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Trayvon Marton
Trayvon Martin
If you don't understand how deeply and viciously racist has been the official and right-wing reaction to the murder of Trayvon Martin, all you have to do is consider what would have been the official and right-wing reaction had the races of Martin and his killer been reversed.

Imagine a lanky white teenager was walking in a strange neighborhood at night. He's a good kid—according to one of his teachers "an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness"—although he's not above making the foolish teenaged mistake of getting caught with an empty baggie with marijuana residue inside it. But he has no criminal record. The worst anyone can say about him is that he smokes some pot, which puts him in the company of nearly half of all American high school students, something more than half of all American adults would legalize. But he's a good student and has no criminal record. In other words, he's a pretty typical teenager. A good kid.

Then one night this typical teenager is walking alone in a strange neighborhood, munching on some junk food and talking on his cell phone. And remember that we're reversing the races here, so now he's a white kid walking alone in a strange neighborhood, and it's a black man who steps out of an SUV and starts following him. A black man who outweighs the teen by nearly a hundred pounds. A black man who steps out of an SUV, pulls up a hoodie, and starts following the teen. The kid tells his friend on the cell phone that someone is following him. He tells her because he doesn't understand why someone is following him. He's nervous. He's just walking along, munching on junk food, and someone has started following him.

Finally, he decides to confront the guy. Even though he is nervous, he probably can't imagine that simply walking in a strange neighborhood would lead to someone shooting him dead. He's standing up for himself, but the thought of violence, the thought of gunfire, doesn't even enter his head. But when he confronts the big guy who had been following him, and asks why he has been following him, the big guy pulls a gun. It happens so suddenly, the teen probably barely has time to realize that something serious is now happening. This was just an innocent evening stroll, a big guy had started following him for no reason, and now his life is being threatened. This was just an innocent evening stroll, and now he's looking at a gun. Pointed at him. By a big guy who had been following him for no reason. A big guy who now shoots him dead.

Three witnesses later report having heard the boy's desperate cry for help. The police report (pdf) says he was found face down, with his hands under him. He was carrying no weapon. He was carrying no drugs. He was carrying the type of junk food typical teenagers carry. In our reversal of races scenario, the story then is that a lanky white teen was walking in a strange neighborhood, snacking on junk food, talking to a friend on his cell phone, when a large black man stepped out of an SUV, started following him, frightened him, and shot him dead. Imagine the reaction.

Now suppose we find out that the teen's killer had a history of race-based paranoia. Suppose we find out that the teen's killer's neighbors had complained of his aggressive behavior. Suppose we find out that the teen's killer had once been arrested for "resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer." Suppose we find out that the teen's killer that night had ignored a police dispatcher who had told him to stop following the teen. And suppose that after all that, the much larger black man who had stepped out of an SUV, pulled up a hoodie, and started following the white teen had ended up shooting the white teen dead. What would have been the official response? What would have been the right-wing reaction?

Would a police officer have tried to coach a witness to change her story? Would the local state attorney and police chief have overruled even the lead homicide investigator, who recommended that the killer be charged with manslaughter? Would the police have neglected even to give the killer a routine drug and alcohol test? Would the police have neglected to contact whomever the kid was talking to on the phone just moments before he was shot, ignored the witnesses who contradicted the killer's story, and later reported that the killer had been bloodied in a confrontation with the dead teen, even though the real time reports suggested no such thing, and even though the police surveillance video shows the killer had no discernible wounds or discomfort, and even though the funeral director who prepared the dead teen's body for burial says there was no evidence he had been in a fight?

If Trayvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman black, this would not have become a national story. If they had reported it at all, the right-wing media would have praised Martin for trying to stand his ground before a dangerous violent thug. It defies credulity to think they would be dismissing the killer's behavior, making despicable excuses such as blaming the kid's clothing, or if— unthinkable in this reversing-the-races scenario—there had been no criminal charges filed against the killer, dismissing the story altogether. The questions here don't even need answers. The questions answer themselves.

Had Trayvon Martin been white and George Zimmerman black, Zimmerman would be headed for death row. Right-wing media would be hailing Martin as a hero. A martyr who had stood his ground against a dangerous predator. They would be saying that it's too bad Martin hadn't somehow fought back against Zimmerman, and that if he had somehow succeeded in fighting a man so much larger than him, it would have been justifiable if he had left Zimmerman dead.

There is no polite way to explain what has happened. There is no polite way to explain the reflexive defensive rationalizations by the right-wing media and their right-wing fans. This was a racist killing with a racist cover-up and the right wing's reaction has been virulently and viciously racist. To understand the depth of the right wing's racist depravity, all it takes is to consider the very different reaction to this horror had the races of the victim and his killer been reversed.

Welcome to post-racial America.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, Discussing Race At Daily Kos, and Daily Kos Classics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd rec this a thousand times if I could. (121+ / 0-)

    This is how it is in America.

  •  Recced (17+ / 0-)

    I also think Z might be being used (perhaps unknowingly) as a legal test case by the right-wing and NRA, to validate the "stand your ground" law.

    Probably a tinfoil conspiracy theory, but that might explain why so many people are standing up for him...

  •  I'm confused... (13+ / 0-)

    Zimmerman (the real one, not the one in the hypothetical) was wearing a hoodie too?

  •  The entire premise is so on point. To quote (29+ / 0-)

    Clay Davis of The Wire

    if Trayvon Martin was WHITE and Zimmerman was BLACK?

    shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

    •  My 84 year old mother, who is Republican (32+ / 0-)

      lifelong and "traditional" about racial relations, said to me yesterday:  "you KNOW that if the shooter were black and the victim white, he would be in jail now."  NOT what I was expecting from her, but she has been evolving hard the last several years.  And now I think she sees truth and fairness in a whole different way than she used to.  

      What a relief and a joy for me.  We can really communicate now.  Didn't use to be able to.  Also, the right is losing a WHOLE LOT of traditional Republicans like my mom.  She'll vote for Romney because he is slightly sane and she has 3 Mormon grandsons.  If Santorum wins the nomination, she either sits out or votes for Obama.  

      "The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention." Molly Ivins

      by janmtairy on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:44:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Failure To Drug Test GZ Is Incomprehensible (23+ / 0-)

        Your mom is an very perceptive person and proof that we don't park our morality as seniors.

        Incomprehensible also is the failure to arrest GZ. I can't believe he's going to walk away as a murderer.

        Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

        by TerryDarc on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:52:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he is not going to a) walk away unarrested. (10+ / 0-)

          or 2) walk away with an acquital.

          this is from an npr piece on the new special prosecutor, angela corey, now investigating the case.  my sense in reading some other pieces, she is working with chris serino, the original good guy in this story and two police assts, one of which i suspect is ayala, another good guy.  here is what is said about corey:

          "Beverly McClain runs the organization Families of Slain Children in Jacksonville. In the yard next to the group's tiny headquarters, three memorials list the names of hundreds of murder victims. McClain's son, Andre Johnson, is one of them.

          McClain says Corey is compassionate. She says she's watched Corey help relatives of murder victims get through trying legal proceedings.

          "Different families have to go down into that court system," McClain says. "And she comes in the courtroom and sits with you, [hugs] you. That lady cares, and I don't believe it's phony. I know it's real."

          Corey, a Jacksonville native, is an experienced homicide investigator. She's worked as a prosecutor for 30 years and has a reputation for being tough.

          University of North Florida criminologist Michael Hallett says his research shows Corey has been much more aggressive about filing charges than her predecessor.

          "If the facts of the case warrant the filing of a charge, she's going to file it," he says, "and she's tending to prosecute every individual potential charge to the hilt."

          http://www.wbur.org/...

          TO. THE. HILT.

          "I've stood over too many dead, young black children with tears in my eyes ... wondering why the senseless violence," Corey said. "We focus on our victims."

          Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson.

          by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:12:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  as my mother got older, the same thing (6+ / 0-)

        happened to me.  my mom was very liberal politically but extremely conservative personally.  we had to hide our affiars from her, but not our radical politics.  a unique situation in my experience.

        but when she got into her 70 and 80s she was something else, it was like all that was binding her all those years just dropped away.  we could communicate more wholly and fully.  age had moved her into a different vantage point, a different prspective.

        Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson.

        by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:03:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  All due respect to your mother (0+ / 0-)

        but the civil rights movement with the deaths of the 3 civil rights workers and King's Assassination wasn't enough to get her to evolve?

        "Sisters, brothers and the whities, Blacks and the crackers, Police and their backers, They're all political actors"--Curtis Mayfield

        by Cynic in seattle on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:04:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've Written About My Grandpa (6+ / 0-)

        here from time to time; he's 83 and also a long-time Republican. He was raised in a rural, racist household. However, after going to school and then going to war he came to realize he didn't want to be a racist. He went on to live his life and teach his kids to despise racism, in theory and practice; as a Republican cog in the corporate Midwest machine in the '50s and '60s I might add. It's always impressed me.

