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This case already has enough twists and turns in it, it's already highly charged racially.  On CNN, Howard Kurtz today argued that if not for the racial aspect, this case wouldn't be getting the "media overload" that it is.

Kurtz, however, insisted that “if it hadn’t been for the racial aspect, if these were two white people or two black people involved, this wouldn’t be getting any national attention.
On it's face, he has a point. This isn't even the only "Stand Your Ground" case that has happened recently in Florida.  And race has certainly played a factor in many of those cases according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Defendants claiming "stand your ground" are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.
There is a clear racial imbalance here as Kurtz continues...
"this as kind of a Rorschach test of whether or not somebody or not can get justice in this system when the victim, sadly, tragically, is a black teenager. And of course as you know, George Zimmerman’s brother, Robert, thinks the media are already showing signs of bias against his brother.”
Not only does his brother think that, apparently his father has written an e-book which accuses the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NBA Players Association and the United Negro College Fund of being the "True Racists" in America.

Yes, seriously.

Previously, Zimmerman Sr. “believed generally racism was a thing of the past.” He says that, personally, he hadn’t encountered much racism, even though his wife is Hispanic. But after his son shot and killed Trayvon Martin, however, Zimmerman learned that racism is “flourishing at the insistence of some in the African American Community.” He then goes on to list various black leaders and organizations that he believes are racist:

    Congressional Black Caucus. “[A] pathetic, self-serving group of racists… advancing their purely racist agenda.” He later adds that “all members of Congress should be ashamed of the Congressional Black Caucus, as should be their constituents.” And finally: “They are truly a disgrace to all Americans.”

    The NAACP. “[S]imply promotes racism and hatred for their own, primarily finical, interests” and “without prejudice and racial divide, the NAACP would simply cease to exist.”

    NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. “[W]hat I would expect of a racist.”

    Trayvon Martin’s funeral director. A “racial activist and former head of the local NAACP.”

    Benjamin Crump, Natialie Jackson and Darrly Parks, attorneys for Travyon Martin’s family. “The scheme team.”

    The National Basketball Players Association.

    Black Chamber of Commerce.

    National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

    National Black United Fund.

    United Negro College Fund.

But wait, it gets worse -- he then blames President Obama and Eric Holder for focusing on his sons case so intently they allowed the Boston Marathon Bombing to take place.  
While stopping short of explicitly calling President Obama a racist, Zimmerman Sr. does say that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have “shamelessly” sought to exploit his son’s case “to obtain great advantage in the African-American community.”

Zimmerman Sr. says that because of Holder’s decision to investigate whether Trayvon Martin’s death violated federal civil rights laws, the FBI did not have “adequate resources to investigate clearly identified potential terrorist [sic] in the Boston area.” Now, “tragically, we have suffered the consequences of Mr. Holder’s politically motivated decisions.

Uh, what the frack?  The Feds report actually said they couldn't find anyone who knew George who thought he was "Racist", so why exactly is his dad complaining about them and how does that get us to Boston, which is a completely different field office?  He does realize that not every member of the FBI was out investigating his son right?

I have to say, this is really, really, seriously, ill-advised thing for Robert Zimmerman to do.  If your son's freedom depends on the idea that he couldn't possibly be a racist, and couldn't have been exposed to racist ideas - you don't accuse every prominent black organization of being "racist" simply because THEY EXIST and not taint the view of your own neutrality and by extension the racial neutrality of your son.

His premise seems to be that since he hasn't personally "seen" any racist white people - or at least heard them use the dreaded "N-Word" in his presence - all the black people who try to defend themselves against racism are in fact, the real racists.

Yeah, right.

And this man was a judge. (correction: a magistrate).  I can't say I would trust his judgement as far as I could throw a backhoe.

If we didn't have massive racial disparities in education and drop-out rates, in jobs and income, in the amount of police scrutiny that African-Americans receive despite their LESSER likelihood of possessing drugs, weapons or committing a crime. If black people didn't receive 20% greater sentences for the same crime when convicted, if they didn't face systematic attempts to disenfranchise them from voting, if they didn't face systematic attempts to block their access to housing and a 20% greater denial rate on loans - if none of that was true, then Robert Zimmerman might have a small sliver of a point.

Unfortunately, he doesn't.

If we didn't still have all of these ongoing racial disparities we might not need anyone to do anything about it all.  These things don't happen because "White People are Racist" or because "Black people are lazy and prone to crime".  It's not that simple.  Not nearly.  Neither of those premises are close to being true, however the end results are true.

And since all of that is true, we Still have a need for organizations like the NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus and the Black Chamber of Commerce to strive to address these problems.  These aren't things that the NAACP made up, they are FACTS.

And it's not like people like Robert Zimmerman are lifting a finger to do anything about all of that.  His idea of proving your not a racist is the fact his son - once, maybe twice - gave someone his number and was nice to them. Whattaguy.  I guess that's an improvement over running away screaming at the sight of them.

