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Gated communities killed Trayvon
The Los Angeles Daily News ^ | March 30, 2012 | Rich Benjamin

Posted on 03/30/2012 4:44:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

AS a black man who has been mugged at gunpoint by a black teenager late at night, I am not naive: I know firsthand the awkward conundrums surrounding race, fear and crime. Trayvon Martin's killing at the hands of George Zimmerman baffles this nation. While the youth's supporters declare in solidarity "We are all Trayvon," the question is raised, to what extent is the United States also all George Zimmerman?

Under assault, I didn't dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life.

Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood.

What gives?

Welcome to gate-minded America.

From 2007 to 2009, I traveled 27,000 miles, living in predominantly white gated communities across this country to research a book. I threw myself into these communities with gusto - no Howard Johnson or Motel 6 for me. I borrowed or rented residents' homes. From the red-rock canyons of southern Utah to the Waffle-House-pocked exurbs of north Georgia, I lived in gated communities as a black man, with a youthful style and face, to interview and observe residents.

The perverse, pervasive real-estate speak I heard in these communities champions a bunker mentality. Residents often expressed a fear of crime that was exaggerated beyond the actual criminal threat, as documented by their police department's statistics. Since you can say "gated community" only so many times, developers hatched an array of Orwellian euphemisms to appease residents' anxieties: "master-planned community," "landscaped resort community," "secluded intimate neighborhood." No matter the label, the product is the same: self-contained, conservative and overzealous in its demands for "safety." Gated communities churn a vicious cycle by attracting like-minded residents who seek shelter from outsiders and whose physical seclusion then worsens paranoid groupthink against outsiders. These bunker communities remind me of those Matryoshka wooden dolls. A similar-object-within-a-similar-object serves as shelter; from community to subdivision to house, each unit relies on staggered forms of security and comfort, including town authorities, zoning practices, private security systems and personal firearms.

Residents' palpable satisfaction with their communities' virtue and their evident readiness to trumpet alarm at any given "threat" create a peculiar atmosphere - an unholy alliance of smugness and insecurity. In this us-versus-them mental landscape, them refers to new immigrants, blacks, young people, renters, non-property-owners and people perceived to be poor.

Zimmerman's gated community, a 260-unit housing complex, sits in a racially mixed suburb of Orlando, Fla. Mr. Martin's "suspicious" profile amounted to more than his black skin. He was profiled as young, loitering, non-property-owning and poor. Based on their actions, police officers clearly assumed Zimmerman was the private property owner and Martin the dangerous interloper. After all, why did the police treat Martin like a criminal, instead of Zimmerman, his assailant? Why was the black corpse tested for drugs and alcohol, but the living perpetrator wasn't?

Across the United States, more than 10 million housing units are in gated communities, where access is "secured with walls or fences," according to 2009 Census Bureau data. Roughly 10 percent of the occupied homes in this country are in gated communities, though that figure is misleadingly low because it doesn't include temporarily vacant homes or second homes. Between 2001 and 2009, the United States saw a 53 percent growth in occupied housing units nestled in gated communities.

Another related trend contributed to this shooting: our increasingly privatized criminal justice system. The United States is becoming even more enamored with private ownership and decision making around policing, prisons and probation. Private companies champion private "security" services, alongside the private building and managing of prisons.

"Stand Your Ground" or "Shoot First" laws like Florida's expand the so-called castle doctrine, which permits the use of deadly force for self-defense in one's home, as long as the homeowner can prove deadly force was reasonable. Thirty-two states now permit expanded rights to self-defense.

In essence, laws nationwide sanction reckless vigilantism in the form of self-defense claims. A bunker mentality is codified by law.

Those reducing this tragedy to racism miss a more accurate and painful picture. Why is a child dead? The rise of "secure," gated communities, private cops, private roads, private parks, private schools, private playgrounds - private, private, private - exacerbates biased treatment against the young, the colored and the presumably poor.

******

Rich Benjamin is the author of "Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America" and a senior fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan research center.


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: gatedcommunities; georgezimmerman; racism; richbenjamin; selfdefense; trayvon; trayvonmartin; zimmerman
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The author.

1 posted on 03/30/2012 4:45:01 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
>"taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood. "

Having your skull bashed in is now COLD BLOOD??

