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Trayvon Martin.

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by mixedmedia, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ... Donor

    In wake of black teen Trayvon Martin's death, USA is soul-searching – USATODAY.com

    There are a multitude of articles out there about this incident and I imagine most people have heard at least something about it. I have read many different articles trying to get the whole story because I noticed that some articles say the young man was walking in his father's neighborhood, some say his mother's, some say it was a family friend's community.

    Regardless, the facts that we do know are these.

    On February 26th, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking home from a 7-Eleven where he purchased a bag of Skittles and an iced tea.

    He was spotted by a man named George Zimmerman who was on 'Neighborhood Watch' duty. There had been some burglaries in the community.

    George Zimmerman called 911 and reported a 'suspicious' guy.

    Trayvon Martin apparently started to run.

    George Zimmerman was specifically told that 'they didn't need him to follow,' that the police were on the way and that they would meet him 'near the mailboxes' which is apparently where he was standing when the call ended.

    George Zimmerman was legally carrying a concealed firearm.

    The next calls that came into 911 were from people in the community who were witnessing the sounds of a struggle behind their residences and someone screaming for help. (You can hear these screams on one of the 911 calls). Then there was the sound of a single gunshot.

    The police arrived, George Zimmerman claimed self-defense and he was allowed to leave the scene.

    Phone records show that Trayvon was talking on the phone with his girlfriend in Miami at the time he was approached by George Zimmerman. According to the girl's affidavit:

    Understandably, this story has garnered a lot of national attention.

    Although the obvious response to this story for a person such as myself might be about the gun culture and concealed carry permits, that is not what hits me the hardest about this story. Not that I don't think those things are relevant and legitimately worthy of discussion in response to this event.

    What really hits me at gut level about this story is the racism. George Zimmerman may or may not be a racist, I don't know. But I don't think you have to be a literal racist, per se, to target people as a potential threat because of their race. I think plenty of people who don't hate minorities react impulsively this way. If they see a young black man in a hoodie on the street of a community, it gets their attention. It's reactionary and wrong, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it meets the literal criteria for 'racism.' Where I see real racism in this situation is in the apparent indifference with which this young man's death was received by the Sanford Police Department. I mean, they came across this young man's body in the dark. The 911 callers state seeing people with flashlights arriving which is presumed to be the arrival of the police. The kid was unarmed. A phone, an iced tea and a bag of skittles were found alongside his body. If you live around here and you know the city of Sanford and the dubious activities of its Police Dept. then its not outside the realm of fair speculation to believe that if Trayvon Martin had been a 17-year-old white citizen of Sanford, the response would have been far different. This is what really kills me about this situation. Realizing that. And then realizing that there are two parents up the road in Sanford who not only have lost their son but also have to deal with the realization that the people who came upon his body in the dark that night, didn't even think his was death compelling enough to take the killer in to answer questions. That, to me, is almost as criminal as the shooting itself.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
    Remixer likes this.
  2. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    New York City
    I tend to forget that I'm not white, I've been following for the past 2 weeks wondering where the media is in all of this. There was no Paris, no Lindsay, no Amy to hog the spot light. Nothing else is there to take up the space and it still didn't make much headway. Of course Casey Anthony was right up in it all the way up until the very end.

    I have some friends attending this, so I'll go meet up with them.


    I agree that it would be different if race was reversed.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  3. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ... Donor

    Well, you know I don't watch the news of any kind. And I have even stopped following most internet news of late because it is all so discouraging. I came across this story just the other day via a friend on facebook.

    Al Sharpton will be here for a protest in Sanford tomorrow. I am working 7am-to-8or9pm tomorrow so I can't go, although I wish I could. I expect there will be a large turnout. This is pretty much the only thing being talked about on the local radio stations.
  4. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I have a 14 year-old inter-racial son, his skin is brown, everyone considers him black. This is a tragedy, and serves as a wake-up call to everyone. I hate having to repeatedly tell my son he has to be right 100% of the time because he won't get the benefit of the doubt in this society - and now we have to talk about the risks of getting gunned down for no other reason than the color of his skin, gender and age.

