Skip to comments.Zimmerman verdict: A green light for racist vigilantes
Posted on 07/14/2013 9:56:55 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Just weeks ago, I returned to New York City from Fire Island on a Sunday evening, and decided to stop by my office.
After I let myself into the office, I noticed some Caucasians mingling around. I paid them no mind, since our office often has off-hours visitors who rent the common space.
Can I help you? said a middle aged white man, testily.
No, I shot back. But I can I help YOU?
What do you mean?
I work here, I said. This is MY office.
Oh, he said, stepping back slightly. I saw you and just wanted to make sure things are OK.
Thank you, George Zimmerman, I said.
Weeks later, my sarcastic one-off is more painful to me than I could ever have imagined. George Zimmermans acquittal leaves me feeling so nauseous.
This office exchange has been common to me my whole life. A testy Can I help you? doubles as a passive-aggressive demand for me to justify my presence even where I belong. Thankfully, I have never encountered an armed white person on the other end of that presumption.
Trayvon Martin paid for that common presumption with his life.
Zimmermans stooges and apologists claim that his deadly encounter had nothing do with race. And that his trial and acquittal have nothing to do with race. His defenders effectively portrayed him as a hapless Samaritan who got in over his head. Meanwhile, they tarred Trayvon as a menace who failed to properly justify his existence.
These presumptions colored every moment of the Police Departments botched initial reaction and the trial.
How does an armed adult defy the policy, chase down a youth, kill him, and then turn around and call it self defense? Defense from what? A fleeing kid? Was Trayvon Martin seen for his humanity? Or as a f**king punk? Are black men seen for our humanity or as three-fifths of a f**king punk? This verdict will have devastating consequences. It is an implicit green light for every paranoid, sub-intelligent, vigilante racist to go on victimizing black youth. Trayvon Martin is dead for no reason other than being black.
Why do Zimmerman and some Americans feel entitled to police black and brown people like vigilantes? Why did the Sanford Police Department test a dead boys body for drugs in standard operating procedure, yet failed to test a live mans body for alcohol or drugs? Why did the Sanford Police Department fail so miserably during the critical immediate hours after arriving on the scene?
Since our juridical Establishment often turns its head or even winks at the prevalence of racial profiling and police brutality against black and brown people, why should anyone be surprised by Zimmermans chase? Or by his acquittal? Implicitly and explicitly, the law condones his racial paranoia. The so-called rationales used to design and peddle Stand Your Ground laws and Stop and Frisk laws, and immigrant policing laws, fuel a vigilante mentality allowing some Americans to feel entitled to self-police others.
Even before the verdict, the Police Establishment warned black people not to riot as though that were a foregone conclusion without delivering Zimmermans supporters the same warning. The warning not to riot in its substance and tone recirculates the dogma of black men as menace. The chase, the trial, the warnings not to riot, the acquittal all compound the passive-aggressive profiling of black and brown people.
And yet. Legions of white people are heartbroken by Trayvons death, and Zimmermans acquittal. Legions of white people do not make it their business to self-police people of color. Many people of all races feel solidarity with the boy. We are all Trayvon.
This sordid affair has everything to do with race, but not race alone.
Not just a cautionary tale on racial profiling and vigilante justice, Trayvons needless death is a devastating lesson on the paranoid logic of gun capitalism. Zimmerman claims he didnt feel safe. Did Trayvon feel safe? What about his safety? After all, the youth was shot by a multi-racial vigilante assailant with a troubling history with law enforcement in a multiracial gated community.
When will we muster the resolve to stop deaths from gun violence? For goodness sake: Why wouldnt the Aurora shooting and the Newtown massacre force us all to confront the illusory sense of safety in our communities?
Regeneration Through Violence, The Fatal Environment, Gunfighter Nation: Richard Slotkins masterful historical trilogy on this countrys long-standing love affair with vigilantism, cruelty, and gun violence reveals as much about Zimmerman and this tragedy as does his trial transcripts or any news media. This tragedy rips bare all the thorny issues Richard Slotkin exposes in that brilliant trilogy.
The questions demand: How does a legal establishment maintain justice in a world getting browner by the day? And in a nation that feels the need to regenerate itself through violence? What will this country do to keep young people safe?