Go win the future yourself!

2 posted on 03/30/2012 4:47:22 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (3 little children murdered by islam, Toulouse March 2012 . Time for the Final Crusade!!!!!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Demos, a nonpartisan research center.

ROTFL!

3 posted on 03/30/2012 4:50:33 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (It's time to WEAN the government off of our money.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That’s a nice looking coat shirt and tie. Is it private property comrade?


4 posted on 03/30/2012 4:50:56 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (3 little children murdered by islam, Toulouse March 2012 . Time for the Final Crusade!!!!!)
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To: rawcatslyentist

The rise of “secure,” gated communities, private cops, private roads, private parks, private schools, private playgrounds - private, private, private

It is all for a reason.


5 posted on 03/30/2012 4:51:09 PM PDT by omega4179
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Zimmerman's gated community, a 260-unit housing complex

So it's an apartment complex with a gate? Ritzy.
6 posted on 03/30/2012 4:51:57 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: rawcatslyentist
When facts don't fit the narrative, completely ignore facts and ignore as if they were ever brought up. Seems like that happens whenever an aggrieved left winger discussing race always tends to do. They don't answer questions, they just keep talking from a script.
7 posted on 03/30/2012 4:53:54 PM PDT by nerdwithagun (I'd rather go gun to gun then knife to knife.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey, it’s Buckwheat !


8 posted on 03/30/2012 4:53:54 PM PDT by tomkat ( FU baraq !)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“nonpartisan research center”

The big lie technique is still alive and well.

(author looks like a stoned Buckwheat as played by Eddie Murphy! LOL)


9 posted on 03/30/2012 4:54:09 PM PDT by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gated communities? Really.....

What next?

God, these people are so empty.


10 posted on 03/30/2012 4:54:19 PM PDT by 98ZJ USMC
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Hey Benji - KEEP IT HONEST. Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood

Where is it that Martin cold cocked him in the face and broke his nose, that decked him to the ground and then continued banging his head into the ground. You lost your credibility and I didn't read the rest of your rant. You are dismissed.

11 posted on 03/30/2012 4:54:58 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

So the whole problem here is that people are allowed to have safe havens away from high crime areas? If we’d just tear down their gates the problem would go away? LOL


12 posted on 03/30/2012 4:55:15 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh boy, he ought to have SMRT tattooed right on his forehead.


13 posted on 03/30/2012 4:57:05 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

what if the hispanic didnt have a gun? Would his head have been smashed like a pumpkin on the sidewalk?


14 posted on 03/30/2012 4:57:21 PM PDT by biggredd1
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“and a senior fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan research center.”

What Brain Dead worm eaten Zombie writes this drivel and has the audacity to use the word “nonpartisan”? That is like saying CNN, MSNBC and others under that same dirty blanket of Yellow Journalism is non-biased.
Rots O’ Ruck!


15 posted on 03/30/2012 4:57:21 PM PDT by GOYAKLA (Recall/ Impeachment Day, November 6, 2012. FUBO)
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To: omega4179

yea, it is not the gated community it is the scumbags who trespass like there is no such thing as private property..
why don’t they just say because earth made me do it, nope its your pea brain filled with hate, demanding of others...

Heard of the ten commandments, do not steal, don’t want your neighbors stuff...all that’s left is do something for yourself..

Nah that’s a choice whitey demands...pukin....


16 posted on 03/30/2012 4:57:35 PM PDT by aces
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
a senior fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan research center.

Non-partisan my sweet Aunt Fanny.
From their website: "A multi-issue national organization, Demos combines research, policy development and advocacy to influence public debate and catalyze change. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York City, Demos works with advocates and policymakers around the country in pursuit of three overarching goals:

A more equitable economy with opportunity for all;
A robust democracy in which all Americans are empowered to participate;
A strong public sector that can provide for our common interests and shared needs."

The bias - it burns!

17 posted on 03/30/2012 4:57:35 PM PDT by iceskater (I am a Carnivore Conservative - No peas for me. (h/t N.Theknow))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I thought I had read that Zimmerman and Martin’s “gated community”, with all that that implies, was really a mixed race apartment complex that happened to have a gate.