“One neighbor said that she knew George very well; nothing about him being a ‘racist’ was true,” the suspect’s father writes. “Further, to this day, she would trust George with her life. Another neighbor said while they were moving in, George was the only individual of any race that introduced his self, providing his phone number and asked that he or [his wife] Shellie be contacted if ever needed.
Ok, that's good.  That sounds like he was doing that as part of his "Neighborhood Watch" gig.  The gig that lead him to phone to police dozens of times when "suspicious person" where in the neighborhood, and frequently those persons where "young African-American males".  The gig where he was armed when he wasn't supposed to be and he ignored the dispatcher who told him "we don't need you [to follow him]", all of which led directly to the death of a unarmed teenager.

You see, just because you don't automatically fear, loathe and profile every African-American doesn't mean that you haven't profiled some of them.  Or in this case, one of them.

Robert seems to have, at some point, bought into the "Race Hustler" view of anti-racism efforts by organizations like the United Negro College Fund and NAACP.  People like him seem to think that simply because Racism is no longer codified into law as it was under Jim Crow and Segregation, everything is now equal.  Everything is fine.  And anyone who tries to identify and/or fix any further issues is just doing it to further their own personal advancement - not to actually solve the problem - because if they did solve the problem their "cash cow" would dry up.  That all of these organizations, and of course the Martin Lawyers, are all ginning up false charges of racism for their own profit.

How very Tea Part Express/Breitbart of him.

And to think if Robert doesn't reverse the accusing finger of racial bias.. if he and the Zimmerman defense team and FOX NEWS doesn't turn Trayvon into a dangerous aggressive drugged-out thug armed with an deadly Ice Tea, well - they couldn't possibly benefit from that could they?

If this is how he taught and raised George - if George is also this tragically clueless - then (if Robert ever wanted to take the stand as a character witness for George) he just handed the prosecution a club that they can pound his son directly into prison with.

Not Smart.


9:20 AM PT: Just to be clear, I'm not accusing Robert Zimmerman of being a racist with this post.  I'm simply quoting his own words.  My opinion is that in his own mind he and his son are one of the "good guys".  They don't hate anyone, they don't fear anyone as a group - however - if you look at the crime stats then you should see that young black men are more often pursued, more often prosecuted, more often convicted for longer sentences - and that otherwise normal people just might have a habit of acting in cowardice in accordance with the stats and the "odds" rather than having the courage to give individual people the chance to show you who they really are, instead of what the numbers might suggest.

Being a rational person, you have to presume their a reason for these disparities. But is it because of these individuals actions, how they're treated by others or both in dynamic reaction to each other. When this story broke I contacted the Sanford PD and requested info on the specific crime stats in the Zimmerman/Martin neighborhood and I found that it's true that there were several break-ins in that neighborhood and that generally speaking the suspect description was similar to Trayvon's description.  He was young, male and black. So were they. Still, you notice that no one has legitimately suggest that Trayvon was one of those burglars?

Given the true stats in that neighborhood, it was "reasonable" for George to be suspicious of someone who actually did fit the suspect description.  Problem is he did far more than just be suspicious. He acted. But then, if you recall, this happened right about the time the Sandusky child abuse revelations and just about any football playing teenage boy (like Trayvon) would have a more than "reasonable" reason to be just as suspicious of an adult man following him around in his car.

The idea that our society has now embedded a reflexive bias and suspicion against these young black men regardless of their own individual merits, flaws, or actions - again, based on the flaw of equating generalized factual stats to a individual who may not fit that pattern  - is just too much for people like Robert to grasp.  I don't think that makes him or George "racists", more like racism enablers.

Not that the distinction really makes a difference to the final outcome either way.  The bias is already there in the systemic facts, but do you buy into and act on it or do you let people prove to you who they are? (Although it could be argued that a person who acts and behaved bigotedly, but doesn't do it because they are a bigot may be worse than a open admitted card carrying Klan member or Racist Skinhead.  With those guys you can see the Swastika tattoo coming a mile away - with these guys - you can't! Not even they can fully see it.)

A racially biased act or statement, by someone who is otherwise a non-racist (something that Dinesh D'souza called "Rational Discrimination"), is still a racially biased act or statement regardless of their intent. None of us are thought police, we have to respond and deal with to what people do - not necessarily what they might have been thinking

at the time.

Trayvon did nothing wrong.  He had a right to be where he was.  There is no proof he was "high" or a "gang-banger". When he and George got into a fight, he had every right to Stand His Ground against George.  Trayvon was a child. George was the adult.   He was irresponsible, rash and reckless. He killed a child. That's what matters in the end.

Originally posted to Vyan on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Trial Watch and Barriers and Bridges.

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