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This really is a must read.  The following part of it is actually a reference to another source but is the clearest and most concise explanation of how SYG is a legalization of racism and race-based murder I've seen (emphasis mine):

Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.):  “You’ve got a feeling of mistreatment, institutionalized in law, to perhaps legalize vigilanteeism, in some instances. That was the case with Zimmerman, hopefully it won’t be the case with Dunn….”
“What the law is doing in this particular instance is allowing for subjective bias perhaps to be elevated to be a legitimate defense. And that’s the problem.”
Chris Hayes: “And that is what’s so perverse. When people say … I honestly feared for my life, it’s possible you had completely erroneous racialized stereotypes of that person. and the honesty of your racial baggage shouldn’t be exculpatory. That’s what seems so perverse.”
Dr. James Petterson: “But it is and it has been, and the thing is we’re not going to be able to overcome the challenges in the criminal justice system unless we confront the pervasiveness of racial bias in our society.

There is a lot more to the article.  It is titled "White rage and white lies: How the right’s language about race created Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman" and here is the link:

http://www.salon.com/...

Originally posted to bookcrazzzy on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders, Barriers and Bridges, and Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Didn't someone, a right winger or something, say (5+ / 0-)

    that all of the racism stuff is now history? I mean, that's what I keep telling myself whenever I see stuff that looks like it probably was racisim.

    Of course, if racisim is not extinct after all, it seems like so many things would be easier to understand.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:22:08 PM PST

  •  I understand the racism but (8+ / 0-)

    nobody is talking about women as victims right now: mostly b/c we (mostly) aren't stupid enough to go around pointing weapons at people.

    Look: I end work slightly after midnight. Sometimes I have to then walk home. By myself. For a mile or mile and a half.

    Protective coloration (e.g. look like a bum) and Walk Really Fast So You Don't Look Like a Victim have always worked for me.

    But there was that one night...I was almost home. And there was this guy. He was white, I think: it was midnight-thirty, after all, and the light wasn't good, but light-skinned at least. And he goes in the street, and ducks back between cars, and emerges again just about when I'm going to go up to the door of my building.

    I stopped dead. Just stared at him. Didn't see any escape routes. And I'm waiting for him to attack me, or something.

    And he must have read it on my face, b/c at that point he went, "No, no, it's not you, it's not YOU, there's a cop up there, it's not YOU," and I went home and he didn't follow b/c after all he really was dodging a cop.

    But what if it had been a SYG state? And someone had had a gun? The poor guy would be dead. And I don't care what reason he had to avoid cops, he didn't do anything wrong to ME except scare me for a couple of minutes. Some other bitch might've shot him for that.

    SYG is just. motherfucking. wrong.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:43:55 PM PST

    •  If there were no escape routes (0+ / 0-)

      then SYG doesn't even come into play.  You wouldn't be able to retreat even if you wanted to.

      SYG isn't even close to the thing that's motherfucking wrong.  You hit it right on the head.  You might have killed someone who had no intentions of harming you.  But what if he did?  That "what if" is the foundation for justifiable use of force law in 49 states.  That is what needs to change.

  •  SYG lowers the bar for what an acceptable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, a2nite

    standard of reaction.
    It used to be the standard of a common man or average man.

    Would an average man get out of his car, start an argument and then get so terrified when the other person talks back, that they fear for their life just on the basis of words exchanged, and when they had ample opportunity to get back in their car to protect themselves?

    Of course not.  They would get out of the car and go inside or sit in the car with their own radio blaring, or just sit and curse.  A normal person does not kill just because they don't like somebody else's music.  

    A nut case with a gun does.

    Now, it's start an argument knowing you have a gun and if you aren't winning the argument you shoot the other person and claim you were scared.

    It really is a license for any armed person to use just about any excuse to shoot and kill, because there actually is no standard for when violence is justified.

    Let's not forget he had no right to order anybody to turn down their radio in those circumstances, or to expect them to obey.  And of course they were going to tell him to bleep off when he did, and he knew that before he opened his mouth.

    Also too there is a lot more justification for Blacks to be afraid of Whites than the other way around.

    •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

      One, the duty of retreat only has to deal with acts after the claimant comes to believe he's in danger.  Otherwise, you end up convictions for no other reason than the defendant "shouldn't have walked through a bad neighborhood."

      Morever, the duty to retreat after that belief has crystalized is...well...flexible.

      http://scholarship.law.stjohns.edu/...

      Still, even in jurisdictions that mandate it, retreat is required in few circumstances. For instance, it is recommended only where the actor can attempt escape without increasing her own peril.27 This subjective standard focuses on what a person knew in fact at the time, rather than "whether defendant 'could have retreated' with complete safety" looking at the totality of circumstances in hindsight.28 One need not calmly evaluate exit strategies when faced with pressing danger, for "[d]etached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."29 Nor is fleeing ever required when threatened with a firearm.30 New York, moreover, construes necessity liberally,31 with the result that deadly force may be justified more readily without retreat than in other states.32 Additionally, fleeing is often the province of those who have played some active role in
      escalating matters. 33 In sum, these facts paint retreat as a tool of conflict avoidance rather than one of improvised escape.  Retreat's role in the self-defense context is more theoretical than practical.
    •  X2 (0+ / 0-)

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 12:30:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  bookcrazzzy, I added commas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    between your 4 tags and added 2 more.

    racism, law, SYG, crime, Stand your ground, justifiable homicide

    Thanks for this post.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:16:51 PM PST

  •  Just read it before I saw your diary. (0+ / 0-)

    It's an amazing article, and the links in it are certainly worth following.

    Thanks for making it more widely known.

    Tipped, rec'd, republished, and tweeted.

    There are no lengths to which humorless people will not go to analyze Humor. -- Robert Benchley

    by Yasuragi on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 01:57:09 PM PST

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