Sunday, March 25, 2012

More on Trayvon.

So, it's a few days later. I have been getting close to up-to-the-minute information on the Trayvon Martin case because of this facebook group. I have also seen the story covered as the lead or close to the lead story on Inside Edition and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. I believe that the story went from online only coverage, to weekend television coverage, to the primetime specials currently playing, in large part because of the role of social media. Facebook, twitter and blogs are technologies that the government has yet to figure out how to control and corporations have yet to figure out how to corrupt. As a result, we are seeing stories that the people want to give attention to leading our evening newscasts. Incredible.

I think the two best things to come out of this situation are the close to 2 million signatures this petition has received, and President Obama's statement that we as a nation need to do some "soul searching." I am ready to search my soul, and I invite you to search yours as well...

As far as I can see there are two separate, but related issues in the Trayvon Martin case.

1) What were the reasons behind George Zimmerman following and shooting Trayvon Martin?

2) What were the reasons for the Sanford Police Department making the decision not to arrest George Zimmerman and charge him with a crime?

You'll notice I didn't start those questions with Why? I told you in a previous post not to say but, and why is another word that is close to useless. I think people have been programmed to hear the word why and have the immediate response, I don't know. Why makes things very abstract like, Why do fools fall in love? Has anyone ever bothered to answer that question? No.

However, if you say what it shifts things a little bit, and opens the door to answers that can be explained: What is 2+2? It can also help people to be less defensive, because it doesn't sound accusatory.

Okay let's attempt to answer question #1

here are some reasons off of the top of my head.

--There had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood.
--George thought Trayvon was suspicious because he didn't recognize him. And he was black. And he was wearing a hoodie. Remember in this post when I talked about how being black is already one strike against you, so if you have any other strikes against you, you're more likely to be screwed? This case is another good example of that. I can reasonably believe that seeing someone in your neighborhood that you don't recognize (assuming you know all the people you live near,) is something that might arouse your initial suspicion. I can even see how wearing something that could be used to cover your face might be another cause for concern. But being black, walking down the street, "looking about," and staring at someone that is staring at you, are not reasonable causes for suspicion. And supposedly Trayvon didn't put on his hoodie until Zimmerman started following him. And even if he did have his hoodie on the whole time, it was raining, and hoodies are good for keeping the rain off of your head.

In my estimation, I don't recognize you + you have something that you can use to cover your face ≠ call 911. It also ≠ get out of car and follow and/or question and/or chase, and/or whatever happened when George Zimmerman made the completely unnecessary decision to get out of his car. Let the police handle it, guy.

If there is one point that I want to make crystal clear before I move on to point two, it is that black is not synonymous with dangerous. People of all races (including black,) need to work very hard to get this connotation out of their heads. People have worked very hard to drill it into your head (more on that later,) so you are going to have to work very hard to drill it out of your head.

I am not saying that black is synonymous with safe, what I am saying is that there are clues that you should use to help determine if someone is a danger to you, but he's black is not one of them. If a person is following you, confronting you in the middle of the night on dark street, or pulling a gun on you--these are all legitimate reasons to be afraid for your safety.

All right, let's get to question two. More thoughts off of the top of my head.

--George Zimmerman had a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head.
--George Zimmerman told the police he acted in self-defense, and in Florida if you think someone is threatening your life, you can shoot them without having to make attempts to flee.
--George Zimmerman's dad is a retired judge, and some unscrupulous law enforcement officials think taking care of their own is more important than following the law.
--George Zimmerman was a police informant, and that is why he has been protected by the police from the beginning. [Note: this is just a theory I heard on the internet, but it's it's worth looking into.]
--The police saw a young black male with a hoodie on, and thought of all the other young black males with hoodies they've arrested and seen as dead bodies over the years, and thought to themselves, This is probably just some thug who sells drugs and has all kinds of baby mommas, it's probably better that he's dead anyway. Yeah, I went there.

On a related note, part of the reason this case is getting so much attention is that we finally have a young black male victim who is (as Joe Biden would say,) clean. No record, no weapon, and we all know that thugs don't shop at Hollister. It's like, it's just getting harder and harder to deny that people are targets because they are black.