        Lately I've been less impressed, however. He has fallen seemingly whole-hog for teh Faux News. He has danced to the dogwhistle of hatred for President Obama, all the while of course touting his own very real civil rights accolades. It's been quite unpleasant and disappointing.

        This situation in Sanford, FL has him in knots, though, a roller-coaster whose end frankly doesn't look good for those who would defend George Zimmerman. I wasn't with him when he first learned of this, but I heard about it. His gut reaction upon hearing about it had him furious, like raving and pulling on his hair. He is the type of man, in spite of and perhaps in some degree because of his past struggles with racist thinking, for whom hearing about a senseless tragedy like this one will facilitate blistering anger. The loud kind. If you will, the winger kind, but in this case pointed in the right direction.

        Then Rivera steps in, and O'Reilly, and the Sanford PD, and all the others who have been blowing 'till their red-faced on that dogwhistle, trying for some reason to bail out the hulled and sinking ship that is George Zimmerman.

        It didn't take much to cool off the righteous rage and bring down the blinders of falsely placed skepticism. He right now doesn't really know what to believe, but he is definetely up in the air about GZ's guilt and TM's innocence, even though he wants GZ arrested as a matter of course. He has accepted the "reverse racism" canard, but from what he's told me he is not ready to believe it.

        From an e-mail this afternoon

        I'm not sure **, this whole thing just seems fishy to me. Everyone seems to be overreacting, from the right and the left, even me. I think the facts are going to be known, and I think Zimmerman should have been arrested and should be arrested right now. A kid is dead; and whatever the left may say, he could've been mine.
        I haven't responded yet, but I forgive him that last in light of one thing. Once the truth does come out there will be hell-to-pay. They thought he was angry before, when he thought this tragedy's perpetrators were confined to at most a few dozen individuals. When he finds out the whole truth, and I have high hopes and little doubt that he will, that he was so wantonly and roundly deceived about something that touches him so near, by some of those for whom he thought he had trust, well, the racist fuckers at the GOP better batten down your hatches because at least one old-school fightin' mad Marine is going to be all over your ass like stink on shit.

        Hoorah

        "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

        by Hammerhand on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:22:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Go Grandpa! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hammerhand, ladyjames, Matt Z

          When someone like your Grandpa - or my mom - realizes they have been deceived, well, exactly, there will be hell-to-pay

          "The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention." Molly Ivins

          by janmtairy on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:31:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I read your description of your grand-dad.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, Hammerhand, janmtairy

          and I see Clint Eastwood in "Grand Torino" - a gruff but honest old guy who has seen some of the worst the world has to offer, and isn't about to put up with any more of this s**t from some asshole who would piss his pants if any of it was visited on him. To put it simply, it's courage - the old-school, bet your life (literally) on it kind. My respect and admiration to both of you.

          Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

          by OrdinaryIowan on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 09:43:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's great (6+ / 0-)

        when my mom was in her 80s she said two things I never thought I'd hear from her:  She said she was in favor of same sex marriage because there is not enough love in the world and it was sinful to deny love, and (the biggie) she thought the Pope was wrong sometimes.

  •  To kill a mockingbird (30+ / 0-)

    and don't forget, the stalker had also been fired from a security guard job for excessive aggressiveness

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:09:52 PM PDT

  •  Great diary, but it is not just race (4+ / 0-)

    Yes, race plays a large part of the story but there is also a discrimination against young men.   Thought experiment.   Complete the sentence:  "a bunch of teenage guys had a party and..." vs "a bunch of teen girls had a party and..."

    Had Trayvon been a little younger, quite a bit older, or a different sex the story would have a different outcome.   "Young black male" = "bad guy" of course, but "Young Hispanic male"  is just as "scary" and even a white teenage guy on his own at dusk is a bit questionable.

    This is very sad because it is the young who hold the future of our country in their hands.   It seems to be relatively unique to our country that we fear them.

    •  I don't know (14+ / 0-)

      I think Zimmerman would have reacted the same way he did with a black teenager all the way through a 60 year-old black man.  He was there perusing the neighborhood looking for trouble WITH A GUN.  I mean lets get serious.  

      Only horses should wear blinders.

      by independantman on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:26:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was talking about the prosecution (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that Zimmerman would have shot any black person, male or female.   He is a sick individual and he was in "chase" mode.    The more important issue (to me) is how the system handled this tragedy.    

        There will always be racists, anti-Semites, anti-Muslims, mysognists and whatever.   The two big issues are a) should we let such people be armed and b) what do we do when they unleash their hate?  

        It is not really an indictment of our society that Zimmerman killed (except that it is a society that is awash in guns), it is what happened after that is the indictment.

        •  Not sure he'd have shot a woman... (0+ / 0-)

          For one thing he'd have no ability to argue that he was threatened to the point of needing a gun in that case.  Frankly, it's pretty unbelievable with a youth weighing so much less than him as it is.  

    •  Gender (4+ / 0-)

      Of course race matters in this case, but so do age and gender. You're right that it's not JUST about race and also about gender. The fear of young men, particularly anyone seen as "other" for any reason, is something we really do have to cope with as well.

    •  nope (12+ / 0-)

      that's categorically NOT true...as the mother of a 15 year old white boy who's tall and lanky and wears hoodies and eats junk food, this kid does NOT draw the attention of adults, police, assistant principals or neighborhood watch volunteers.

      Just doesn't happen.  

      I don't have to deal with the worries that my friends who are the mothers of dark-skinned boys do.  And both they and I know that whenever we speak about our sons.  I can try an empathize, but they know (and they know that I know, too) that it simply isn't the same.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:46:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames

        as a long-haired white teenage male growing up in the 60s and 70s, I can assure you that I drew the unfavorable attention of adults, police, etc. many times. Being a teenage boy of any color is automatic basis for suspicion. It was back when I was a teenage and it is still so today. Your son (and you, by proxy) have just been very lucky so far to live in such a cocoon.

        Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

        by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:06:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that it's harder being a young black... (0+ / 0-)

          male than a young white male, BUT I also think that it's harder for young males in general.  I'm an older, disabled white female and personally even living in Detroit I didn't feel this way about young males of any color.  I also know that the females can be just as bad as the males, BUT don't face the prejudice that the males do.

          •  I grew up in Detroit. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladyjames

            Live in Arizona now. Detroit cops in the 60s and 70s were tough on young people of all colors and both sexes, but particularly young males and most especially young black males. There was a unit they called "The Big 4", which was composed of cops at least 6 foot 2 and 225 pounds. They'd ride around together in a cruiser and if they spotted a young black man "acting suspicious", they'd pull up, jump out, and beat the crap out of him.

            Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

            by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:57:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I lived in Detroit during the riots..... (0+ / 0-)

              It was horrible to hear our warehouse guys call in with guns going off in the background.  I grew up in the "lily white" suburbs.  My parents were both racists.  There was "Starsky and Hutch" in the last neighborhood I lived in before moving to Florida, they seemed to "hate all the young males in the hood".

            •  And do the cops in Arizona (0+ / 0-)

              today do the same thing that those cops in Detroit during an extended period of youth rebellions do now???

              Or have policing and authority figure behaviors changed somewhat?

              I'm telling you that today in 2012, the kind of "hassles" my son complains about vis-a-vis authority figures of any kind don't even register as an issue compared to those kinds of issues that my colleagues who are mothers of young black men describe.  They have issues with teachers, principals, guidance counselors, store clerks, in so many dimensions of their daily lives that I know my own son is completely oblivious to, mostly because he can be: it just never happens to him. He's an affluent, attractive white boy living in an affluent, attractive suburb.

              He's literally golden (and so are his friends).  

              Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

              by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:39:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The magic word: affluent. (0+ / 0-)

                Cops still treat poor people of any color pretty much the same way they always have.

                Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

                by edg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:45:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Not where we live (0+ / 0-)

          White teen-aged boys who fit the neighborhood profile are never disturbed.

          The Girls get harassed all the time, however.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:30:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  and that was 30-40 years ago (0+ / 0-)

          when the cultural context was quite different.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:31:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yes, thanks for that comment /nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  No. This is so not true. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sallystrutt, BYw, jayden, aitchdee, Matt Z

      Martin as any age would have been Zimmerman's target because he already thought of black men as criminals in general.

      It's all about race.  All day long.

      "No, I'm being judged against the ideal. Joe Biden has a saying: 'Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative." --President Barack Obama, 12/11/11

      by smoothnmellow on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:05:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Black George Zimmerman would have been (28+ / 0-)

    beaten within an inch of his life by the cops. Oh, I mean, he'd have some bruises because, you know, sometimes suspects trip going into the precinct for booking.

    Actually, I wonder if he'd even be alive or if the cops would have simply shot this armed black man straight out.  