    I normally think Al Sharpton make issues seem much worse than they are, this is one time when I think he is doing a good job in bringing this issue to the national stage. There are many other local leaders in Florida and national radio show hosts who are also doing a good job of keeping us informed and keeping the pressure on law enforcement.
  5. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    This story is another reason why so many outside of the US just don't get the US. Something like this is inconceivable in a place like Singapore.

    Interestingly, the news of this has been playing on BBC World Service Radio with some frequency.
  6. The Dunedan

    The Dunedan Vertical

    And you should -hear- the howls this is generating in the gun-rights community!


    "Murdering racist piece of shit!"

    and "What the fuck was your malfunction, you walking Brady Bunch poster-boy wannabe-cop!?"

    ...seem to be the prevailing sentiments. I've been following the reaction to this pretty closely, and I promise you, American gun-nuts want this guy to hang...slowly. He's universally viewed as a murderous loose cannon. Sentiment seems to be pretty close to unanimous that the kid should have beaten Zimmerman's brains out with the can of tea for assaulting/accosting him.

    However, the alleged challenge to FL's "Stand Your Ground" law, and those in other States, is bullshit. SYG basically means that if someone assaults you, while you're in a place you're allowed to be and doing something legal, you can defend yourself with force without having to retreat. Basically, SYG would cover Mr. Martin if -he- had shot -Zimmerman,- (or beaten his brains out) but is utterly inapplicable to Zimmerman's murderous over-reaction. The local PD is also being heaped with scorn, being known fairly well among gunnies as hostile to minorities who wished to exercise their 2A rights, as well as willing to overlook all manner of PD abuses. There's also a worry that this incident will be exploited by the Brady Bunch and other hoplophobic anti-rights types to attack concealed carry, SYG, and other gun-rights victories of recent years, facts be (as they always are with that crowd) damned.

    You wanna see some pissed-off people? Check out the reactions to this over on the GunBroker forums.
  7. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    New York City
    I was pleased to have attended the rally. I saw some black parents bring their children to help explain something very difficult to explain. I listed to one man tell his child that it's important that he understands just what kind of tide is against him just for the color of skin. Another woman told him that she was here before for someone else who died with her mother and grandmother.

    It was really amazing to see those there for the Trayvon.

    Also there were the Workers for Socialism and OWS. It was a weird mashup of people since the other OWS events I have been to I have not seen so many people of color. I saw every kind of person from Sihks to Arabs, Asians to Blacks, and of course whites.
    Fangirl and mixedmedia like this.
  8. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ... Donor

    I understand your worry, Dunedan, but, you know, the man had a concealed carry permit and he shot someone with it in the course of being 'a protector' if only in his mind. I would think that your community should look inward as much as outward when it comes to gauging responses to this incident.

    I was listening to one of our local talk radio shows the day before yesterday and they were interviewing a regular guest on their show - a man who teaches concealed firearms courses for the state of Florida's licensing process - and he stated that he was so discouraged by the number of people who come to his classes with the mindset that by getting the permit they are increasing the likelihood that they will be able to be 'heroes,' that he is considering getting out of the business.

    I also heard a report on the same show that George Zimmerman had already applied to purchase another handgun - being that the one he shot Trayvon Martin with was confiscated by the police. Can't verify that, though, of course.
  9. samcol

    samcol Getting Tilted

    i dont have much to say other than cops do this every day and they are supposedly highly trained law enforcement officials. the fact that he was a concealed carry permit holder or on neighborhood watch shouldn't have much to do with this story. the real issue is whether he was in the right or in the wrong and should be prosecuted as such, just as cops should be (but rarely are, 2 weeks suspension WITH pay, and charges rarely filed, wtf is that?).

    i suppose its for the jury to decide, but in the court of public opinion zimmerman looks guilty as hell.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  10. The Dunedan

    The Dunedan Vertical

    I've never encountered the 'wannabe-hero' mindset personally in any of the training or tactical shooting I've done. I -did- see it, a small number of times, while working in the shop.