18 posted on 03/30/2012 4:58:16 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: dynachrome

And stoner Buckwheat is a low grade moron.

I saw this in college, all those years ago. I just never thought that brain matter stopped maturing, at that point.

Dopey me.


19 posted on 03/30/2012 4:58:28 PM PDT by 98ZJ USMC
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Is that you, Alfalfa? If the IQ fits...


20 posted on 03/30/2012 4:58:33 PM PDT by bgill
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To: presently no screen name
"Cold blood".. There's a joke in there somewhere.
Anyway, "Cold blood but call 911 first"?
21 posted on 03/30/2012 4:59:30 PM PDT by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The writer neatly ignored the fact that all the high rise apartment complexes in the country are certainly the functional equivalent of a gated community (restricted access, possibly guards that check IDS, etc.)

Some of them are set up as Condos, rental units, or maybe even a combination of methods with the tenants also being the building's owners ~ these structures, mostly rehabs, are called CO-OPS. (which is exceptionally popular in some of New York city's toughest neighborhoods).

Large numbers of lowrise apartment and condominium developments are also "gated communities' with restrictions at the main entrance (the gate), the interior entrances, and major common facilities such as swimming pools.

One of the better ideas for improving security in older inner city public housing units has been to build interior fences that keep outsiders from bothering the people living there as they go to and from other places (stores, schools, work, church).

What we have in Florida are all the traditional forms of "gated communities" plus a variation on that theme, what I call "The Broken Gated Community". That's the one where the Great Obama Recession has impoverished folks to the point they have to fire the guards!

22 posted on 03/30/2012 5:00:17 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why should some people escape crime by gating their community? Not fair! We should all be subject to same high crime. Equality rules! Poor Trayvon was just trying to escape from his crime infested neighborhood into nice safe neighborhood of Zimmerman. /S/S/S


23 posted on 03/30/2012 5:00:33 PM PDT by entropy12 (Every tax payer now owes $150,000 towards the national debt. We will follow Greece soon.)
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To: bgill

Blah, make that Buckwheat. And I was late. Oh, well.


24 posted on 03/30/2012 5:00:33 PM PDT by bgill
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Did he interview Rev. Jeremiah Wright? He lives in a gated community.


25 posted on 03/30/2012 5:01:27 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why is a child dead?

Child? Only to his parents is a 6'2" 17 year old out wandering in the dark with a hoodie who attacks someone, knocks them down & pounds their head on the ground still a "child" ... someone's child is always their child, no matter how old & I won't begrudge them that. To the rest of us, Trayvon was NO child ..... nor was he or did he act like one.

26 posted on 03/30/2012 5:02:10 PM PDT by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Under assault, I didn’t dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life. “

Maybe cuz HE was the one with the gun


27 posted on 03/30/2012 5:04:11 PM PDT by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs

Cold blood - Martin was the living dead? Maybe the autopsy report will tell us.


28 posted on 03/30/2012 5:04:26 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: biggredd1

>>what if the hispanic didnt have a gun? Would his head have been smashed like a pumpkin on the sidewalk?

Then they would have arrested Trayvon and put him in prison, and Corinne Brown and Jesse Jackson could whine about “all the young black men in prison”.


29 posted on 03/30/2012 5:06:26 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Under assault, I didn’t dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life.”

A) Because he got the drop on you.

B) The guy who shouldn’t have had a gun had one and you didn’t.

C) At that point, your dreaming is kind of moot.


30 posted on 03/30/2012 5:06:42 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The author didn't dream of harming his teenage assailant??? Why not? Is he a walking billboard for victimhood, never to defend himself? He is advertising that he is available to be harvested.
31 posted on 03/30/2012 5:07:42 PM PDT by Truth29
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To: muawiyah

Gee, I remember when you could keep your doors open. Wonder what happened that gated communities are needed/wanted.


32 posted on 03/30/2012 5:08:18 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Those white crackers need to learn their place.


33 posted on 03/30/2012 5:10:31 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

is the place where he was killed anywhere on a straight line between his house and the store where he went to buy skittles?


34 posted on 03/30/2012 5:10:38 PM PDT by Mr. K (If Romney wins the primary, I am writing-in PALIN)
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To: BykrBayb
They don't use the front gate ~ it's broken and there's no guard.