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:11:13 PM PDT

  •  The only good thing.... (22+ / 0-)

    ...is that many decent, regular folks end up being repulsed by the right wing racist media.

    I would like to think that this is happening, at least somewhat. I think it is.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:14:04 PM PDT

    •  You Mean? (7+ / 0-)

      We haven't had ENOUGH fucking reasons so far?!!? Anybody not repulsed before the Martin murder is beyond my understanding.

      Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

      by TerryDarc on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:54:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would Romney's son have been kicked out of school (15+ / 0-)

    for using pot?   I think we know the answer.   This is the other part of the racist/sexist/ageist thing.    Why the heck do we kick at risk kids OUT of school?   It makes absolutely no sense to me.    "Zero tolerance" means that the "in" kids face no punishment (it might hurt their chances at the Ivy League) and the "out" kids are OUT.

  •  And don't forget the teabaggers' reaction (28+ / 0-)

    to a white president having said that the victim would have looked like a son if he had had one. Instead of claiming that he was "divisive" the teabaggers would instead be calling him "compassionate" or "uniting."

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:17:55 PM PDT

  •  The apologists protecting thier right to kill (8+ / 0-)

    Proud Slut...Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:18:25 PM PDT

  •  The presumption of guilt and race would (16+ / 0-)

    have been reversed. That is one of the most insidious effects of racism.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:18:43 PM PDT

  •  Stand your ground laws do not include paranoid (15+ / 0-)

    stalkers of any race under their umbrella.  Trayvon was standing his ground while both trying to get home and protect his family from a clearly deranged man.  It is too bad the black hat won.  I want to hear from the initial detective who was overruled by the prosecutor.  Strings were being pulled in the background almost imediately due to his judge father or lose connection to the police.  No excuse for listing the kid as a John Doe for 3 days when they had a cell phone as evidence.  Helen Keller could see through the shabby treatment the victim and his family are getting from the police. Truth, Justice and the American Way are abstractions to be identified through reason not selfserving positions to hold irrationally.

    Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends.

    by J Edward on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:20:19 PM PDT

    •  Mixed stories about John Doe. (0+ / 0-)

      You quote the 3 day John Doe story, which I have also heard elsewhere, but I just read a summary today that said Trayvon's father called the police and found out he was dead about 12 hours after the shooting. Also, the police reports, completed about 2:30 am to 3:00 am that night, had Trayvon's name on them.

      Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

      by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:11:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It had Trayvon's name on it (0+ / 0-)

        Because it was changed at a later time. And that includes
        Ofc. Smith's narrative
         

        •  That diary has serious flaws. (0+ / 0-)

          The faxed report is actually 2 reports, one 3 pages long and the other 4 pages long. The 4 page report is available on the Sanford PD website and is the same report as in the fax. Sanford PD uses a computer-based incident reporting system which automatically enters a date/time when the officer initiates the report. For Smith, it was 2/27 at 3:29 am. While a serious hacker could conceivably alter the database, there is no sense making up conspiracy theories about this shooting. The case stinks enough without embellishment.

          Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

          by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:10:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the faxed report is actually (0+ / 0-)

            1 page of 1 report and 3 pages of another report the other 4 pages aren not part of the fax.

            I have no idea what kind of computer-based incident reporting system the Sanford PD uses, and neither do you unless you work for the Sanford PD. And I am just observing what is there. One hardcopy of a report printed on 2/28 without Smith's narrative and one hardcopy of a report printed on 3/6 with his narrative.

  •  And yet (13+ / 0-)

    the racist nutters would deny this truth with their last breath...

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:21:48 PM PDT

  •  35 days without an arrest... (17+ / 0-)

    35 freakin' days and counting sums it all up pretty well.  Excellent diary Laurence, thanks.

    “For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.” President Obama 1/24/12

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:22:41 PM PDT

  •  Imagine indeed. This gives me an idea. (12+ / 0-)

    Maybe I'll produce just this short film.

    I think most people don't even realize their unconscious biases. Maybe producing it on film will allow people to discover their own prejudices.

  •  The role reversal I have considered (23+ / 0-)

    is if the people had been the same, but what if Trayvon had been armed.  What if he had been walking home minding his own business, legally carrying a weapon.  Then he noticed a man watching him from a SUV.  The watcher get out of his vehicle, so Trayvon runs home to avoid confrontation.  Zimmerman still chases him down. Trayvon, fearful for his life pulls out the gun and kills his pursuer.  

    Does anyone believe that when the police arrived, and found a black teenager with a gun, and a dead white man, that Trayvon would not have been arrested.  Would he have  been given the same consideration, that Zimmerman has been given.

    I have a hard time believing it.

  •  You don't have to play (14+ / 0-)

    The race-reversed scenario already occured in the same town a couple years ago.  There was an arrest, the trail is ongoing. http://www.dailykos.com/...

    •  Sauce for the goose is sauce for --- nevermind. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, arizonablue, Matt Z

      This is a brilliant and radical Tenth Amendment/states' rights issue that ALEC and the NRA have thrown at our judicial system -- make no mistake why this law was crafted and is being promoted by a lobbying org that represents the world's most powerful monopolies.

      The "collateral damage" is entirely secondary to these powermongers. They do not give a shit who gets hurt as long as a conservative SCOTUS gets its biggest chance since Reconstruction to blunt federal powers at the state level. These are arguably some of the most vile people on Earth right now.

      Quoting at length from a comment I made in another diary:

      I'm also beginning to believe everyone with a data phone should be ready to livestream at a second's notice: the truth gets out and away before it can be destroyed by police, vigilantes, etc.

      As it now stands in Florida, this is the only prayer of obtaining posthumous justice if you are caught out in the world, without witnesses at a safe distance, when confronted by someone bent on abusing the Stand Your Ground law. If you're alone, they at least have to plant halfassed evidence that you were a threat to them; if there are more than 1 of you, they don't even have to go that far -- they can kill all of you and say you were threatening to gang up on them.

      It occurred to me today that as it stands right now, anyone who witnessed any aspect of Trayvon Martin's killing, but whose account has not been captured in detail by the police, is at some risk of being killed by RW vigilantes wishing to maximize Zimmerman's chances in court. All someone has to do is stuff a piece of pipe under his clothes, wait until you are home alone, knock on your door, shoot you, then squeeze your hand around the pipe to transfer fingerprints. They call the cops and say, OMG, I was looking for a friend's house/apartment, knocked on this door, and the resident attacked me!

      The new "Rules" for Florida and other states with the same SYG law:
      Get a data phone, find a livestream app, and set it up to stream somewhere semi-permanent (I have no idea how this works). Make sure your friends know about it in case you go missing or succumb to foul play.

      Don't travel where you don't have signal and can't livestream.

      Don't travel in groups -- too easy for a vigilante/hunter to justify killing all of you (they were ganging up on me!)

      Don't travel in isolated places, where no witnesses can hear you scream and perhaps peer out a window.

      WE MUST BE ARGUS. Right now we have all eyes on the prosecution of Zimmerman while ALEC pushes full speed ahead to institute this law in other states. If this law withstands challenge in the Supreme Court, it will open the door to the nullification of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments just for starts -- we're talking establishment of religion, due process rights, and civil rights, not to mention federal control over business practices, pollution, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. This is massive.
      •  Unfortunately that might not help. The next (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        Zimmerman will probably have a portable cell phone jammer on him and turn it on before the stalking and murder.  Especially if the next Zimmerman is actually a serial killer taking advantage of the Florida law by following someone into a dark alley with no witnesses, killing them, and then throwing down a knife next to the victim to make it all look legit.  After all, how can the police prove that the perp is actually a serial killer and not someone who has just been unlucky enough to be attacked over a dozen times while walking down a dark alley (which is perfectly legal to do, though not advisable)?

        There is no saving throw against stupid.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:40:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  excellent essay. (14+ / 0-)

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:24:21 PM PDT

  •  It probably wouldn't be headline news. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Khun David, Marie, eXtina, raincrow, Matt Z

    A black adult shoots and kills an unarmed white youth and the black adult is ARRESTED (operative word).
    BTW, Is there evidence that Trayvon Martin confronted George Zimmerman?

    Finally, he decides to confront the guy. Even though he is nervous, he probably can't imagine that simply walking in a strange neighborhood would lead to someone shooting him dead. He's standing up for himself, but the thought of violence, the thought of gunfire, doesn't even enter his head. But when he confronts the big guy who had been following him, and asks why he has been following him, the big guy pulls a gun.

    Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

    •  We don't know (0+ / 0-)

      ...if Martin confronted Zimmerman, but it's a reasonable inference. If Martin were a brave enough kid (and I don't doubt he was), he might have turned to ask this asshole why he was chasing him around.

      And I don't know this either, but I believe from all the descriptions of him that Trayvon Martin was a good and decent person who - as the diarist supposes - wouldn't think he'd be gunned down in cold blood by someone who has never met him. Martin seems to have been the kind of person who would have believed in the essential goodness of his fellow human being.