    Our/my perspective was always "Screw the hero crap. Your weapon is to stop the aggression and get you home alive, nothing more. Anything beyond that is stupid, dangerous in the extreme, possibly illegal. Forget about it." Among serious gun-nuts, that's probably the most common angle on this. Clint Smith, a very well-known defensive/tactical shooting instructor, advises not drawing a weapon for any reason whatsoever except to defend the lives of onesself or one's family- not even those of unrelated bystanders. Wannabe heroes are, in my admittedly limited experience, amateurs and few. Pros try -very- hard to discourage the wannabe-hero mindset precisely because it could lead to a situation like this one. However, it's important to note that even with the unfortunate presence of people like Zimmerman in the gun community, this kind of thing is -incredibly- rare: in fact this is the first such case I can ever recall.

    Unfortunately, this comes down to a classic case of a rotten apple. CCW holders are, statistically, one of the most law-abiding demographics in the US, across all jurisdictions. A very, very small number do, yes, commit various sorts of crime. This one appears to have been, at absolute best, a Manslaughter conviction waiting to happen who should probably have been locked up for the (dropped) assault collar he caught several years back.

    As for introspection, it is generating quite a bit from what I can tell. People are discussing ways to improve training (both mental and physical) so as to avoid the overwrought and panicky states of mind which may have precipitated this, people on the teaching end are discussing how to spot and try to train-out this type of "default setting," and -everybody- is disgusted with Zimmerman's mindset and conduct. This case will be used in CCW classes as a textbook example of "what -not- to do" and "how -not- to think" for the next fifty years. My personal hope is that it'll inspire a greater drive within the Gun Culture towards mental preparation, professionalism, and advanced training.
    Plan9 and mixedmedia like this.
  11. KirStang

    KirStang Remember...only YOU can return fire.

    Yea. I think the most appalling thing in this case was the less-than-stellar police work done in response to a shooting of an unarmed youth. In what land is using lethal force justified against an unarmed individual? I think the defense is probably going to try to pony up some bs about how the shooter saw a silver flash/reached for his waistband.
    mixedmedia and cynthetiq like this.
  12. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ... Donor

    Death of Florida Teen Spurs Outcry and Action - NYTimes.com

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  13. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    One of the things that has disturbed me from the beginning is how long it took the media to pick up on the story. Martin was shot on 26 February. I never saw anything until at least the second week of March. I grant you that sensational outrages seem to be depressingly easy to find on the net these days, but I can't believe the murder of a 17 year-old could fly beneath the radar for that long.

    If this tragedy makes Florida (and any other jurisdiction) re-think their "stand-you-ground" laws, at least some good may come out of this. Unfortunately for Trayvon, that may be all we can hope for from his death.
  14. The Dunedan

    The Dunedan Vertical

    Great news on the no-confidence vote against the local Top Cop!

    However, why should this provoke any "re-thinking" (read; repealing) of Stand Your Ground laws, in FL or elsewhere? SYG is good law, a victory for law-abiding non-aggressive people everywhere, which is utterly inapplicable to Zimmerman and would have provided an affirmative defense to Treyvon Martin had he successfully defended himself against what appears to have been a criminal assault from the get-go. Why should it be "re-thought?" If anything, SYG should be expanded and strengthened, so as to more thoroughly deter any future such acts by any other Zimmermanesque fuckwits.

    Again, the only person here who could possibly have claimed the protection of SYG was Treyvon Martin. -He- was the one who was doing something legal in a place he was legally allowed to be. Zimmerman was apparently perpetrating an armed assault, probably under Color Of Law, which is an illegal act on several levels.
  15. electriceagle

    electriceagle New Member

    The "stand your ground" law is a bit of a red herring.

    This is about racism on the part of the shooter and more importantly on the part of the police department that refused to investigate the murder.