Slotkin trilogy shows us how Americas frontier myths still dominate our violent politics and culture. So, in painful ways, the man who occupies the Oval Office, in all his blackness, is irrelevant.
From the highest levels of power designing our drone policy to the inept local trenches of Florida policing, we remain a gunfighter nation. From Trayvon to the kids in Newton, young people are vulnerable to mentally ill or paranoid or racist adults with guns. The acquittal is yet another frank reminder of who writes our laws, who enforces our laws, and the very presumptions guiding our laws.
Zimmermans acquittal is a blunt reality check about how power works in America.
I thought the drones he talks about were controlled by a black man.
back from a weekend he spent on fire island....
What happened to "If you see something, say something?" George Zimmerman was in a position to "say something" to the local PD. In fact, it's better for local PD to know who the key people are in various housing areas, in order to optimize their ability to respond to a trusted source, instead of having to guess what the situation will be each time they're called into a neighborhood.
This was a condominium community. I think that there is a hierarchy of "rights" here, if not in law then in social protocols.
The "rights" should descend as follows:
1. Owners first.
2. Renters second.
3. Temporary guests third. I won't distinguish between guests of owners vs. guests of renters.
The bottom line is that Trayvon Martin, as a guest of his step-mother (I think she was the owner/renter? of the condo unit), should have been more deferential to the residents who own the units. Instead, Martin was acting like everyone owed him something, and he was disrepectful to the people he encountered in the neighborhood into which he was invited as a guest.
If some people stop treating each encounter as a conflict to be "won," then maybe they won't run up against someone who doesn't back down.
But we can't criminalize not backing down, because it will only glorify the other to keep pushing the limits.
Sounds like he came back with a massive chip on his shoulder and lashed out.
And his story is as fake as his outrage is synthetic.
More lie filled BS propaganda.
Heard about this Fire Island place, apparently a notorious homosexual gathering spot..........
No need to read any more of this whatever it is has to say.............
He looks like a drama queen to me.
Don’t be distracted. The Federal government is going to use sleight of hand, to keep our attention focussed on riots and demonstrations like the ones in Oakland, San Francisco and elsewhere, to try and give Boehner and Cantor breathing room to force amnesty for illegal aliens down our throats. DON’T LET THEM DO THIS!!
DOJ tried very hard to pin the racist label on GZ. They couldn’t.
Welcome to Negro Nation....
Really, now just what were these people doing in his office? How did they get there without knowing who’s office it was ?
These racist agitators feel they say any outrageous thing because people are afraid to call them liars. But me? I call bullsh*t and second the motion on Fire Island. I bet his hair was straight before he went there.
I don’t really care if the Author is black, he could be purple with pink polka dots from Alpha Centarii, and I’d still ask
‘ARE YOU HIGH?”
Chased down a fleeing Trayvon Martin? Excuse me??!
“Black and Brown”? uh, George Zimmerman ain’t an albino, last time I looked he was “brown” too.
Feel like I’m taking crazy pills, because nobody is paying attention to the actual TRUTH of the case, they want to vilify the Jury for doing just that...looking at the FACTS!
i believe fire island is a homo 'retreat' (read: weekend homo gang-bang / orgy)
if i worked that office and hadn't seen the guy before, i'd ask to see his id. if he refused, i'd call security.
that's how you're supposed to handle it.
if he tried to get even more mouthy and attack me, i'd drop him on his oversized forehead
and yea... nice wicker-basket chic you got going on there, 'homie'
I’ve seen him on tv, he should thank God he’s black, he would be sweeping floors without affirmative action.
Good point and haven't seen it discussed. Wasn't that Obama? If not, who?
“Zimmerman verdict: A green light for racist vigilantes”
Pffft! Unicorn skittles!
I read when scientists were investigating to find the first carrier of AIDS in this country, they found the beginning of the AIDS virus started on Fire Island. A homosexual male flight attendant contracted the disease in Africa and when he returned to the states, he spent time on Fire Island with other homosexuals and that was the beginning.
Until I read that, I didn’t know Fire Island was known for homosexuals there or visiting there. I don’t know exactly where Fire Island is except it is near New York state or New York City.
Who is Rich Benjamin, and why is he a racist vigilante?