      To me, that makes this all the more terrible and enraging.

      The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

      by lotusmaglite on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:40:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the issue of Martin confronting Zimmerman, (0+ / 0-)

        or not, goes to the issue of self defense that Zimmerman seems to be claiming under FL's SYG. That's why I think it's important to know if this is factual.  Although I've read that SYG self defense could exist soley if a physical struggle ensued, I don't know how that, along with a non-confrontational Martin, would play to a jury.

        Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

        by ChiTownDenny on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:56:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It might (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          ...effect the trial, I agree.

          This is such an emotional case that it's hard to see anything other than cold-blooded murder, and everything else is of peripheral significance.

          Thinking on it, I guess I would argue that even if a physical altercation took place, it would be more Martin Standing His Ground than Zimmerman. I don't know how a jury would swallow that, either.

          The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

          by lotusmaglite on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:12:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  for the record (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soros, Marie, rcnewton

    Zimmerman is Hispanic ... but don't let that stop your racial story.

  •  When people say, "It's not about race" (4+ / 0-)

    . . .what they really mean is we're not allowed to talk about race.

    The people who want to shut down that conversation are very persistent, so it never gets to just happen. They shut it down by telling us racial profiling is natural, necessary, efficient, crucial. They shut it down by citing statistics or catch phrases. They don't aim to ADD to that discussion (and what bothers me most is how much they pretend they do) -- they want to keep it from happening.

    That's the problem with painting a scenario like this and getting a sincere response as to what would happen (not here where people are willing to have that discussion, more often than in other places). The people who want that conversation shut down and the people they've trained not to talk about it are so well indoctrinated with that notion that they cannot sincerely process scenarios like this.

    I think there are a lot of other elements to this case -- the bad gun laws, the status corruption (Zimmerman being a judge's son) -- as well, but the idea that anyone can look at it and not see a racial component is bizarre to me. Until I remember the training. This is especially true in the South -- it's some sort of coping mechanism. And it isn't working out.

    •  When I say it's not about race (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev

      I'm saying it's about this kid, this individual, his family, and what it means to them.  

      I could care less about what it means to left and right wing, bloggers, news show hosts, radio hosts, or other idiots that have chosen this case as the political football of the moment.

      Last month it was Sandra Fluke now it's Trayvon Martin.  Who is going to be the lucky person that gets to have their life picked apart by people who's attention span lasts as long as it makes for good political theater.  

      Ya don't need Trayvon Martin to talk about race...at least I don't.

      Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

      by mim5677 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:38:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been reading too many FreeRepublic comments (8+ / 0-)

    But I still don't understand their argument.

    They say this wasn't racially driven, and Trayvon Martin got what he deserved.  How do they know he deserved to be shot down and killed?  Because based on almost no evidence and no direct knowledge, they conclude that he was the epitome of the worst racial stereotypes they can think of.

    But if I point this little inconsistency out to them, I'm just being a racist, of course.

  •  if i had been the kid killed by a black man (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, raincrow, ladyjames, Matt Z

    my older brothers would have killed him if he hadn't been arrested and probably given slaps on the hand by a jury

    post racial america?  no.  not unless we accept that up is down and black is white.

    i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

    by Anton Bursch on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:30:49 PM PDT

  •  If George Zimmerman was black... (8+ / 0-)

    this wouldn't even be a story.

    Children have imaginary friends, adults have god.

    by soros on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:32:16 PM PDT

    •  correct.... (0+ / 0-)

      And he'd have been in custody from day one (or out on very high bail) looking at several very serious charges.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:08:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Z were black and he shot a white teenager (10+ / 0-)

    inside a gated community he would have been  immediately arrested with no bail, or an extremely high bail containing a lot of zeroes.  

    Unfortunately there are different sets of laws in this country depending upon color and wealth.  There is nothing consistent or uniform in the way our laws are applied.  

    My step daughter has a black husband and he just flat out refuses to drive through certain areas because he has been stopped so many times driving while black with a white women---and yes, they do live in California where one would assume some degree of progressive attitude.  In certain cities/neighborhoods the police always, always find an excuse to pull him over.  He is well mannered, well dressed, polite, courteous and has never been arrested.........he just puts up with the BS when he is stopped and moves on.  Racism is alive and well in our country.  

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:33:24 PM PDT

    •  My sister and her husband had the same problem (6+ / 0-)

      Well-dressed black man driving with a white woman in a sporty car in their upper-middle-class neighborhood in metro D.C.

      My sister would get out of the car and, at the top of her lungs, demand the cop's badge number, and tell him he'd better arrest them or "get back in [his] fucking car." My BIL would close his eyes hopelessly and mutter, "You are going to get me shot you are going to get me shot get back in the car you are going to get me shot..."

      The cops got back in their car every single time.

      •  Your sister and my step daughter are very (7+ / 0-)

        similar; while she doesn't get out of the  car she apparently gives the cops a going over when they pop up next to the window with their ridiculous stories of why they were pulled over.  

        Fortunately no one has been shot or arrested (yet) but when the cops back down like this one knows they are doing something untoward.  

        It's just hard to believe this stuff still happens, but it does---frequently.

        "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

        by sfcouple on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:13:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Baby sister worked for a construction company (5+ / 0-)

          owned by a black man and staffed by almost all black employees. They built commercial and residential buildings throughout metro D.C. and made a handsome enough living at it. On Friday afternoons, they would repair to various local adult beverage establishments along with all the lawyers, lobbyists, and other D.C. professionals.

          Not infrequently, after a few belts, some expensively groomed white guy in a Brooks Brothers suit would cock his head sideways, look their way, and smirk something to his compadres making sure it contained a very audible n-word. Everyone at my sister's table would try to lasso her, but it was no use. She would sashay slowly up to the offender, smile sweetly, and say, "I believe I heard you use a word that insulted my friends." The drunk would of course repeat himself, leering at her. BOOM! over would go the table, food, drinks, and all; or she would snatch up the table's beer pitcher and pour it over an expensive haircut, suit, and shoes. She knew exquisitely how to exercise her version of white (young, gorgeous, voluptuous, expensive-dressing, big-tipping) privilege, and took no prisoners.

          •  Yup, your sister and my step daughter are cut from (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, ladyjames, Matt Z, Tobimaro

            the same cloth....with similar experiences and that "Jack Nicholson don't give a shit attitude."  

            I've never been to DC, gotta go someday.  

            "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

            by sfcouple on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:39:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Rightwinger resentment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Tobimaro

    A certain segment of white conservatives likes to dwell on the scenario of race reversal in the Trayvon Martin murder.  They feel a sense of resentment and injustice because they instinctively find their way to the conclusion that a hypothetical white teen who is murdered wouldn't receive the attention that the public devotes to Trayvon.  I say instinctively because I can't see that there is a functioning intellect involved in their sense of unfairness.  There's no advantage to having all that public attention when the cost is a life.  

    They don't stop to think about anything more than the skin color of the people involved.  There's more to it than the race of the murderer and the race of the his victim.  What about how the police handle the murder?  Trayvon Martin is dead and there has been no crime reported in connection with the incident.  It's hard to imagine that the same could be true if the races were reversed.  

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:34:02 PM PDT

  •  This: (4+ / 0-)
    If Trayvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman black, this would not have become a national story.
    I disagree. I think it would have been blown up into a national story by the right. Big time. And I think it a credit to the family, the friends, the good and decent people who amplified this story, and the powerful tool that is the internet that it became a national story as it is.

    Otherwise, I believe it would have been forgotten with sickening alacrity.

    The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

    by lotusmaglite on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:34:34 PM PDT

  •  Hate to say it...but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soros, SuetheRedWA, Matt Z, Tobimaro

    If this kid had been white we would have NEVER heard about this case.

  •  There is no scenario (8+ / 0-)

    where Zimmerman is innocent. You have enter wingnut alternate reality to proclaim this self defense. In most crime situations I tend to wait for the jury to see all the evidence before I proclaim to know the outcome. This is different. An unarmed teenager in his own neighborhood minding his own business? How the hell do you end up killing this kid? It just defies reality.

  •  Has there ever been a case (0+ / 0-)

    where a black male has murdered a white kid and not even gotten arrested, let alone charged? Even one?

