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Sean D. Martin said on March 29th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

@Christian:

Oh, in the scenario HammerHeart presented and I said I’d also imagined the killing would definitely be premeditated. That’s part of my point.

But, as I understand the Stand Your Ground law from the descriptions/explanations I’ve read, as long as the shooter maintained that they only approached Zimmerman to talk to him and that they then shot him in self-defense, the presumption would have to be that that is exactly what happened. That it was premeditated could never be shown.

I suspect there are some finer points to the law that haven’t been described in what I’ve read and that scenario wouldn’t actually result in someone being able to get off scott free. I certainly find it hard to imagine a law could be written so stupidly as to allow it.

However, I’d also expect such a law wouldn’t allow a person to accost someone else and then kill them with impunity when they start to lose a fight that wouldn’t have happened but for their instigating it. Yet that seems to have happened.

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were I black and in America, I would be perpetually pissed off to begin with, because it’s quite evident that being black in America means you get a different set of rules than, say, white people do.

What’s more, there is a constant drumbeat in politics, the media, in leisure entertainment, and most of all in comment sections on the internet that the only racism in America is oppression of white men by “political correctness.” Sure, there are opposing viewpoints, but you are ALWAYS hearing that minorities are oppressing white men by demanding special treatment.

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degauss12 said on March 30th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I find the killing itself to be of secondary importance here.

How embarrassing for you.

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So much has been said and has been said better than I could, so all I will add is I’m glad that the liberals have apparently embraced Glenn Beck, who has said he thinks Zimmerman is guilty.

Thank you. We conservatives are glad to be rid of him.

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Sean D. Martin said on March 30th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

@Randal: We conservatives are glad to be rid of him

I’m glad to see there is a conservative who recognizes Beck for what he is and rejects him.

I’m glad that the liberals have apparently embraced Glenn Beck

If it only came without the obligatory black/white absolute viewpoint.

Noting that Beck wasn’t an idiot on a single matter isn’t “embracing” him.

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I’m going to chime in on MIB’s comment about one of the versions of events that had Zimmerman in a bad way, with Martin “pounding his head against the pavement”. There’s now security camera footage of Zimmerman’s visit to the cop shop that day, and he’s just not messed up. For a description like “pounding his head against the pavement” to be fair — an I’ve seen it used, too — I think there’d have to be some visible damage in the footage that ABC provides, given the camera angles and Zimmerman’s very short hair.

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highlyverbal said on March 30th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

@ Randal: “I’m glad that the liberals have apparently embraced Glenn Beck”

Wow, way to illustrate MGK’s larger point.

It seems that to conservatives, it matters very little if something is true or not, but it matters a lot more who is saying it. Agreeing with the wrong people shows the wrong allegiances. So when liberals agree with Glenn Beck, it’s funny! Ha, ha, stupid liberals, they’re doing it wrong.

…And that’s how conservatives end up throwing away their dignity by combing through this young person’s life, pretending that some detail could be uncovered that will make him dangerous enough to deserve getting shot. Better that than agree with a liberal.

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Oh for chrst’s sake, highly verbal…way to utterly not get my point. To say this is a conservative-liberal thing is wrong wrong wrong, and if you believe that in the face of evidence you’re choosing ignorance.

As far as throwing away dignity, which side placed bounties, is encouraging “escalation” and tweeted the address of Zimmerman’s parents? I know that attempting to encite a race war isn’t as horrifying as pointing out Martin was suspended from school…because the latter event is lacking in dignity.

Zimmerman is absolutely not looking good right now…to put it mildly. My personal opinion is that he’s not being entirely truthul. That does not mean he’s guilty. Some people understand the difference. Some people don’t. I’ll let the grand jury and then the regular jury decide, and then we can decide what to do about any police issues, which, between that and the SYG law is where I find the most offense

Meanwhile, I’ll thank you to not assume what I think or feel.

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Randal: took you a whole tube of KY to spurt forth that Glenn Beck witticism, did it?

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I’d like to preface my remarks with the fact that any way you cut it, dead kid, asshole with gun, fucked up situation.

However.
What’s being lost here is that sometimes we have to be conscious about how our actions are viewed by others. Decades of distortion thanks to the media and racism and, y’know, actual crimes committed by people who happen to be black, have cemented into people’s minds that young black males are bad news. Yes, it’s wrong, and a tragedy, and yadda yadda yadda. Unfortunately, those perceptions can prove to be poisonous, especially to some guy who thinks he’s Robocop. I don’t know if Martin had been actually acting suspiciously, I don’t know if he had actually been seen by Zimmerman doing shit around the community. I don’t know the crime statistics around the neighborhood, I don’t know a lot of things, a lot of the factors that a lot of people seem to be taking for granted. We place a lot of emphasis on easily digestable nuggets of information instead of sticky, complicated facts, whatever those may be.