Still, if you'll just look at the videos of that community you'll notice the surrounding "WALL" is just high enough to keep in the toddlers and still let out the dogs.

I went to Google Earth and toured the part of the complex visible from the public roads ~ there is no coverage "inside" the wall. The basic building is a four unit townhouse. There are about 70+ such units. There's a passage between the buildings. It seems to be grassy ~ no sidewalk at all. The complex is divided into two major areas with a main street cutting off the East side from the Western 2/3s. There's a sidewalk there. There's also a sidewalk along the ring road.

When you look at the news videos you'll see police tape up around a grassy area. Presumably there's a sidewalk somewhere. Inasmuch as that sidewalk is so important to an understanding of the case it would be a good idea for someone who thinks it's the ONLY really important physical feature there to get busy and find out exactly where it was.

I spent a fair amount of time examining the area and couldn't find it.

35 posted on 03/30/2012 5:10:59 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I THINK ZIMMERMAN SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER AND IMMEDIATLE SUE THESE MEDIA WHORENALISTS OUT OF BUSINESS

THEY ARE COMPLICIT IN INCITING VIOLENCE AGAINST HIM


36 posted on 03/30/2012 5:12:43 PM PDT by Mr. K (If Romney wins the primary, I am writing-in PALIN)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He’s much more upset about the very occasional white-on-black shooting, and doesn’t give a damn about the much more frequent black on black and black on white homicides.


37 posted on 03/30/2012 5:14:24 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: muawiyah

The sidewalk is clearly visible in Google Earth. It’s also visible in this diagram. http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/evidence-that-trayvon-martin-doubled-back#comments


38 posted on 03/30/2012 5:20:49 PM PDT by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: entropy12
Trayvon's dad lived there.

Tell me, how long have you been following this story?

The basic story is both went out for an errand. Then one of them was shot.

There's a lot of stuff in the story that leads to murkiness since none of this ties together as neatly as a story on CSI.

39 posted on 03/30/2012 5:21:45 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Truth29
The author didn't dream of harming his teenage assailant???

The author seems to have stumbled onto a sado-masochistic homoerotic plot. To be robbed and then raped, no room to hate.

40 posted on 03/30/2012 5:23:27 PM PDT by Procyon (Decentralize, degovernmentalize, deregulate, demonopolize, decredentialize, disentitle.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"non-property-owning"

Then it's simple: No trespassing! Stay the Hell out.


41 posted on 03/30/2012 5:24:59 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When are we gonna see the 7-11 video of trevon purchasing the skittles with his hoodie?


42 posted on 03/30/2012 5:26:35 PM PDT by biggredd1
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He will NOT be voting for gated community Willard...

Eventhough Willard owns no personal firearms...


43 posted on 03/30/2012 5:30:05 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: Mr. K

I think cap locks are your friend. Maybe Z should find whorealdoes buddy Jose Baez to step up. No, because Baez is a liberal homo.


44 posted on 03/30/2012 5:30:14 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This author has not spent time recently in Florida where many gated communities are multi-ethnic. Many recent immigrants from Central and South America prefer to live in gated communities.


45 posted on 03/30/2012 5:30:48 PM PDT by ruralvoter
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This author has not spent time recently in Florida where many gated communities are multi-ethnic. Many recent immigrants from Central and South America prefer to live in gated communities.


46 posted on 03/30/2012 5:31:05 PM PDT by ruralvoter
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To: I see my hands

To bea fair, people can’t have guests? Appreciate your artistry though..


47 posted on 03/30/2012 5:32:16 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why is a child dead?
__________________________________

Because a bullet in the chest can cause ya to stop breathing ???


48 posted on 03/30/2012 5:32:30 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: ruralvoter

Mr. Zimmerman’s gated community was only 47% white, it’s been reported, IIRC.


49 posted on 03/30/2012 5:33:04 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Ich habe keinen Konig aber Gott)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The rise of “secure,” gated communities, private cops, private roads, private parks, private schools, private playgrounds - private, private, private - exacerbates biased treatment against the young, the colored and the presumably poor.
____________________________________

Yeah so I guess ya wont be planning to vote fot that rich guy in the private private private gated community White House ???


50 posted on 03/30/2012 5:36:06 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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