  •  Don't forget.. 'we need to arm all teenagers' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debs2, Marie, jethrock

    The right-wing view would have to include a call to have more guns.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:52:48 PM PDT

    •  You're right, wayward son. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, ladyjames, MeToo, Wayward Son, Matt Z

      And I hate that you are!  A neighbor of ours is a hard-core
      Bible-beating ex-cop who loves to talk about guns and
      find everyday scenarios where he can whip one out.
      When the neighbor's son was out in her driveway
      yelling at his girlfriend, here comes Gun Nut over to my
      house AFTER calling the cops (for back up, I presume)
      to gloat about how he had his weapon right there and
      was not in the least afraid to use it.  Um....and your
      right to use deadly force in someone else's altercation
      is.....?  No violence was happening.  It was a teenage
      argument.  This lover of Jesus saw no irony in his own
      actions.  I remain deeply appalled.  This worship of
      firearms is so degrading to our species.  Adding the
      racial component of Trayvon is beyond horrible.  We all
      have to stand up and say NO MORE to this diseased
      mind-set.  Racism must die, and it won't be with a gun.

      •  But you're only respected with your guns... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MeToo, Wayward Son

        if you also just so happen to be white.

        Imagine if someone running for congress made an ad shooting their beloved semi-automatic rifle and that person just so happened to be a dark skinned Muslim.

        Yet it's ok when you're white.

        Which is the point Laurence Lewis was making.

        "Converts are the worst bigots." -- Max Headroom

        by jethrock on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, if you actually look like the historical Jesus (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jethrock

          you can't have a gun... not that HE would ever want a gun... But that is beyond winger logic.

          The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

          by MeToo on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 09:26:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The party of Lincoln (0+ / 0-)

    Well written and received.
    This is a human tragedy no matter what race the participants are. Our legal and law enforcement systems have failed to seek even basic justice for the victim. Laws written by seriously dangerous right-wing-nuts are vague and unnecessary; and the police were clearly derelict in their duties, not bothering to follow the basic procedures of a homicide case. The people who don't like black people, especially teenagers in hoodies, have defended the shooter because he is white. They don't care about the black victim because he is black. Any rational human would hear those screams for help on the 911 tapes and realize Mr. Zimmerman should have been thoroughly investigated and charged with manslaughter, at a minimum. This country has so many complex problems to solve, now the ugly specter of right wing racism rears it's ugly head. I truly fear for our future if so many citizens can not understand the injustice that has been done, by so many involved directly or indirectly.

  •  Arrow. Zing. Bullseye. Thanks, Laurence. n/t (15+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:56:02 PM PDT

  •  The fact that they (5+ / 0-)

    are even trying to defend Zimmerman is racist on its face; why is it so important to them that Zimmerman is an innocent victim?  It's important because the real facts in this case betray the right-wing claim that racism no longer exists.  

    I find it absolutely sickening that anyone can think Zimmerman was justified.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:59:57 PM PDT

    •  Not necessarily racist. (0+ / 0-)

      It's more a knee-jerk gun-lover reaction. Zimmerman was (sadly) legally licensed to carry a gun. He is (probably falsely) claiming self-defense. It's a right-wing "Dirty Harry" wet dream: Brave, noble gun-owner defends himself against a violent attacker.

      Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

      by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:43:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Totally disagree - (0+ / 0-)

        You missed the whole point of the diary - what if their race had been reversed?  Do you honestly think that all the gun-toting, NRA faithfuls would be out there defending a black man's right to shoot a defenseless white kid simply because he "felt threatened"??

        No - the meme would be different - it would be that the white kid should have been armed to be able to defend himself against the crazy black predator.

        And what the hell?

        He is (probably falsely) claiming self-defense
        Probably falsely?  I really don't like where your comment is going...  You sound a little too much like a Zimmerman apologist....  This is racism, pure and simple.  On its face.  The time is now to stop making excuses.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:25:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Watch your mouth. (0+ / 0-)

          Being a punk is unbecoming. I am no Zimmerman apologist. And I have first-hand knowledge of the diary's subject: my white brother was shot to death in 1972 by a black man who got off. So don't be lecturing me, jerk.

          Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

          by edg on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 12:39:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sorry about your brother, but that doesn't give you the right to be a jackass.

            You missed the whole point of the diary - it was a racist shooting, and the response is racist as well.  You know damn well if the races were reversed we wouldn't be having this conversation.  And, I have had this same argument with actual Zimmerman apologists, so yes, you do sound like one.

            Instead of attacking me and calling me names, why don't you actually defend your position?  As tragic as your history is, it doesn't give you carte blanche to say what you like without explaining yourself.  In fact, I might be more inclined to think that it clouds your judgment more than justifies it.

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:32:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't know what your problem is. (0+ / 0-)

              I believe Zimmerman murdered Trayvon. I don't believe it was self-defense. I believe Zimmerman is racist and acted upon that racism. Why are you attacking me?

              Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

              by edg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:41:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not attacking you (0+ / 0-)

                Your first comment didn't sound anything like your last comment; I was only responding to what you wrote. Telling me to "watch my mouth", calling me a punk and various other insults wasn't very cool.

                Explaining your position instead of insulting me would have avoided this whole thing. Sorry it turned wrong.

                "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                by La Gitane on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:29:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  You know, I used to occasionally browse (4+ / 0-)

    right-wing websites. Like World Net Daily, Red State, Big Journalism, and the newer Glenn Beck site The Blaze.

    I've stopped. I decided I personally don't want to increase their traffic and contribute to their ad revenue.

    However, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has been calling out the right on their racism for awhile now. And he's been documenting a ton of it.

    So if you want to peer into the thinking of the right-wing base without having to enter those cesspools yourself, check out LittleGreenFootballs.com.

    "Converts are the worst bigots." -- Max Headroom

    by jethrock on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:02:22 PM PDT

    •  p.s. I meant to add that regarding the Trayvon (0+ / 0-)

      case, Johnson has been documenting a lot of that specifically.

      And it apparently wasn't until today that Breitbart.com started to delete a few comments after denying their readers (and writers) were/are flaming racists.  

      "Converts are the worst bigots." -- Max Headroom

      by jethrock on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:14:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For me its the fact that there was not (7+ / 0-)

    one single band-aid to be seen anywhere

    the killer had no discernible wounds
    If he was bust up , there would have been at least one band-aid on his head .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:02:35 PM PDT

  •  thank youl. now I don't have to write this diary. (11+ / 0-)

    i've been working on a diary along these lines for days.

    glad to see this excellent treatment on the front page.

    no one can even IMAGINE that if this happened the other way around a black Zimmerman would still be walking free.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Real journalists know that lies do not bring "balance" to truth! (h/t elwior)

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:03:37 PM PDT

  •  If Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were black (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Marie, Matt Z

    No one would have noticed the whole thing. It happens every day.  It would be a small item in the local paper.  We would not be discussing it here or anywhere else.

    Are black deaths only worthy of notice when they are killed by whites?

  •  Zimmerman's Story Keeps Changing (4+ / 0-)

    Every time new evidence, Zimmerman has to change his story. According to Zimmerman, Martin attacked him and threw him on the ground. Once on the ground, Martin bashed his face on the concrete breaking his nose and leaving his face bloodied. Zimmerman claims he screamed in pain and agony as Martin bashed his face in the concrete. Eventually, Zimmerman was able to get his gun out and shoot him.

    In contrast, Martin's girlfriend claims that Martin was walking away from Zimmerman. For awhile, Martin stopped talking to her, then he heard Martin scream and then the gunshots.

    Video shows that Martin's face had no scars, bruises or blood. Voice recognition technology from two different methodologies show that Zimmerman did not scream. Finally, the Medical examiner said that there was no evidence that Martin punched anyone.

    There is definitely probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. Let's be honest, if Martin was white or Zimmerman black, an arrest would have been made a long time ago.

    •  Also, the police report ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nice Ogre

      says there were grass stains on the back of Zimmerman's jacket. Last I checked, you don't get grass stains from concrete.

      Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

      by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:46:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And we'd then we hear the NRA saying that... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, a2nite, Cassandra Waites, Matt Z

    guns laws are too strict and if everyone were packing somehow Trayvon would have been saved.

  •  The worst take on this so far (0+ / 0-)

    was from Rich Lowry.  It is basically that thousands of black children and teens are shot every day and never get the coverage that this killing has gotten.  He said that unless the killing fits the "agenda" of the left it's just another dead black kid and no big deal.
    "An allegedly racially motivated killing, though, gins up the outrage machine in a way the routine murder of young blacks doesn’t. Cable-TV outlets get to host fiery debates. Chin-stroking commentators get to urge more “dialogue.” Black leaders get to relive the glory of a civil-rights cause that won its major victories decades ago when it took real courage to be on the front lines. And everybody gets to evade the intraracial mayhem that blights the country’s inner cities."
    In other words he's saying most black children are killed by other blacks and we don't give a damn but because Zimmerman is white everyone is piling on to hog the spotlight.  If Lowry had ever decried the mayhem in poorer neighborhoods of any color I wouldn't be so sickened by his self-righteous bile.  And it takes real courage to just walk the streets of some of our cities if you are a person of color; and those streets ARE the front lines.