Black people, as this mythical homogenous group, are not supposed to be responsible for the acts of a criminal minority, nor should they be in a just world, but they pay the consequences for those acts. If they are going to be held accountable for the acts of the few, right or wrong, then it would make a sort of sense to be conscious of that, and be conscious about how their actions may be perceived. You know, a survival mechanism.

Oh yes. Kind of like men who take jobs that are around children – you’re always under suspicion that you might be a pedophile. So it might pay dividends to not do anything that would even plant a seed of doubt in anyone’s mind. You may not be a pedophile, but that won’t stop someone from thinking it, and that could indeed cost you your job somewhere down the line. If you wear Slick Rick-style gold chains, drive an Escalade with gold rims in the rent controlled apartment complex, and hang out with suspected gang members, sorry man, but people are going to suspect that you’re a dope boy. You may have just gotten lucky on that Powerball money, and wanted to look ‘cool’, I guess, have friends who are always in trouble, whatever. But how you project yourself is how people will take you. If you are of Middle Eastern descent, maybe acting suspiciously on an airplane or around a nuclear power plant isn’t a good idea. If you are conspicuously white and American looking, maybe hiking in Iran isn’t such a good idea.

White people, Hispanic folks (hardly a homogenous group if, y’know, actually know Hispanic folks), Asians and the like, all remotely connected to the misdeeds of the few idiots who cause people to stereotype and label and rush to judgement. Think about it. Some KKK cocksucker shoots a black guy outside a 7-11. Dude who burns crosses and wears white sheets may be white, and you may be white, and have NOTHING TO FUCKING DO WITH EACH OTHER, but someone pissed off enough or ignorant enough will group you right in with that KKK piece of shit, and there ain’t shit you can do about it. The opportunistic black ‘leadership’ will piss and moan and point fingers, there will be a bunch of professional grimacing in the people around them, and ignorant black folks (like the asshole where I work who blamed me for Martin’s murder, me and all the white folks, so his reasoning went) will group you, the well intentioned liberal thinking peace loving white person, right alongside that piece of shit Klansman. Kind of like how a black professor trying to get into his townhome gets accosted by the white policeman because police (by their very nature) are constantly in contact with lowlifes and have warped perceptions of people, and suddenly we have another racial flare-up in this country. Or a African immigrant standing in the foyer of his apartment gets lit the fuck up by some hyped up rookie cops on a flex squad because they thought he was going for a gun – no, wait, that’s a wallet… because he’s black and the black people they generally come into contact with are kind of likely to have guns. Or a cop pulling over a pickup truck full of Mexicans because there might be a good chance one of them’s illegal, or they have no insurance, or something… even though they may all be born in America and speak better English than he does.

But anyway, if Trayvon wasn’t, in some dim way, aware of how he may be presenting himself, or worse yet, actively projecting a hostile persona… well, what did you expect to happen when the guy started coming after you? I mean, really – what would you think would be a logical outcome? This isn’t blaming the victim, but there isn’t much that happens to us in life that we don’t in some way set into motion ourselves.

Some reports claim they were scuffling. There was a fight. Was Zimmerman openly wearing a gun? If so, why did Trayvon try his luck? Did Zimmerman have it concealed and pulled it when the fight turned bad? Or was Zimmerman brandishing it, trying to cow Martin into submission? Did Martin have a case of violent indignation, or did he, like some media reports say, get caught in the crosshairs of a fuckhead who took Observe & Report to heart?

Even with the facts being whatever they are, there was a lot of ignorance at play here. A question, though, is how much ignorance and blame is to go around? Did Trayvon Martin initiate, instigate, or escalate the confrontation, or was it like the Martin camp proclaims it to be? The idea of him suddenly provoking Zimmerman, and Zimmerman chasing him and gunning him down strains credulity. What else went on?

On the other hand, in every instance Zimmerman is wrong. Acting out of prejudice, ignorance, or fear doesn’t excuse the act. It may provide context to a bad decision, but it is a decision and an action nonetheless. Even if Martin was actively engaged in the commission of a non-forceable felony, Martin had no right to use deadly force. If he was getting his ass beat, like some folks say he was, then I can see it, but there’s no a lot of evidence to support it. Photographs of bruises, something. But reports say he initiated the encounter, so he was fucking up to begin with.

