Posts Tagged ‘Trayvon Martin’
The Trayvon Martin shooting. And the George Zimmerman trial. I’m at an impasse on racism and oppression and injustice. Some people see it, some people don’t. Some people were outraged by this shooting, some by the verdict. It was a case that revealed where people stood on issues such as racism and class, a case that really highlighted how people perceive the world. Anyone who was using confirmation bias to reinforce their world view … had their world view reinforced by this case. That’s pretty much most of us. This is why is was such a media and cultural sensation, it spoke to everyone. It was a mirror. A mirror into our souls. Our dark souls.
It would be easy to write a post that spoke to those outraged by both the shooting and the verdict. So I won’t go there. I could try to reach those who are overtly prejudiced, and think of Zimmerman as a hero. No point, people have to find their own way out of that conundrum. If anything, I am speaking to those who call themselves progressive, and think that justice was done as it was a fair trial. The liberal sheep as I refer to them as. Privately of course, I wouldn’t want to offend anyone. To me this was one of the saddest aspects of this case, that a lot of people who think of themselves as just and progressive buy into the layers of PC crap that conceals the horrid racist nature of this case. With this in mind, and in no particular order, a few impressions.
Of course this is about race. That is one of the more absurd claims made about this case, that it’s not about race. Of course it’s about race, because it is about how blacks are perceived in public. Blacks already live in a world where the police are not their friends, things like stand your ground laws mean they also live in a world where any white man with a gun is a potential threat. (Don’t even try to tell me that Zimmerman wasn’t “white.” He was a rootin-tootin gun-toting self appointed armed vigilante “defending” a white community against black intruders. Hell, the NRA gave Zimmerman their endorsement, how white is that?) Or look at it this way, almost every black person in America knows a teenager who goes to the store and buys junk food. Even if it wasn’t about race, it was when the media got into it. People who think this wasn’t about race are probably the same people in the habit of saying “I’m not a racist, but … “
It was not about the trial. A lot of liberals are talking about how, well, they really didn’t prove their case. Well, duh. They weren’t trying to prove their case, they were putting on a show trial in the face of enormous public pressure. If the local authorities had had their way, Trayvon would just be another statistic. From the very beginning the local police and authorities didn’t pursue due diligence in this case, Zimmerman wasn’t even tested for drugs for god’s sake. When the defense and the prosecution want an acquittal, it isn’t a fair trial. White people regularly claim self-defense and get away with shooting someone, black people almost never do. The same fellow who prosecuted Zimmerman got a black woman 20 years for firing a warning shot at her husband.
We’re not living in a post racial society. More blacks are in prison now than were enslaved in 1850. And largely imprisoned by draconian drug laws that send people to prison for possession, laws carefully written to punish blacks far more harshly for the types of drugs they use than the punishments for whites using the same drug in a different form. And the Supreme Court dutifully ruled that such laws aren’t racist, because they don’t single out race on an individual level. Right. And stand your ground laws are far more likely to benefit a white shooter than a black one. Nope, no racism there. Trayvon was followed by a vigilante because he was a black male wearing a hoodie, if Zimmerman had followed and killed a white girl in the same circumstances, he’d be on Florida’s death row now.
If one understands that there are still oppressed peoples in the world, even in America, the Trayvon Martin case is an example of same. If for whatever reason someone doesn’t understand that, they’ve got the white thing down pat. White isn’t a race by the way, but that’s for another day. RIP Trayvon.
(The above image was used with permission of the author.)
I’m having hard time understanding the Trayvon Martin shooting. A 250 pound wanna-be cop confronted a skinny black teenager on a junk food run, shoots him dead, claims it was self-defence, and under Florida law … the shooter isn’t tested for alcohol or drugs, let alone charged with a crime? If Zimmerman had run Trayvon over with his car, he’d be in serious legal trouble, but because he used a gun, it’s a justifiable shooting? An honour killing as it were. The mind reels, this is 2012, not 1950.
There’s so many things wrong with this case that I don’t even know where to begin. That’s never stopped me before, so he goes. First of all, this “stand your ground” law is a great example of the sort of unneeded, pandering the people’s worst instincts, politically inspired law that creates more problems than it solves. And since it didn’t solve any problems since it was already legal to defend yourself, all it does was create problems. That’s pretty much what our state and federal legislators have been doing the past few decades, passing pandering to the masses crap like this instead of governing the country.
The racist tinges to this are disgusting as well. Let’s see, a few years back a black professor was arrested in his own home for disorderly conduct. I guess he’s lucky the cop didn’t just shoot him. Here a white wanna-be cop shoots someone dead on the street, and no arrest so far. Granted it’s a bit of a stretch comparing the two incidents, but there very much is a pattern where the presumption of guilt is automatically on the black person. I wonder how many black people have shot someone down in the streets in Florida, and successfully used the “stand your ground” law to avoid arrest ad prosecution? I couldn’t find any in my admittedly brief internet search.
I am also outraged over how little outrage there is over this. At least there’s some, but one would think there would be far more a ground swell of anger over this. I guess people are pretty beaten down and numb these days, but still. On the other hand, I’m glad no one rioted, that never helps.
Lastly, and the point that I have been meaning to make for a long time, is that we in the west get all outraged over so called “honour killings” in the Muslim world, which many see as proof positive that Islam is a “primitive” religion,” or whatever other prejudices about Arabs and Muslims they want to believe … but the same crimes in the USA aren’t evidence of our cultural or religious inferiority? And by the same crimes, I mean men killing their wives, kids, girlfriends … and feeling completely justified about it. Women are raped and murdered in the USA at rates which should make us ashamed, yet most Americans are convinced that our culture is “better” than most, or all, other cultures. Granted, again, not strictly a fair comparison, but the point remains that violence against women is a serious problem in the USA, so claims that our foreign policy is about protecting women” ring a little hollow since we cant even protect the women in the USA.
In any event, all the facts in this case may not be out yet, but from what I know so far, sure sounds like cold blooded murder committed under the aegis of a brain-dead law. How the hell was this guy even allowed to run around with a gun? From everything I’ve read he was a nut bar. Oh well, since were on the topic of violence against women, next, Ted Bundy, always a fun topic.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s a grey scale screen shot of Harry Callahan, “hero” of the Dirty Harry movies. It’s not being used for profit. I chose it because I think this movie was when the USA started getting herded into a shoot first, think later attitude … where anything goes if you’re the good guys. This movie and Rambo were the beginning of a long dark slide for the country, where now our government can even kill Americans with impunity, cause, you know, they’re the good guys. Yeah, right.)