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  •  I haven't seen any evidence that this particular (6+ / 0-)

    trial is going to address those big picture issues substantively - meaning in the legal sense.  It may, but I haven't seen that as yet - and to your point the media's discussion of the case doesn't touch on important questions like whether or not a "stand your ground law" might have encouraged someone to kill another person for no reason - and whether or not we as a society want to live in fear that someone is going to simply perceive us as a threat and shoot us dead.

    Meanwhile, the wall-to-wall, breathless coverage of the Zimmerman trial has sucked the oxygen out of pretty much some of the most important stories of the past five years - the NSA spying; the gutting by SCOTUS of key provisions of the Voting Rights Act; the gay marriage issues; Egypt; Turkey; Abortion Rights being taken away in the dark of night; and more.

    •  few criminal trials focus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, I give in to sin

      primarily on race as a factor, because the laws have been cleansed for the most part of race as a factor of guilt or innocence.

      I already said our media won't focus on the real issues.  But we can talk about them here, we have a group of liberals who tend to realize we still need the VRA because of the racism inherent in our institutions to this day.

      If you don't think the Zimmerman trial is a microcosm of racial tensions and laws that reflect those tensions, stand your ground was made for right wing vigilantes, predominantly white or white identifying such as many white hispanics,  to fend off the horde of black people, Sanford was a sundown town, things linger.    If you don't think there are racial tensions in a popultion of whites, hispanics and blacks, and not just from the whites not liking either group much,  spend some time in a southern town with a long term history of racial discrimination and a more recent (in historical terms) influx of hispanics.   Plenty of prejudices to go around.

      For the future of this nation (supposing we don't kill ourselves with climate change first, not on your list of most important stories, but on mine), how we learn to function better, how we slip the grasp of right wing gun toting fanatics on our laws and social policies is a huge story.  

      Our media is corrupt, but DKos is not CNN or Fox for goodness sakes,  rational and informed conversation should be happening here.

      •  From the legal standpoint, the only issue - (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnySacks, I give in to sin

        which is not insubstantial - that this trial could address is the Florida stand your ground law that basically gives license to vigilantes and racists to mete out their own personal versions of "justice".  The mechanism by which people can carry out harmful acts against others is what could be addressed, but it really isn't the topic of discussion at the moment - and I am not sure that even if Zimmerman is convicted that vigilante attacks will be discouraged or that the law would be repealed.

        Anyway, I don't believe that the blow-by-blow coverage the trial is getting to the exclusion of all else is doing anything other than making a circus of an incredibly sad and tragic event.

        •  again to focus (1+ / 0-)
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          I give in to sin

          on the charges and the trail per se is to ignore the real issues behind the acts, the laws, etc. and getting into score keeping as the media is doing.  Address the roots, that is how we grapple with what this trial means, as opposed to its limited purpose, to decide the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman under the laws as written.

          I am constantly amazed at how people avoid the larger questions posed by events and concentrate on win or lose and game playing.

          •  I am somewhat amazed that you don't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I give in to sin

            get my point which is that the questions you are talking about which are clearly valid are never going to be addressed by proceedings in a Florida court of law.  The discussion in the media and amongst citizens is possible and legitimate, but the laws that are being employed and tested in this case do not address the "real issues behind the acts" as you define them.

            That's why I don't think that the trial is particularly informative or worthy of the wall-to-wall coverage it is getting.

            It is a murder trial.  They happen everyday in America and there are others going on right now that are probably far more important in their own right than this one that are being completely ignored.

            •  and I am amazed (0+ / 0-)

              that you haven't taken my point at all that this case is important for discussions here.

              •  I have taken your point. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                just another vet, LynChi, dejavu

                I get it.  I remember a time when vigilante justice was very much frowned upon in this country and now it seems to be all the rage.  I won't even get into the rise of racism and acceptance of same that seems to be sweeping across this country at the moment.  It is very disconcerting.  This trial is emblematic of all of those ills and more.

                But the media is not covering any of the issues you cite as being important and the trial will not address any of those important issues.  Get it?

                Therefore, the live coverage is a waste of time especially when other really important things are going on like the Supreme Court striking down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  

                In order of importance, the right to vote far outweighs this trial.  The vote gives people to change the law makers who enacted the stand your ground law.  It gives people the power to change the make up of the judiciary who might be tolerant of vigilante justice.  

                The right to vote is the key to the kingdom and on the day when SCOTUS struck down the VRA, the only thing on TV on any channel that called itself a news channel was the Zimmerman trial and to add insult to injury they've brought back that freak Nancy Grace to talk all of the time and mislead people about what real justice is.

                •  I responded to a complaint (0+ / 0-)

                  made by someone that Zimmerman was sucking all of the oxygen out of news coverage so that Egypt was being ignored.

                  All of my comments were addressed to the issues around the Zimmerman trial being important, should be major news, as much or more so than Egypt's battles for democracy for the US, but that those issues would never be covered by our press appropriately, but here are Dkos they could be discussed.  And you have played on the but it's a trial, the trial won't cover this.

                  So I never said it was more or less important than the voting rights act, but have more or less asserted it is part and parcel of the right wing movements buying up government, and destroying progress.    The VRA, Zimmerman, gun laws, war on drugs, all are parts of the same big problem of race in this country, and how we are torn apart denying important advances in everything, even repairing infrastructure, having public schools, because black or brown people might get some benefit.   Why we can't discuss that here, still amazes me.  And you fight it every step of the way.  You won't engage on the merits of the problem, just that the trial won't address them.

                  •  We are talking about different issues, I think. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I am complaining that the coverage of the trial as it is playing out is useless.  I believe that is something that should change.

                    I also do not think its dominance in the coverage cycle is merited given all of the other things that are going on.

                    Meanwhile, you are talking about what would make the coverage of the Zimmerman trial valuable is if the discussions about it created an illuminating dialogue about issues or race, gun violence, vigilantism, and lawlessness that has in effect been legalized in Florida with their stand your ground law.

                    I'd love to proverbially "get together" and figure out how to get Nancy Grace off of the discussion panels and see thoughtful people commenting about the significance of the case.  That's not happening right now, though and that's why I am annoyed by the coverage of the trial and its dominance to the exclusion of all else.

                    •  and I would love to see (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      people discuss it here, there is far from agreement on racial issues here, we could actually do some good, here.

                      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                        I didn't realize that the consensus on racial issues here was not fairly cohesive.

                        I do know that there are camps that tend to defend the defendant and others who are more sympathetic to the prosecution on any given day.  I think this trial sort of screws with those people's heads because they are used to feeling clear about who is victim and who is villain based on those definitions in most cases.

                        The truth is that this is one of those cases where everyone might reasonably viewed as victim including Zimmerman who was apparently staking his life on the idea that he was given permission by the Florida State Legislature to kill anyone who freaked him out.  It isn't that I actually feel sorry for the guy because he was, it seems, looking for trouble as lone vigilantes tend to do, but there is a legal argument to be made that he was acting within the law.  Then of course Martin has lost his life and even if he was going to break into someone's house and steal a freakin' TV or something, that seems an outrageous price to pay for such an infraction.  I'm speaking in hypotheticals here - going the more esoteric route in my thinking because I think that we are becoming a nation that is ailing from heavy-handed, binary and extremist theories of what "justice" is.  

                        It is troubling and sad to me.

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