Okay, back to the police. Like I said at the beginning of this post, what George Zimmerman did, and what the police did are two separate issues. George Zimmerman is an individual who is making his own individual (bad) decisions. The Sanford Police Department is an arm of the government, whose job is to protect and serve the citizens of Sanford, Florida. As a part of the government, in some ways they represent all of us as citizens of the United States. And that is where the outrageous part comes in. I expect more from officers of the law. Even if there is a stand your ground law, stand your ground does not mean follow someone, and then shoot them if/when they start beating your ass. There is so much evidence out there already, why did they not think to call a grand jury before hundreds of thousands of people started signing a petition? How did they not think there was enough probable cause the night of the shooting to arrest George Zimmerman on suspicion of something? Reckless endangerment, involuntary manslaughter, for the love of God, we've got a unarmed kid with a bullet through his chest! Why did they list Trayvon as a "john doe" instead of going through his phone, finding the number that said mom and calling it to tell her that her son was dead?

Yeah, I just said why, but I am getting really pissed off right now. Look, I just said but too. I was going to write more, but I am going to end it here for now. Soul searching doesn't happen in one afternoon.

Before I go, there is a video that I have always wanted to put on my blog, but it never seemed like the right time. I think that time is now.

Please, wake up.


  1. everything about this makes me feel physically ill.
    i'm not certain what more to even say about it.


  2. NSangoma5:37 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Anonymous10:53 PM


    George Zimmerman had a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head.

    Is nothing but "After-the-Fact" spin being deployed to proffer some kind of "Trayvon Martin as a Scary Black Thug" defense for Zimmerman, seeing as how using Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law as a defense is failing miserably.

    If Zimmerman had sustained those injuries during the non-existent fight he engaged Trayvon in, then those injuries would have sent him to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

    With that being the case, there should have been some record of medical treatment by the EMTs onsite at the time (before Trayvon was "pronounced") or called in after the police arrived. To date, neither of these circumstances have been corroborated by parties friendly to Zimmerman or by other witnesses.

    In other words, this reads as nothing but a lie.

  4. ~
    Charles Blow, you easing back a little taste there?
    The key is to determine who was standing his ground and defending himself: the boy with the candy or the man with the gun. Who was winning the fight is a secondary question.

    That said, we’ll have to wait for details of the investigation to be revealed to know for sure. But while we wait, it is important to not let Trayvon the person be lost to Trayvon the symbol. He was a real boy with a real family that really loved him.


    Thugnificent and his crew are not to be emulated:

  5. ~
    Well damn!!, Zimmerman must be gansta, too:
    No mention from Geraldo about the fact that Zimmerman was also wearing a hoodie?


  6. No n in my name9:51 AM

    Has no one stopped to think that in Trayvon's eyes, HE was "standing HIS ground" against the threat of a stranger watching him and then coming after him?
    The screaming was Trayvon... now a month later, Zimm's defense team says it was him screaming? Seems to me that the prey turned to defend himself. Zimm "got thumped" by a teenager and Zimm's adrenaline took over and he shot the kid to stop the beating.
    By the way, I'm all for free speech, so allow me to say that these hatemongers adding to these last two posts are tap dancing on my very last nerve! How about coming out of the shadow of a made up screen name. Give us a way to contact you openly. Coward.

  7. 5 stars for this post. You have beautifully articulated every single thing I feel.

  8. NSangoma2:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. NSangoma9:46 PM

    Multiple suspensions

    Now I'm ready to kick some Rev Al, ass!!

    In October, a school police investigator said he saw Trayvon on the school surveillance camera in an unauthorized area “hiding and being suspicious.” Then he said he saw Trayvon mark up a door with “W.T.F” — an acronym for “what the f---.” The officer said he found Trayvon the next day and went through his book bag in search of the graffiti marker.

    Instead the officer reported he found women’s jewelry and a screwdriver that he described as a “burglary tool,” according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by The Miami Herald. Word of the incident came as the family’s lawyer acknowledged that the boy was suspended in February for getting caught with an empty bag with traces of marijuana, which he called “irrelevant” and an attempt to demonize a victim.

    Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds.


    What happened to the baby-faced kid:

    Trayvon's swinging on a school bus driver has not been verified.

