Trayvon Martin Verdict

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An inquiry on an earlier post regarding my opinion brought me out of blogging hibernation and allowed me to become person number 1,256,369 to express an opinion on the verdict.

I believe the verdict was correct (hardly a surprise given my disident-right leanings). It is true that Trayvon Martin cannot speak for himself, but it does seem most likely that he made the first aggressive move (Rachel Jeantel admits that it was likely Martin who struck first). Zimmerman did not stalk Martin, he got out of his car to ascertain the direction Martin had gone and to locate himself (find a street address he could give the operator). Martin had plenty of time to make it home safely.

While Zimmerman’s suspicions appear to have been groundless, and perhaps even over eager, he did have a right to investigate. He had that right, not because he was a neighborhood watch captain but because anyone has the right to protect their neighborhood from actual or potential threats (a break-in is about more than the loss of stuff). I am not sure what Zimmerman could have done differently other than turn his head the other way and drive on, assuming it “was not my problem.”

Someone asked what would have happened if sometimes hoodie wearing Mark Zuckerberg was in the place of Trayvon Martin. The answer is likely nothing because Zuckerberg would most likely not, having eluded his pursuer doubled back to give him an ‘ass whooping.’

Interestingly: while stand-your-ground played little part in Zimmerman’s defense in different circumstances (had he lived) Martin could have used it in his own defense (against, say, an assault charge). Even asserting the dead Martin’s right to stand his ground would change the outcome: both men were in fear of harm, sadly one ended up dead.

Personally I have dealt with officious types inquiring after my intentions. It is annoying, and I can understand Martin’s annoyance. However, I never figured the correct response was to punch them in the face. A cool, curt “I live here/visiting a friend. Who are you?” is enough to both answer their suspicion and cool my feeling of being ‘dissed.’ Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he had just gone home (he had plenty of time to do so).

PS:
I cannot imagine may other cases where you could call a fully grown black male ‘child’ or ‘boy’ without causing an uproar. Anyone that describes Martin as a child is a propagandist; legally he was still a minor, but in no way was he a child. He would probably have punched anyone that referred to him as such.

If the races were switched I imagine initial news reports would have described the shooting of an unarmed Hispanic by a neighborhood watch captain (race not specified). It likely would have ended right there (a tragic misunderstanding).

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13 Responses to “Trayvon Martin Verdict”

  1. Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman Mini-Linkfest | Patriactionary Says:

    […] Default User: Trayvon Martin Verdict […]

  2. Rebekah Says:

    It’s nice to have this space online to voice opinions and discuss this. In many ways it’s such a tragic and sensitive issue that I’ve not broached it with anyone in real life. I think what you have written is very fair to both sides. Your point about calling him “boy” is not something I’d thought about and would certainly be seen as disrespectful in a different context.

    This entire event has opened my eyes to others’ experiences, and it does make me sad to think any human being would need to have a conversation with his son about how fast he should walk down a street to avoid suspicion. It also seems unjust that one’s freedom and innocence could be determined by how much money he has for a defense.

    However, I can’t help but be honest that I don’t think Zimmerman was guilty of murder or had malicious intent to simply just kill Trayvon Martin. Martin matched the description of the other perpetrators who had committed crimes in the neighborhood. Everyone was obviously on edge because of those events.

    On the other hand, I do think there should be some sort of punishment for what you describe as being “overeager” on the part of Zimmerman. An innocent human being lost his life and there should be ramifications. If getting into a fight and calling someone impolite names were a reason to kill someone, then most men could use this defense for shooting whomever they pleased.

    I want to be sensitive to the experiences of others and think we need to do whatever we can to be fair and honest with all people. Not to be redundant, but it really bothers me that people would be mistreated because of the color of their skin and that they would not be afforded the same quality of life as others. Unfortunately, Zimmerman seemed to become the poster child for everything that has been done wrong, and it would have been just as unfair for him to take the fall for murder.

    And just like you can relate with being targeted with suspicion, I’ve had my own personal experiences as well. I was mugged by a black man who, when realized I didn’t have any my wallet, forced me into my car. I tried to give him my keys to take the car, but he was making me go with him. I got away but the experience has stayed with me. When I first saw him my instinct was to get back into the car and lock my door, but specifically had the thought that I didn’t want to be a silly white girl. I should have gone with my instincts, and perhaps that was what Zimmerman was trying to do to.
    [DU: Wow. I am glad you were ok. You were right not to get in the car with him. I would say it is better to trust your instinct and possibly look silly, or feel silly, but remain alive to laugh about it. Race may play a part in such perceptions of danger but I grew up in an all White area and had many a ‘bad feeling’ about someone for reasons I could not clearly articulate. It is not that such instincts are always correct, it is that they are there to protect you.]

  3. jamesd127 Says:

    > While Zimmerman’s suspicions appear to have been groundless

    Incorrect. Trayvon was a burglar and had past form of burgling close to his own nest.. His school found burgling tools in his backpack and twelve pieces of Jewelry, which matched the description of jewelry lost in a burglary that occurred a short time previously very close to his school.
    [DU: I know Martin’s history, my only point was that there was no evidence that he was attempting burglary on the night in question]

    He was not charged because black – the school had a policy of reducing the number of black criminals among its students and increasing the number of white criminals – a fairly typical example of what esr correctly calls “black privilege”.

  4. Rebekah Says:

    It was years ago and I’m completely over it. However, it did enforce the practice of paying attention to instincts when something looks suspicious. I think we should be above being insulted if it’s an honest mistake.

    I just still feel bad that I am not understanding the reaction to this verdict. I would love to have a conversation with someone who is black to be enlightened to what I’m missing, but not sure how to respectfully broach the subject.

