 17 year old kid. Why would you have a problem with any 17 year old demonstrating some politeness and respectfulness in this situation. That’s what my kids would have done.

  87. Frankly

    [i]If you think that he was guilty of assaulting Zimmerman, how can you be sure that, from his point of view he was not being physically threatened and was merely defending himself[/i]

    medwoman, even Zimmerman when asked said he wonders about it. However, as I understand this was not a neighborhood filled with thugs and gangs and turf battles. Zimmerman is smaller and older. When you add this up and the evidence and testimony, it does not add up that TM was afraid and trying to kill GZ because he was afraid of him.

  88. AdRemmer

    Juror B37 also confirms the matter is [b][u]NOT[/u][/b] about race…

    FBI, Martin’s parents through their Atty., prosecutors, et am ALL disagree with people like David Greenwald….hmmm

    “COOPER: Do you feel that George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin? Do you think race played a role in his decision, his view of Trayvon Martin as suspicious?

    JUROR: I don’t think he did. I think just circumstances caused George to think that he might be a robber, or trying to do something bad in the neighborhood because of all that had gone on previously. There were unbelievable, a number of robberies in the neighborhood.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/15/3502047_p4/zimmerman-juror-speaks-out-transcript.html#storylink=cpy

  89. AdRemmer

    Juror B37 also confirms the matter is [b][u]NOT[/u][/b] about race…

    FBI, Martin’s parents through their Atty., prosecutors, et am ALL disagree with people like David Greenwald….hmmm

    “COOPER: Do you feel that George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin? Do you think race played a role in his decision, his view of Trayvon Martin as suspicious?

    JUROR: I don’t think he did. I think just circumstances caused George to think that he might be a robber, or trying to do something bad in the neighborhood because of all that had gone on previously. There were unbelievable, a number of robberies in the neighborhood.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/15/3502047_p4/zimmerman-juror-speaks-out-transcript.html#storylink=cpy

  90. AdRemmer

    DP, sorry you are having trouble getting the point. Perhaps if you revisit said post…and once again give it the ol’ college try, you may reach success.

  91. medwoman

    “even Zimmerman when asked said he wonders about it. However, as I understand this was not a neighborhood filled with thugs and gangs and turf battles. Zimmerman is smaller and older. When you add this up and the evidence and testimony, it does not add up that TM was afraid…. “

    Well, may be it doesn’t as we sit here safe in our homes reading about it. But being followed is not a comfortable experience in and of its self. I suspect many people might become afraid if followed by a stranger regardless of type of neighborhood.
    We don’t and never will know exactly what words, looks or gestures were exchanged between the two. We will never know and can only hear the survivor’s story. What we do know, based on outcome, is that Trayvon Martin had more cause to fear Zimmerman than the other way around.
    Zimmerman had chosen to arm himself with deadly force before he decided to go out hunting criminals. So even if it “doesn’t add up for you”
    TM would have been right to be afraid for his life.

    Anyone who doesn’t find it sobering that in parts of the country anyone that you meet could be the person who “misunderstands the situation ” and shoots you or your child is using a dangerous “it can’t happen to me” mentality. Whether the person shooting you is a criminal, or is an individual who believes they are defending themselves or their property, you will be just as dead regardless of your innocence. For me, this is not about race but about a vigilante with delusions of the righteousness of his cause and self importance who had every opportunity to step away and chose not to with tragic results.

  92. Frankly

    [i]Zimmerman had chosen to arm himself with deadly force before he decided to go out hunting criminals. So even if it “doesn’t add up for you”
    TM would have been right to be afraid for his life.
    [/i]

    This is silly medwoman. If TM knew GZ had a gun, why would he attack him with fists? TM was a 17 year old kid with street smarts. There isn’t much a 17 year old kid with street smarts would be afraid of. The things that they would truly be afraid of they would run away from. TM started the physical attack. Do you support only some types of violence?

  93. Mercy4all

    a few thoughts.

    in order to answer the question as to whether, if the roles were reversed, the verdict would be the same you have to exactly reverse the roles. so now, its trevor martin’s neighborhood and its somewhat upscale and he’s dressed casually. Zimmerman has the hood on and bruglaries are a problem. Trevor Martin has the gun, and he’s neighborhood watch. its trevor martin who has the concealed gun permit. the facts of the confrontation are convoluted and disputed. thats reasonable doubt. i think if you do that, the verdict is the same. now if your just putting the gun in trevor martin’s hands and thats all you change and he has no concealed permit then yeah, the verdict probably changes, and thats understandable, its all in the facts and its all around reasonable doubt.

    also, this isn’t like the old Deep South ’60s murders of the civil rights workers, tibbits or evers. there all white racist juries aquited admitted (and bragging) killers. the zimmerman jury worked hard, I thought Obama was very on point aknoweledging the tradgedy and urging respect for the jury verdict.

    finally the idea of mediation while interesting is probably impractical. it would take a promise of no more thought of civil rights prosectuion of zimmerman (which seems wrong) civil suits etc. and if you listen to what seems an unapologetic defense team and zimmerman family on one hand and an angry group of family and friends, or those just wanting to raise hell on the other, where’s the middle ground except a dream.