    This is why African Negroes, Asiatic Negritos, Oceanic Negritos, and Carib Negreos distance themselves from North American Negroes.

  10. Yesterday I went to the Trayvon Martin march here in Denver, and was uplifted by the crowd who turned out and the speeches. I am seeing things here on this blog and comments I am not seeing anywhere else, so thanks for that. We are at the beginning of this story, the grand jury report will be amazing, and I am in rapt attention to see how this goes forward.
    AND: This whole story is about racism and does not depend on the detailed facts of the case. I believe we need to stop racism and stop the killing.

  11. NSangoma10:15 AM

    Learn from our forefathers:

    Brown v Topeka:
    Brown, because the Brown family was the only intact Black family with a male head of household. The other plaintiffs in the case were baby-mama Negroes; the school children had their mothers maiden names as their last names.

    Thurgood Marshall et alia, did not want to stand in front of the SCOTUS with a bunch of baby-mama Negroes.

    Rosa Parks, was chosen because her record was squeegee squeaky clean. She had never had any issues with the Birmingham authorities.

    There had been others, both male and female, who had been arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus; but they all had previous issues with the Birmingham authorities. The irony is, Rosa Parks considered herself to be more AmerIndian than Black.

    IMHO, for what ever point that is trying to be made here, Trayvon Martin, is not the one.

  12. oh yeah nsangoma - that picture looks real thug. looks like a kid trying to be hard - like oh, i dunno, every damned other 17 year old boy. ya know what looks "dangerous" in that picture? i do - i'll give ya hint - it rhymes with "you're a racist"

    this is why i said before i didn't like all the attention paid to what a "good kid" he was.

    meanwhile, while here we are consternating over what trayvon's suspension(s) - somehow zimmerman's arrests don't seem relevant. "hitting a cop" trumps "hitting a bus driver" - one story is verified and the other isn't.

    me? i don't separate myself because i know that the only difference here is perception and numbers. if tomorrow white women were suddenly personas non gratis then it could be me.

    people like to hide their racism by saying "there's only race, the human race" and use that as the reason why we shouldn't talk about injustice. exactly the opposite. that's why we should.

    oh, and all those groups can go ahead and separate themselves all they want but guess what? to the zimmerman's of the world? to the sanford pd - to pd in general? to the media, the courts, etc . .. you're still "black"

  13. one more thing on the was he/wasn't he a good kid. you want to figure out why so many black youths are going in the "wrong direction"? this is why. if you're black then you have to work 5times as hard to prove that you are "okay" or "not one of them" or whatever the hell the code is for "i forgive you for being black." that's not only not right - it's hard.

    my oldest son is having trouble fitting in in kindergarten because he's brilliant. honestly, that's the school talking not just me. and sometimes that doesn't go so easy. or maybe a kid is a little weird in general. or maybe developmentally slow. or maybe trouble at home - -- there's a million maybes that happen to a kid. now, while i'm worried for my son; i know that i have the luxury and so does he of us figuring this out. and finding a way for him to fit in. no one is going to write him off. in part that is because he's smart but in part its because there is no presumption that a blond blue-eyed five year old is a problem. we live in a very diverse neighborhood (in fact he came home and told me he has igloo skin one day) and he goes to a bilingual school so maybe that would be the case for a darker kid in his school but in the country over? no i don't think so.

    so black children can either live a life where they make no mistakes ever and even then can expect someone somewhere to treat them like trash before they even open their mouths. or they can give up.and we as a society perpetuate this every time that we assume that a trayvon martin who had a suspension was therefore "a thug."

    i know a lot of people who were suspended in high school. i know some who were even thugs and miraculously turned into nice kids.

    all the zimmerman apologists that i 'talk' to are giving me the presumed innocent speech. but why isn't trayvon presumed innocent. zimmerman had been arrested (again: FOR ASSAULTING A COP - why do i keep saying that?? cuz that type of behavior is the behavior of a lunatic) and we're still supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt but a black kid who was suspended from school??? o, i'm sure that he was the next mass murderer.

    er - looks around - this isn't my blog is it?? i suppose it's time to admit i need to do my own post since i seem to do little besides go from one site to another to discuss this.

    the rage eases the crying i think