  5. jamesd127 Says:

    I would love to have a conversation with someone who is black to be enlightened to what I’m missing, but not sure how to respectfully broach the subject.

    Well, there is the problem, and there is your answer. They don’t need to be respectful in broaching the subject.

    The feeling is that Zimmerman needed killing for disrespecting a a black person who was going about his rightful business of burgling crackers.

    When you said “respectfully” you acknowledged what everyone knows – that whites are required to be respectful to blacks, while black are not required to be respectful to whites – that while everyone is equal, blacks are substantially more equal than others.

    The attitude, widely stated, is that Zimmerman needed killing because he got uppity.

  6. Rebekah Says:

    I think it’s important to be respectful with anyone when having a discussion – especially when it involves strong feelings and experiences that I have not personally encountered.

    I further think that many people simply saw Zimmerman as guilty of murder, and that perhaps if Martin had been white the jurors, and even the police officers who testified, would have had a different opinion of him.

    I don’t think anyone feels that white people need to be more respectful to black people, I just think people in general try to be sensitive to and acknowledge the very real mistreatment of an entire race of people that occurred in this country until not that long ago.

    I personally have not heard the argument from anyone that Zimmerman should have been charged with murder because he got ‘uppity.’

  7. jamesd127 Says:

    > I further think that many people simply saw Zimmerman as guilty of murder

    Anyone who argues that Zimmerman was guilty of murder also argues that it was outrageously provocative of Zimmerman to profile Trayvon as the drug addled burglar that he in fact was, and to follow him from a distance .

    But that is not an argument that Zimmerman attacked Trayvon, but rather an argument that Trayvon was entitled to attack Zimmerman because Zimmerman was acting uppity, argument from black privilege over whites – that Zimmerman was a murderer because whites are not entitled to defend themselves against blacks.

  8. Rebekah Says:

    I’m sure there are people who feel Zimmerman followed Martin specifically because he was black, that perhaps he wouldn’t have had Martin been white. However, I can understand those concerns, as such things have happen routinely in the past.

    The act of killing Martin was disproportionate to the situation, and I think this was a big aggravating factor. Perhaps the two had a fight, perhaps there were strong words exchanged, but for Zimmerman to feel his life endangered enough to kill another human being is unusual at best.

    That being said, it wasn’t proven, based on the standard of proof, that Zimmerman had the malicious intent to kill Martin when he followed him. And in such, it would not be fair for Zimmerman to be convicted of murder.

  9. jamesd127 Says:

    > I’m sure there are people who feel Zimmerman followed Martin specifically because he was black, that perhaps he wouldn’t have had Martin been white

    Of course he would not have followed Martin if Martin had been white. The neighborhood was under attack by young black males dressed in dark colored hoodies. It was not under attack by young white males. Of course he was profiling. He was not stupid. Every previous offender that had been spotted in the area he was protecting had been a young black male, usually dressed in a dark hoodie.

    You think that like the TSA he should have been harassing little old ladies with their six year old granddaughters?

    > Perhaps the two had a fight, perhaps there were strong words exchanged

    As soon as you start complaining that Zimmerman profiled Trayvon, you are finding justification for Trayvon to jump Zimmerman, implying that Trayvon was, being black, entitled to jump Zimmerman, implying that strong words were not exchanged, implying that the two did not have a fight, you implicitly admit what you claim to doubt That Trayvon jumped Zimmerman.

    You say you suspect that they had strong words and got into a fight, but start up with a rationale justifying the scenario that we know from the forensic evidence actually happened – that Trayvon jumped Zimmerman.

  10. jamesd127 Says:

    If you really thought it likely that “strong words were exchanged” or that the two “had a fight”, you would not lead off by telling us that Trayvon had legitimate grievance against Zimmerman.

  11. Rebekah Says:

    You are talking in circles. The fight between the two is not speculation but facts laid out by Zimmerman and Martin’s friend with whom he was on the phone. I was not using the word ‘perhaps’ in the context of not believing it happened.

    Zimmerman was told by the authorities not to follow Martin. Martin had every right to defend himself against any danger he perceived from Zimmerman. The fact that Zimmerman couldn’t handle the situation any better than following and resorting to shooting Martin shows how truly incompetent he is in every possible way.

    If Zimmerman was profiling Martin only because he was black, then I further empathize with the outrage over this tragic event. However, my feeling is that it was Martin’s clothing and what Zimmerman perceived to be suspicious behavior that caught his eye.

    If there had been a middle-aged professional black man walking about Zimmerman would not have had the same reaction.

  12. Rebekah Says:

    Further, I have nothing else to remark about this topic and am not finding it beneficial to continue this conversation considering the direction it’s taking.

  13. jamesd127 Says:

    > The fight between the two is not speculation but facts laid out by Zimmerman

    For a fight to happen, two people have to throw punches. The physical evidence is that only one person threw punches. Not a fight, but an attack.

    Calling it a fight is like calling Trayvon a child – intentionally deceptive.

    > Zimmerman was told by the authorities not to follow Martin.

    And he stopped following Martin Tayvon, though probably because Martin ducked into hiding behind the bushes and hid there lurking waiting for some passer by to attack, rather than because of instruction from the authorities.

    > Martin had every right to defend himself against any danger he perceived from Zimmerman.

    But you know, and I know, and you implicitly admitted, that Tayvon came after Zimmerman and attacked him. Had Tayvon felt himself to be in danger, the appropriate solution would have been to walk home.

    Between the time he ducked out of Zimmerman’s sight, and the time he attacked Zimmerman, he had plenty of time to walk home, indeed walk home several times over. If Zimmerman was following Tayvon, they both must have been traveling in wheelchairs pulled by snails.

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