Most people by now have simply taken away ‘black people should know better than to do X’, kind of like Geraldo Rivera, from this, and I guess that’s their right…. But whoever you are, you are judged by how you present yourself, and how people who look like you present themselves. Human beings form their opinions in a natural learning process, they take in information and process it. Like how a baby sees grandma, and forms the connection that old women who look a certain way are a grandma. If you look like their dad, then, logically, you must be someone’s dad too. If all they’ve seen is bad coming from ‘your kind’, then that is what they will expect. It’s not right, it’s not fair, it’s not how the world should be, but it is, and if you haven’t experienced that yet, then I don’t know where you’ve been living. I think Trayvon Martin was guilty of one thing, and that was to not be cognizant of how Zimmerman was perceiving him. Whether or not Martin was an active party in forming Zimmerman’s perception is another matter entirely.

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Candlejack said on March 31st, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Sam, it’s not exactly hard to find out what Zimmerman saw that was so suspicious, which apparnetly was just walking in the rain and looking around. That’s all Zimmerman offered in the 911 call. Walking in the rain, just looking around. Then he saw Zimmerman, and according to Zimmerman, he approached Zimmerman for a bit, then ran away.

You know, sort of like if you noticed some dude following you, walked close enough to see it was nobody you knew, got scared, and ran for home.

Obviously, there’s no transcript of the actual confrontation, but I know if I was persistently followed by a stranger, and I couldn’t outrun him, I would go for fight. Even if he had a gun. Because I would fear for my life. And I would be allowed to do that, because I’m a white woman–and therefore, not scary–whereas Martin was supposed to…what? In your opinion, what should Martin have done?

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dangermauf said on March 31st, 2012 at 5:43 pm

However

So many white people just desperately need for ther to br a “however” here, no matter how much there isnt one or how awful it makes them sound when they try to pretend there is

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Mmmm, knee jerk racism!

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highlyverbal said on March 31st, 2012 at 6:48 pm

@Randal “…way to utterly not get my point”

We’re doing this funny thing these days in discourse, where others are allowed to use your arguments or words to illustrate OTHER points. Or tie it back to the OP even. Crazy, I know. The craziest part is it doesn’t even mean YOUR point was missed.

Also, I am unclear about what I assumed about you, but I will gladly offer a blanket apology for such misconduct.

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Christian Williams said on April 1st, 2012 at 4:25 pm

@Sam

What’s being lost here is that sometimes we have to be conscious about how our actions are viewed by others. Decades of distortion thanks to the media and racism and, y’know, actual crimes committed by people who happen to be black, have cemented into people’s minds that young black males are bad news.

The problem with this statement, is that it is regretfully, offensively stupid when applied to this situation.

Yes, there are preconceptions that flavor how we see each other, regardless of race. Yes, those preconceptions have a subtle influence on our interactions. But there is a difference between subtle interactions… and using it as an excuse for someone killing another person.

But anyway, if Trayvon wasn’t, in some dim way, aware of how he may be presenting himself, or worse yet, actively projecting a hostile persona… well, what did you expect to happen when the guy started coming after you? I mean, really – what would you think would be a logical outcome? This isn’t blaming the victim, but there isn’t much that happens to us in life that we don’t in some way set into motion ourselves.

‘I am not blaming the victim, but I will subtly imply it was still the victim’s fault.’

What exactly are you implying Martin should have done? Let Zimmerman accost him? Let Zimmerman hit him? At what point does a person show enough submission and passivity that they make up for the crime of being black, before they can act without it being their fault they get killed, in your book?

By your argument, the kid who was walking home, when followed and confronted by a random stranger should have kowtowed, let the stranger confront him and grab him and never defended himself? With all due respect: Fuck. That. Nonsense. This is no longer the deep south 50s where it’s fair for someone to be lynched for being an uppity n*****.

Most people by now have simply taken away ‘black people should know better than to do X’, kind of like Geraldo Rivera, from this, and I guess that’s their right…. But whoever you are, you are judged by how you present yourself, and how people who look like you present themselves

Yes. Most people have taken that away… because you wrote pretty much that EXACT argument, multiple times. It’s a stupid, stupid, stupid, and offensive argument.

Beyond that, it also misses the key point that caused the controversy. When Zimmerman started the fight, lost the fight, and killed Martin… the police did no investigation, no breathalyzer, nothing. If Martin had been shot by an actual cop? There would be more of a mandatory investigation, regardless of the circumstances of the shooting. That in such a ridiculously borderline case they didn’t investigate at all is the reason people were up in arms with the police.

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[…] than a reason not to go to war in the first place without a damn good reason. •Mighty God King points out that not only are blacks in America forced to live by a different set of rules than white people, […]

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