  94. AdRemmer

    medwoman wrote: [quote][b][i]Zimmerman had chosen to arm himself with deadly force before he decided to go out hunting criminals. [/i][/b][/quote]

    Is THAT what happened that night?

    Care to Prove up?

  95. AdRemmer

    Former jurist Robert Zimmerman…

    [quote]Robert Zimmerman said the case brought against his son had “nothing to do with the facts” and that law enforcement didn’t want to pursue a case against George Zimmerman until a special prosecutor was appointed and it became “a political decision.”

    “I never thought that we would see so much hatred, and the hatred is not brought on by any racial incident,” Robert Zimmerman said. “It was brought on by attorneys being totally untruthful, other people being involved, having a certain narrative, having a certain agenda, and making this situation race-based and a political issue.”[/quote]

  96. medwoman

    AdRemmer

    Sure. I’ll “prove up”.

    He chose to take his gun ( an instrument capable of killing a human being at a distance) with him when he
    went on patrol.
    The purpose of a neighborhood watch is to observe for potential illegal activity.

    That is all I said. You just don’t seem to like the way I chose to say it.

  97. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]This is silly medwoman. If TM knew GZ had a gun, why would he attack him with fists? TM was a 17 year old kid with street smarts. There isn’t much a 17 year old kid with street smarts would be afraid of. The things that they would truly be afraid of they would run away from. TM started the physical attack. Do you support only some types of violence?[/quote]

    At no point did I imply that TM knew GZ had a gun.
    I think it is reasonable for a teenaged boy, or anyone to have fear when they perceive that a stranger is following or perhaps in their perception “stalking” them.

    We only have George Zimmerman’s word that TM started the physical attack. And what if he did ? Might not his argument had he lived to present it been “hey, I was really scared that this creepy guy that is following me was going to attack me ? ” Or does “stand your ground” only apply if you are the survivor whose story gets heard ?

    There is an expression in Turkish which translates to “look at the outcome”.
    George Zimmerman sustained minor injuries. Trayvon Martin is dead. The results would support that Trayvon
    Martin had a better case for fear than did George Zimmerman.

    And I am sure that your are aware, I do not support any type of violence. Nor do I support any civilian right to carry a concealed weapon. I am quite sure that this whole situation would have been avoided if instead of confronting Trayvon, George Zimmerman had stayed within his vehicle as instructed to do. This alone places moral if not legal fault squarely on him.

  98. jimt

    I agree generally with medwoman here, but would like to qualify:
    In my view Z-man used bad judgement in carrying a firearm on neighborhood watch patrol, since he did not have training and certification in acting in the capacity of a responsible armed foot patrolman. Without such training, I believe it may be foolhardy for most people to carry firearms on neighborhood watch; since tragedies such as the Zman-Martin episode are more likely to occur. However with training and certification (which would include a pass/fail test), I do consider it entirely legitimate for a neighborhood watchperson to carry a firearm. Perhaps homeowner associations should include such a proviso in their bylaws; to exempt themselves from potential liability if nothing else?

  99. Frankly

    [i]George Zimmerman sustained minor injuries[/i]

    I don’t think a broken nose and head lacerations are minor injuries, but you are the doctor.

    [I]I think it is reasonable for a teenaged boy, or anyone to have fear when they perceive that a stranger is following or perhaps in their perception “stalking” them.[/I]

    Sure, but then what would the average 17 year old boy do in this case? Would he go and confront the guy. GZ was talking to the police. He was doing the right thing at that point… keeping an eye on someone he considered suspicious while talking to the police. He wasn’t chasing the boy. He wasn’t in his face. He was just doing what any person working neighborhood watch would do. The difference is that he had a concealed weapon that he was licensed to carry, and he used it do defend himself.

    Here is what I wish would have happen. In order.

    1. GZ would have stayed in his car and followed the kid while calling the police.

    2. GZ would have been trained to fight and restrain someone attacking him.

    3. GZ would have carried pepper-spray and used it.

    4. TM would have had better sense than to attack someone following him without confirming what the motive and intent of the follower was, and would have at least been more communicative and polite to diffuse any tension and suspicion that existed.

    Note that I ordered these so the first three things are on GZ. However, none of them were as critically flawed as was TMs fatal mistake.

    I just keep thinking about my two boys when they were 17 and there is 0% probability they would ever do what TM did. That was an aggressive young man, and aggressive young men will live with greater risk harm in response to their aggression.