  •  even without the counterfactual, the tale of the (4+ / 0-)

    tape is clear, the killer ignored a police order and deprived another citizen of his constitutional rights. "Stand your ground" has no relevance especially since he apparently did not identify his CCW status to the 911 operator. The killer chose to create a lethal confrontation with another innocent and unarmed citizen and intended to use deadly force upon exiting his car and stalking the victim. The cover-up makes it clearly racist in the administrative actions of the police, regardless of the ethnicity of the participants and one could even apply that counterfactual in the institutional response of the city contrasted with the response of the police department.

    This was a racist killing with a racist cover-up and the right wing's reaction has been virulently and viciously racist. To understand the depth of the right wing's racist depravity, all it takes is to consider the very different reaction to this horror had the races of the victim and his killer been reversed.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:26:06 PM PDT

    •  What police order was ignored? (0+ / 0-)

      A 911 operator is not a sworn peace officer.

      Too much projection, conjecture and imagination on all sides of this issue.

      A boy is dead. He was shot by Zimmerman. That is pretty much all we know for sure.

      Oh I forgot, Big Media and race hustlers of both sides will spin and spin to push their narrative irrespective of the facts.

      •  Thanks for your concern (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jethrock, basket

        yeah it's a shame that a request by a 911 operator working in an office in a police station doesn't have any authority like in this example...

        One vital piece of evidence were segments of Mr. Horn’s 9-1-1 calls which could have possibly incriminated Mr. Horn or shown his innocence. The most scrutinized segment is presented below:
        Joe Horn: “I’ve got a shotgun; do you want me to stop them?”
        The Pasadena emergency operator responded: “Nope. Don’t do that. Ain’t no property worth shooting somebody over, O.K.?”
        Mr. Horn said: “But hurry up, man. Catch these guys will you? Cause, I ain’t going to let them go.”
        Mr. Horn then said he would get his shotgun.
        The operator said, “No, no.” But Mr. Horn said: “I can’t take a chance of getting killed over this, O.K.? I’m going to shoot.”
        The operator told him not to go out with a gun because officers would be arriving.
        “O.K.,” Mr. Horn said. “But I have a right to protect myself too, sir,” adding, “The laws have been changed in this country since September the first, and you know it.”
        The operator said, “You’re going to get yourself shot.” But Mr. Horn replied, “You want to make a bet? I’m going to kill them.”
        Moments later he said, “Well here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking and I’m going.”
        Then he said: “Move, you’re dead.”
        There were two quick gunshots, then a third.
        “I had no choice,” Mr. Horn said when he got back on the line with the dispatcher. “They came in the front yard with me, man.”
        The 9-1-1 call ended about 80 seconds after the shots were fired, when officers arrived on the scene.

        slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

        by annieli on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:11:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your quoted text has nothing to do with (0+ / 0-)

          the TM/GZ shooting.

          And you know it.

          •  Oh, Gee Whiz, that's why it's called "an example" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            basket
            [Durell] Peaden and [Dennis] Baxley, R-Ocala, say their law is a self-defense act. It says law-abiding people have no duty to retreat from an attacker and can meet "force with force." Nowhere does it say that a person has a right to confront another.
            The 911 tapes strongly suggest Zimmerman overstepped his bounds, they say, when the Sanford neighborhood crime-watch captain said he was following Trayvon and appeared to ignore a police request to stay away.

            "The guy lost his defense right then," said Peaden. “When he said 'I’m following him,' he lost his defense."...

            [Baxley] stressed over and over again that "there’s nothing in this statute that authorizes people to pursue and confront people."

            slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

            by annieli on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:57:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What does this have to with a 911 dispatcher? (0+ / 0-)

              Besides, self-defense can certainly be applicable given the little we know about this case.

              Following someone and asking what they are doing or telling them to get out of here, etc. does not preclude one from a self-defense claim if the person you "confront" responds by attacking you.

              On the other hand, GZ could loose his right to self-defense if he assaulted TM but if TM escalated his response too far GZ would regain the right to self-defense. SELF-DEFENSE LAW IS COMPLICATED

              Those saying self-defense does not apply are making it up. They do not have a full picture of what happened that night. None of us do. Thus, none of us know if GZ's claim of self-defense is supportable.

              •  Reread what annieli is quoting.... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                basket, annieli

                This was an article in a Florida newspaper.  The people saying the GZ lost his right to self-defense by following Trayvon are the AUTHORS of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida.  I gather these laws are written differently in the different states.

  •  Thank you for this superb diary (6+ / 0-)

    Wish I could engage in comments, but can't right now. I've already sent the link for this to friends. Great work, LL.

    My forthcoming book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity will be published in Summer 2012 by Potomac Books.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:31:57 PM PDT

  •  I just fail to see (0+ / 0-)

    How creating a diary which is, on it's face, dependent upon establishing race among the players is not itself racist. Bear with me.

    I am of the opinion that, regardless of the current knowledge by the body public, this case has become one that will be dealt with by the courts. How the case is dealt with by the courts is fair game for our comment. Determining guilt or innocence--of anyone is decisive at best, and completely racially motivated at worst. It does nothing to bring justice by however you may choose to define it to the parties involved.

    I understand the passion of the posters and the diarist, truly I do. What I would personally hope is that the justice system deals with an act, not a piece of legislation. Trayvon Martin is dead. George Zimmerman has admitted to shooting him. There is a period after that. Nothing else follows.

    The questions which remain are those that justice must address, before anything else. It is terribly difficult to believe that there are multiple "types" of justice within our legal system, or that we would score the difference between "Black Justice" and "White Justice", but there is plenty of evidence to that reality which goes back many, many years in our land.

    I would also tell you that I do believe that sometimes, justice does precisely what justice is designed to do. Having a pre-determined outcome is NOT a part of that process, or should not be.

    I do not understand, nor do I accept why it is that an admitted shooter is not in jail. I do not believe it is because of his race or his ethnicity. I do not believe that any person automatically gets a break purely because of their racial identity in the USA of 2012, even as I flinch against my own intellect to say so.

    There is absolutely no doubt that an entire nation will be watching, very closely, as justice and her role in this sad affair are played out. There is little to make me believe that, once done, the result of that justice will satisfy everyone, or even everyone involved. Nevertheless, we are a people who have chosen for ourselves as citizens a democracy in which to live. We are a nation of people, but we are also a nation of Law.

    An act was committed by one person, against another person. That is the focus of justice in this case, before anything else. If the defense of the shooter is the SYG law itself, that may or may not be upheld by the courts. If the SYG laws are so objectionable to the citizens of this land, it is the citizens who must, through their elected representatives, let their will be known. Laws are NOT just for some, while being unjust for others here--or they should not be. The lady we call Justice has a blindfold on for a reason. Our outcries otherwise do not diminish her opportunity, or her obligation to perform her tasks.

    Does racism in America exist in 2012? Of course it does, and it continues to be the most unspeakable shame of our people as a nation. In my view, the justice process could very easily address this issue as well, by determining egregious mitigation upon the guilt of Zimmerman, should he be found guilty of homicide. (I'm hoping!)

    But I am not hoping because of his race, his ethnicity, his social circumstance, his upbringing, or the long-known prejudice many of his ilk have held against many races, blacks included.

    I am hoping because of the act. If we accept his statement, Zimmerman took a life. Because of where that happened, he should be compelled to defend his actions in such a manner that leave no doubt that he had no other alternative, given the proven circumstances in this terrible tragedy.

    If we, as a nation, really and truly wish to eliminate racism in America, it is finally OUR responsibility to remove it from the landscape. That begins with our conversations. That should begin here, with us. Now. Too many are dying to wait.

    "These assholes always get away.".
    ~George Zimmerman~ Economic
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:32:02 PM PDT

    •  could not be more wrong (8+ / 0-)

      ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. instititutional, media, and right wing racism needs to be fully exposed. not doing so ensures it continues.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:51:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just to clarify (0+ / 0-)

        I never have said, did not say here, and will never say that the issue of racism, or its prevalence in the USA is something which should be ignored.  But by what standard are we to address it? By presumption? I don't think anyone reading today would be shocked to discover that there is racism in America. But it is best to deal with it precisely where it exists, not where we may presume it exists. That's what I'm saying.

        "These assholes always get away.".
        ~George Zimmerman~ Economic
        Left/Right: -7.75
        Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

        by Bud Fields on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:39:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't go away if we don't talk about it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, ladyjames, Matt Z
      •  And it doesn't go away if we talk about it (0+ / 0-)

        inappropriately, either. In fact, I believe it further institutionalizes the very problem, because it dulls our senses when they should be razor sharp. First, you have to deal with the inordinate difficulty in "proving" that a bias, or premeditation based on race exists. Double down with a law that doesn't even speak to it with the SYG law, and it becomes just that much harder.

        "These assholes always get away.".
        ~George Zimmerman~ Economic
        Left/Right: -7.75
        Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

        by Bud Fields on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:42:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, I'm not going to bear with you at all. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jethrock, gramofsam1, ladyjames, Matt Z

      Because if you can't understand by now the issues of race  as it applies to this case, and if we can 't be honest enough to discuss race, than quite frankly there is no hope for you.