    Mr. Zimmerman went out that night looking to play out a scenario that was in his head with someone who fit his idea of a criminal. When he saw young Trayvon, he chased him, which is an initiation of aggression. Trayvon may have responded to Mr. Zimmerman's attack by hitting him; if he did it was clearly self-defense. Mr. Zimmerman shot him.

    However you paint them, Trayvon's actions are covered by traditional self-defense and by the stand your ground law; Zimmerman's actions are not.

    The police department's actions are more disturbing than those of Mr. Zimmerman because they have more power and hold a position of trust. They saw an unarmed black man shot in a predominantly white neighborhood, were told a specious story intended to indicate that he was a criminal and were so predisposed to believing this story that they conducted no investigation and let the murderer walk away.

    The real story isn't the "stand your ground" law. It is the police department.
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    This kind of thing happens elsewhere unfortunately. It reminds me of a high-profile shooting here in downtown Toronto. On Boxing Day in 2005, Jane Creba, a white teenager, was killed when she was caught in the crossfire of a gun fight. It garnered national attention in the media. It was so intense that it prompted debates on gun crime and street violence in the 2006 federal election campaign.

    There came a call on all levels to do something to curb gun violence. Federal politicians vowed to do something legislatively. Special elite police units were created to sweep troublesome neighbourhoods.

    The problem? Jane Creba was just one of 80 homicides (and 52 shooting deaths) at the end of a particularly brutal year in Toronto. Why the public outcry now? If Jane Creba had been black, would the response from police, politicians, the media, and the public had been the same? Who were the other 79 people killed that year? Let me give you a hint: most of them were black.

    What's happening here and in this case of Trayvon Martin is racism on a number of levels, compounding to skew public perceptions. It's institutional/systemic racism when police departments, the media, etc., respond disproportionately to situations based on racial bias, whether it's overreporting or underreporting, whether the angle is slanted one way or another. This happens both subconsciously and overtly.

    America has a problem with racism. So does Canada. Toronto is home to a large population of blacks, many of whom are recent immigrants from the Caribbean. There is a growing history of systemic racism directed towards them via the police and even the media. The end result is a public who's misinformed on the issues, and the racism continues. It's only by cutting through it and reaching out to these communities that we can come to understand the true problems and to find ways to fix them.

    If we were living in a post-racial world, Trayvon Martin wouldn't have needed the support of 1,000,000 hoodies.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  17. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    New York City
    Baraka_Guru, racism is not endemic to North America. It's all over the world. I see it wherever I travel.

    People like to hate on different people for real, perceived, historical, traditional, made up, fucked up, reasons. Most other countries and cultures at least admit it to themselves.
    snowy and Charlatan like this.
  18. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    this is an extensively linked piece about this racist murder that so far has produced no meaningful investigation and still less an arrest:

    How to Get Away With Murder and Other Things the Killing of Unarmed Black Teen Trayvon Martin Teaches Us

    the law is a problem because the law is instituted in a context and that context enables shit like this.

    it'd behoove the gun lobby to perhaps take on the task of anti-racist activism in addition to the tireless activism they carry out in favor of (arbitrary) legal formalism---that the law is in itself ok because it performs functions that require no appeal to empirical reality to find compelling---metaphysicians love that kind of thing.

    the problem the gun people really seem to have, judging from what i've seen here (which is interesting, btw) is that the nature of the context(s) in which these metaphysical structures have been implemented is revealing itself in an unflattering way---so perfect law has the misfortune to encounter a confederacy of racist assholes in this particular quadrant of the material world. since the law can't be other than perfect, clearly making the confederacy less full of racist assholes is the way to go.
  19. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    This is true. My focus, however, was on what some would consider the "enlightened," "free," and "righteous" continent.

    Racism may never die, but this is one of many reasons why we have laws. You can be as racist as you like so long as it does no harm. If laws are toothless or are otherwise not upheld, brutal racism such as this can go unchecked.

    Yes, it happens around the world. You'd think at least that in a place like America, it could be rectified and justice be served.
    bandit75238 likes this.
  20. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    New York City

    really it's that silly.