    If we really want to prevent something like this happening again, we will advocate that young boys be taught how to behave in a respectful civilized way to help diffuse tension and solve conflicts with minimal violence.

  100. Growth Izzue

    [quote]I don’t think a broken nose and head lacerations are minor injuries, but you are the doctor. [/quote]

    Not to mention the trauma of having his head continually pounded into the pavement.

  101. medwoman

    “I don’t think a broken nose and head lacerations are minor injuries, but you are the doctor.”

    Yes, I am. And yes, they are all minor injuries. These are exactly the kinds of injuries I was taking care of in the ER as a 4th year medical student and intern. You clean up and disinfect the wounds, assess the depth of the laceration. place a few stitches and discharge the patient with instructions to return in a few days for stitch removal. Definitely minor injuries. On a busy night, not even a resident would have supervised my repairs after my first month on the job.

    Death ? Sorry, in my book, that’s a lot more serious. I also think its foreseeable, and preventable by not choosing to carry a gun.

  102. medwoman

    “would have at least been more communicative and polite to diffuse any tension and suspicion that existed.”

    Again, if all you are doing is walking down the street, I fail to see why you have any obligation at all to talk to someone who challenges you.
    My feeling is that TM had just as much right to be on the street as did JZ and did not owe JZ any explanation at all.

  103. AdRemmer

    MW opined [quote]And yes, they are all minor injuries[/quote]

    AFTER THE FACT!

    Self defense law gives more weight to state of mind of the person being attacked — in real time — NOT the post Drs. visit assessment.

  104. David M. Greenwald

    The problem you run into is that relying on medical evidence is an objective measure of the severity of attack, relying on state of mind is subjective.

  105. AdRemmer

    [quote]You Are Not Trayvon Martin

    His death wasn’t about race, guns, or your pet issue. It was about misjudgment and overreaction—exactly what we’re doing now to the verdict.

    By William Saletan [/quote]

    “…I almost joined the frenzy. Yesterday I was going to write that Zimmerman pursued Martin against police instructions and illustrated the perils of racial profiling. But I hadn’t followed the case in detail. So I sat down and watched the closing arguments: nearly seven hours of video in which the prosecution and defense went point by point through the evidence as it had been hashed out at the trial. Based on what I learned from the videos, I did some further reading.

    It turned out I had been wrong about many things. The initial portrait of Zimmerman as a racist wasn’t just exaggerated. It was completely unsubstantiated. It’s a case study in how the same kind of bias that causes racism can cause unwarranted allegations of racism. Some of the people Zimmerman had reported as suspicious were black men, so he was a racist. Members of his family seemed racist, so he was a racist. Everybody knew he was a racist, so his recorded words were misheard as racial slurs, proving again that he was a racist….”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2013/07/trayvon_martin_verdict_racism_hate_crimes_prosecution_and_other_overreactions.html

  106. JustSaying

    [quote]Self defense law gives more weight to state of mind of the person being attacked — in real time — NOT the post Drs. visit assessment.
    ….

    The problem you run into is that relying on medical evidence is an objective measure of the severity of attack, relying on state of mind is subjective.[/quote]And, there is the problem. The law.

    Since the subjective carries the day with Florida’s self-defense law, the defense burden of raising reasonable doubt seems minimal. The attempt to apply medical evidence couldn’t carry the day when the last question was: “How bad could the next blow be?”

    If the jurors were convinced that Zimmerman “felt” threatened, they were left little room for a conviction.

    Add to this the poor performance of the state prosecutors, the eagerness of the lead investigator to side with the defense attorney and the confusion the juror expressed about what law and instructions applied, it’s not difficult to understand how this turned out the way it did.

  107. AdRemmer

    MW, with all due respect, you have proven nothing except your personal opinion about a legal matter of which you do not comprehend. You elected to use the phrase “hunting criminals.”. Just because one decides to carry when one leaves her residence does NOT mean she is hunting anything or anyone.

    Night watchmen would be noted to be on the alert, in protect/guard mode, NOT hunting.

    You are a very intelligent poster, but your attempt at pretending to know the state of mind of another and then inserting YOUR world view is quite ridiculous, in the legal arena. 🙁

  108. AdRemmer

    David, David, David:

    Please stay on track! You are confusing yourself.

    Hint: self defense, state of mind, reasonableness, law etc…..

    Revisit the true issue, please!

    The books have been supplied, it is up to you to do the rest!

  109. medwoman

    AdRemmer

    Right up to the point wher JZ disregarded the advice he was given to not follow, I would have agreed with you. I think that his decision to disregard instructions indicative of his willingness to over step his bounds.
    Also, please explain why anyone wound take a gun out on watch with them if they had no intent of using it ?

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