      Seriously.  You can't hope to eliminate anything if you aren't willing to seriously discuss it.  I'm sry.

      And it is exactly about the race of both Zimmerman and Martin and the SPD that is at the foundation of why this thing has been handled so poorly.

      I think you need to rethink some things.  Seriously.

      "No, I'm being judged against the ideal. Joe Biden has a saying: 'Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative." --President Barack Obama, 12/11/11

      by smoothnmellow on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:22:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a lot of hope for you, and for us. (0+ / 0-)

        Don't be quite so sanctimonious in your pronouncements, and we'll get along a lot better. Having said that...

        The only thing I have heard which could even potentially ground an aggravating circumstance of racial prejudice or bias in this case is what has been (at least so far) an extremely fuzzy bit of recording from a cell phone. What I may or may not believe was said is, at best only my opinion.

        It is not, so far as I have heard, or that any expert has declared, anything else. Don't be confused here. I know what I think of this case, and I also know what I think of racism itself. I simply want a forensic expert to testify, in Court, that what I believe I heard is, in fact, what was said.

        It is my desire to specifically discuss this issue seriously that causes my original comment, and this one as well. I have no particular knowledge of the racism which may exist within the SPD to lead me to the conclusions you seem to have already reached. Can I speculate? Yes. Does that help the serious discussion you would wish us to have about racism in this case, or in general? I don't think so. In fact, I think it does the entire cause of racial equality a disservice. Not because we don't talk about it, but that we just can't seem to talk about it intelligently in this case. You might consider re-thinking some things, too. That's what discussion does, after all. :)

        "These assholes always get away.".
        ~George Zimmerman~ Economic
        Left/Right: -7.75
        Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

        by Bud Fields on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:49:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Justice ain't blind sir or ma'am nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladyjames, Matt Z

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:39:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you don't fail to see, you don't want to see (0+ / 0-)

      and what you don't want to see, but know very well is there and exists, you don't want to talk about.

      •  Well, now THERE's a projection (0+ / 0-)

        You have no idea of what it is I wish to see, or what I might fail to see. What I wish to see does not present itself in this case so far. What I want to talk about has to do with facts, and not implications, suspicions, or innuendo concerning what is for me a very important issue.

        Just so ya know.

        "These assholes always get away.".
        ~George Zimmerman~ Economic
        Left/Right: -7.75
        Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

        by Bud Fields on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:51:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So what... (0+ / 0-)

    there are enough issues to deal with regarding the current case that it makes no difference what would happen if the roles were changed.

    Imagine if people didn't use popular news stories to score political points?  That's the world I'm trying to live in.

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:34:06 PM PDT

    •  yes (7+ / 0-)

      because the institutional racism that allows an unarmed teen to be killed, with no consequences, is no big deal.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:49:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is just a new pony (0+ / 0-)

        for people to play with until a better one comes along.  

        You make your insignificant jabs at "the right wing" and they jab back until you both find a new story to make a "big deal" about.

        You are not really suggesting that I implied that this larger issue of racism isn't a big deal since you have zero evidence to base that off of.

        A better retort would have focused on how you and the larger population of this blog will be able to sustain your interest in this issue, without help from the larger media, or even after another and yes shinier pony comes along.  

        You gonna eradicate institutionalized racism this year, is that what we are doing?  You gonna disinfect by shining a light, is that it? You gonna take credit if there's a trial, will that feel good?

        Don't puff your chest out too much.  I've read quite a few diaries just like yours prior to Trayvon being killed and guess what...

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:01:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here is why this sucks - a rewrite (5+ / 0-)

    From a March 21st Miami Herald article...

    A neighborhood eighth-grader out walking his dog said his family also called 911.

    “I saw someone lying on the ground, and I heard screaming,” said Austin, 13, whose mother asked that his last name not be published. “I don’t know that it was the person on the [ground] who was screaming, but to me it sounded like a kid who was crying. It was a yell for help, and I think it was Trayvon.”

    Austin wasn’t sure if the person was in a fight or had slipped and gotten hurt. Austin’s boxer puppy got off the leash so the boy went chasing after the dog and lost sight of the scene for a moment. Then, he heard a gun go off.

    He ran home and told his sister to call the police.

    The boy, who is black white yellow red green Muslim Jewish Christian gay walking slow, has been rattled ever since. He feels angry and disconcerted, and wonders whether he’s at risk too.

    “That people can stereotype like that makes you scared,” he said.

    Austin’s mom said he’s been acting out in school and seems mad all the time.

    “My son has a terrible feeling of guilt, because he did not do anything to help. He’s angry,” said Austin’s mother, Cheryl Brown. “They are saying that Trayvon looked suspicious, because he was walking slow. So I guess I have to tell my son: make sure you always run fast.”

    They are kids. They aren't black white yellow red green Muslim Jewish Christian gay kids, they are just kids.

    This is not the world I want.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:36:02 PM PDT

    •  Except when they are targeted because they ARE (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland, Lucy2009, ladyjames, Matt Z
      black white yellow red green Muslim Jewish Christian gay
      as you put it.

      Colorblindness is a real problem as well. A lot of colorblindness stems from racism, bigotry, and white privilege.

      "Converts are the worst bigots." -- Max Headroom

      by jethrock on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:42:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes I know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jethrock, Matt Z

        That is why I put the “That people can stereotype like that makes you scared,” he said. in bold. I could see how what I wrote diminished the fact that he was shot because he was black and thought about about clarifying it.

        My long...long time girlfriend's son who happens to be Hispanic told me about the time he was walking home from work in Beaverton when he was about 17. A prominent citizen, I am sure, asked him what he was doing in 'his' neighborhood.  He cop a bit of an attitude and told him 'I live here'. He did. He didn't get shot, bit he remembers it.

        I guess I meant to say, babies are not born prejudice, they learn it. We have to break the cycle. For every Zimmerman, there are countless kids who are now afraid to go to the store to buy skittles, and I think that sucks.

        But I do have hope for our future.

        It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

        by se portland on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:09:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought that was the point you were trying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          se portland

          to get across... However, you weren't clear (sometimes hard to do in one comment, which I am guilty of).

          Racism is taught. It's also institutional. It's also based on ignorance and fear.

          "Converts are the worst bigots." -- Max Headroom

          by jethrock on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:18:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, but it is not the world we have, is it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      I hate to say this but even here in Seattle the police (or some of the police) are quite racist.   The police union puts out a newspaper that is sickening, and the Feds have come down hard on the department for a variety of offenses against minorities.  

      http://www.seattlepi.com/...

      Now I will say that in Florida it seems that the beat police did the right thing, it was the AGs office that is at fault.

      •  They sent out a narc cop (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, jayden, Matt Z

        not the homicide cop who said he wanted an arrest. So that was a bit of a mistake. But you are right,  the nagging question I have is what influence the retired judge, Zimmerman's father, had on the AG's office.

        It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

        by se portland on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:47:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Holocaust (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    The mentality that is excusing this murder is the same mentality behind the Holocaust.

    One needs to look at the history of this country after Emancipation to understand the trajectory of murder. Lynching in post-Emancipation South was something treated as a lark. People sent postcards of lynch victims. It took decades to get Congress to enact anti-lynching laws.

    This was a lynching. And it is horrifying that Zimmerman has still not been arrested and charged.

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:36:15 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately I only caught the tail end but Don (4+ / 0-)

    Lemon and Goldie Taylor were having a discussion about this case and racism this evening, and as they were sitting there Lemon was getting nasty tweets, one which he read out loud - the nicest one of the bunch - accusing him of being a racist.  Wow.  It's a discussion that needs to be had, the little I caught was respectful and honest, and this is the response?  Don Lemon handled it with incredible calm and class - I don't know if I could have.  

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:39:04 PM PDT

  •  White mob torches car. Ho Hum. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    But, if the mob were mostly black....

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:40:56 PM PDT

  •  The only thing the right wing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    hasn't done is to light a cross for Zimmerman.

  •  Whole neighborhood would have been in lockdown (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    If the races had been the reverse, the whole neighborhood would have been put in lockdown. Every possible witness to the case would have been sought after. Martin's phone would have been checked, and his girlfriend interviewed. As a result of this, Zimmerman would have been charged and the media would have drawn and quartered him by.

  •  If George Zimmerman was black (4+ / 0-)

    we wouldn't be talking about this because he'd have been shot "resisting arrest" or something.

    This whole thing makes me so sick.

    Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

    by kismet on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:46:18 PM PDT

    •  Link is to a payday loan website. DON'T CLICK!! (0+ / 0-)

      I gave one of a rare instance of hide ratings to this inappropriate advertisement that is totally unrelated to the diary.

      Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

      by edg on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:53:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been shocked by the vitriol (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009, gramofsam1, ladyjames, jayden, Matt Z

    Every story I've read on sfgate.com about this has had the comments section filled with the most nauseating garbage imaginable.

    First, everyone assures us that Zimmerman isn't 'white'.  This seems to make them feel better.  Then they lay into Trayvon as a 'thug', as though he was caught breaking and entering instead of walking home after buying candy and iced tea.  Smearing a dead teenager is fun to these morons and necessary to their personal storyline.  This shit is EVERYWHERE.  Maybe the gun nuts are frightened that these conceal and carry laws have gone too far, but the nasty bullshit that's being posted makes me ill.  You wonder what they'd do and say if one of their kids got murdered by a wannabe cop.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:05:34 PM PDT

  •  Defense of the indefensible....... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, jayden

    The sheer injustice of this story, any angle you look at it, is SHOCKING!

    How can Zimmerman not be locked-up right now... it's shocking!

    How can that beautiful young man be dead just because he had the audacity to be black, young, and walking down the street minding his own business...it's shocking!

    How can anyone defend Zimmerman... now that is beyond shocking. That is hatred in action; injustice in action; racism in action; insanity in action.  

    My heart bleeds for the fear that Trayvon must have felt when he was shot. For his young life that stopped that night. For his dignified, and grief stricken parents. I don't know how they maintain their compsure. And for anyone, and everyone else that has ever experienced racism.  

    We must be a better country than this. We must become a nation of laws, and they must apply to everyone. We must love they neighbor, and honor life after it's emerged from the womb.... no matter the color, religious persuasion, political opinion, or geographical location.

    Peace to all, and may there be justice for Trayvon soon.

    In celebration of Super Tuesday, Steven Colbert is partying! "I'm mixing up some margaritas! I could not find my blender so instead I'm using a transvaginal ultrasound wand." (watch the video, it's hysterical)

    by Lucy2009 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:07:11 PM PDT

  •  True, so very true. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, ladyjames

    It's hard to notice the racial prejudice these days - it's just so deeply embedded within our culture. Black kid killed by white guy? Most people's subconscious prejudice led them to think of it as the black kid's fault or, at least, the white guy's not all bad.

    Kudos to you, Laurence, for showing us just how deep-seated this racial hatred is. +1000.

    16 years old, proud progressive, Phillies phan.

    by vidanto on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:18:20 PM PDT

  •  right wing left wing chicken wing (0+ / 0-)

    Both sides in this-- cold blooded murder, self defense-- are putting forth as irrefutable a set of contradictory "facts" that support their arguments.  Evidence in regard to what transpired that night in those critical moments- at least that which has been released-- seems ambiguous.  

    This results in irrelevant discussion, heated argument, of fantastical speculations about what absolutely must have happened.  Right and Left.

    The fact is nobody seems to know.  

    Yet nobody seems to care, and everybody claims to know anyways.

    "the best revenge is not to be like them" Marcus Aurelius

    by lopaloo on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:27:58 PM PDT

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, ladyjames

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:42:14 PM PDT

  •  Great piece (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, jayden

    Thanks, reversing the roles can be done in several ways, and it always comes out the same.  This is so so wrong.  

  •  Excellent Diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, ladyjames

    This is the kind of thought experiment that, even from the depths of winger-ville, it's very hard not to say

    huh
    I'm sending it to my grandpa, I commented about him upthread. I have a suspicion he simply sends Kos diaries to the recycle bin without even opening them on the extremely rare occasions I send him one, given his complete lack of commentary on them this way or that. But I have little doubt this one will really make him go huh.

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Isaac Asimov

    by Hammerhand on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:45:20 PM PDT

  •  The cops would have shot him (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, organicus

    A black kid holding a smoking gun, standing over a dead white guy? He sure as hell wouldn't be walking around a free man. I don't care what police department you're talking about. And Stand Your Ground wouldn't matter either.

    Black kid. Gun in hand. Dead white guy. Game over.

    Dear Republicans: The Handmaid's Tale is fiction, not a plan.

    by BobBlueMass on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:56:24 PM PDT

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    Apart from racism, one reason the right-wingers are all for the idea that Zimmerman was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin is that otherwise it looks bad for the right to carry a gun.

    Would there be any legal way for Trayvon Martin to have been carrying a gun, or was he too young?  

  •  Absolutely agree... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    It's inconceivable this would have gone down like this if the races were reversed.  There is clearly some serious racism involved.  

  •  If George Zimmerman was black, he would be in jail (0+ / 0-)

    right now.  Trayvon's race isn't be a factor.  Just a black George Zimmerman standing over a dead child be he black, white or plaid.  The outrage is over the fact that a child is dead, we know who the killer is and that killer is not in jail.  The child is not the problem here.  What we should be focusing on is the killer and the reason the killer is not in jail - the police's interpretation of a gun law.  It's subtle but harkens back to our worse days.

  •  Someone had to write this diary, good job LL /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis
  •  T&R'd, bookmarked for community edu. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    LL, I thank you for posting this FP item. This is a serious and telling teaching tool.

    Thank you!

  •  Democrats support killing Trayvon Martins (0+ / 0-)

    worldwide:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    What happened to this kid is tragic for him and his family, no doubt.  But it's really easy to forget/ignore that we ( Dems and progressives) are actively supporting the very same thing happening worldwide.

    "Other" people getting murdered because we perceive them as threatening.  And majorities of Dems are supporting it.

    Wake up.

    What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:32:01 PM PDT

  •  You nailed this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    For any situation, all you have to do is reverse the roles and test what the reaction would have been, if your racism radar isn't tuned in enough.  I tell idiot or coworkers to do that first before they tell me a joke, and if it's not funny the other way around, it's racist.  honestly I think ignorance is still rampant in this country.  

    That this is the first article I've read in weeks of this tragedy that lays it out this way doesn't surprise me.  But thanks for laying out what should have been obvious.  

    "Democrats shouldn't assume they have our vote. They have to earn it." Oops! I changed my sig. Oh well, Markos said it better than I did anyway.

    by Nada Lemming on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:23:10 AM PDT

  •  It's sad... (0+ / 0-)

    As racist as this country is, I bet we'll never live to see a black President.

  •  Another question (0+ / 0-)

    Zimmerman definitely confronted Trayvon Martin - that we know from what Trayvon Martin's friend overheard on the phone.  Now Zimmerman says he started returning to his vehicle - what was it that Trayvon Martin said or did that caused Zimmerman to supposedly turn around instead of say, tailing Trayvon or otherwise being able to lead the police to Trayvon?

  •  If Trayvon Martin had been Asian looking, & George (0+ / 0-)

    … Zimmerman were a jobless auto worker . . .

    http://aaldef.org/...

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:10:21 AM PDT

  •  Race? (0+ / 0-)

    If Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman was black, this blog would not exist.

  •  racial nonsense (0+ / 0-)

    When this Zimmerman/Martin event happened, I was dumbfounded to learn that the killer got off without a conviction.  I thought it was a white guy getting away with killing a black guy for walking down the street while black.  I later found that this was a very complex event and thus difficult to resolve.  Check out the wiki version:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  IF... (0+ / 0-)

    "If Trayvon Martin had been white, and George Zimmerman were black" it wouldn't have made it to a newspaper or the evening news.

  •  Yes racism in America is alive and well. And th... (0+ / 0-)

    Yes racism in America is alive and well. And there's a lot of hypocrisy around it.

  •  Good illustrate, bad facts... (0+ / 0-)

    Zimmerman should be fired...out of a canon! Martin should still be alive today. But some of the details that are listed here not only don't match the facts they match sensationalized news reports. Case in point: Martin is described above as a lanky teenager, at 5'11" 158 lbs, maybe...Zimmerman is described as a some big scary guy...Zimmerman was only 5'8" though nearly 200 lbs. He sounds short and stout (maybe even short and fat) to me, not big and scary (I'm 5'7", 180 lbs). This wasn't the case of a 6'2" 340 lbs monster attacking a 5'3" 99 lbs child. Let's not muddy the waters and allow wangdoodles with "Stand Your Ground" t-shirts to riff on these deceptions as proof of some agenda to strip them of their rights. Logic wins this case, not counter sensationalism.

  •  What he was carrying is NOT germane to the story (0+ / 0-)

    Laurence Lewis, what does this remark have to do with the story?  "although he's not above making the foolish teenaged mistake of getting caught with an empty baggie with marijuana residue inside it. But he has no criminal record. The worst anyone can say about him is that he smokes some pot, which puts him in the company of nearly half of all American high school students, something more than half of all American adults would legalize"
        You wrote useless comments that wasn't germane to the story or the character of both the black or white boys.  Why didn't you mention the color of their clothing and what brand of the shoes they were wearing?  
       I'll give you a B- for what COULD HAD BEEN an A .
       

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