Trayvon lived with his mother until he was again kicked out of school, so she told him he had to leave, so he went to his father's girlfriend's home. That is how he got there. After the incident where Trayvon attacked a man and the man shot and killed him, the Homeowners Assn. realized the man in the woman's house was not on the lease and they made him move. Had Trayvon still been alive, he would have been out on the street with his father. The father had no house or apartment. He was mooching off the girl friend. I have already commented about this and wondered where they would go live next - under a bridge?
Nothing worse than a fire island militant tag racist with a chip on his shoulder
Too bad this gals grandparents didn’t return to their home country after they were freed from slavery by white Republicans, he could be back in Somalia chewing on some kat instead of having a hissy fit in communist NYC.
Some say that Trayvon Martin would have beaten up Rich Benjamin for being a homo...
“nice wicker-basket chic you got going on there, ‘homie’”
I don’t think he’s living in the hood. The brothers don’t take kindly to african queens.
Also, I thought I had read something about lease violations, but I wasn't sure if she was an owner or renter of the unit.
Regardless, one would hope that a guest in another's neighborhood would be respectful of others around them, or is that a "White" thing?
Rich would probably enjoy this, especially if treyvon were on top straddling him.
No. But it’s a Red Light for attacking an armed person.
Hard to believe that an entire subculture of homo sapiens can exist in a parallel universe and be totally unaware.
The Black 1984...
Vigilantes ... A neighborhood resisting invasion by thug criminals in hoodies.
Stalking ... Following, openly, a suspicious person who does not live in the neighborhood, and acting suspiciously.
Racism ... The act of arresting, charging and convicting of a black thug by non blacks.
What bunch of racist tripe. Any hoodlum hanging about hoping to rob people and then pounding a person’s head into the ground is apt to be shot by the the recipient, and it doesn’t matter if he’s white, brown, black or purple with red dots.
And what is all that about the President in all his blackness? A bit racist to ignore that he’s half white isn’t it? They called Zimmerman a white hispanic, so shouldn’t he call the President a white blackman????????
Well, I could go on, but it’s bad for my blood pressure, and I don’t want to get so wound up that I can’t sleep, so I’ll just leave it at that - it’s a bunch whiny racist ranting totally divorced from reality.
Let’s face it folks, some blacks live in a parallel universe.
I would like to thank the author for starting whatever he wrote with, “Just weeks ago, I returned to New York City from Fire Island”.
Fire Island is a bigtime NYC elitist liberal homosexual weekend getaway.
There was no need to read any further... it would be about the equivalent of me writing, “So, the other day on the way home from WORK, I stopped at WAL*MART to pick up a few bricks of AMMO that my WIFE had called me about needing so she can take our KIDS to the SHOOTING RANGE with the CHURCH youth group”
The first line shows that there is never going to be a connection made... people don’t have to relate when the is no common experience.
'Nuff said ...
I think he posts here on civil war threads.....
The author has it backwards, but I do think he knows what it really means. It means that despite a media full-court press and a racist President, you can still fight back against Gansta Culture. The scam has reached its high-water mark and is receding, and a whole lot of fast-talking racist punks are going to be left high and dry. The author finds that threatening. He should.
If you want respect from your fellow man, you are not entitled to it but you must earn it.
If you want respect as an individual from other individuals merely because of your race, then you had better be very particular about which race you choose to be associated with.
Identity politics has proved lucrative in every sense for those who practice it. It has had the consequence of degrading our politics, our governance, and our society. This writer evidently wants to reap the rewards of identity justice. He declares:
Trayvon Martin is dead for no reason other than being black.
This conclusion is so counterfactual as to be utterly absurd. Let me quote myself to establish a conclusion which enjoys the advantage of having a relationship to the facts as established in the trial:
The unvarnished truth is that Travon Martin got exactly what he deserved. He committed a sneak, unprovoked, atrocious assault which was interdicted only by the use of deadly force. If he had not been shot he might well have killed George Zimmerman. One more blow to the head, one more bash of the head against concrete, one more attempted suffocation might well have been the murder of George Zimmerman. If Travon Martin had succeeded in getting possession of Zimmerman's gun, it is very likely he would have used it because he had already threatened Zimmerman's life before he commenced to beat Zimmerman within an inch of his life.
There is no plausible evidence contrary to these conclusions.
Why is it that the author feels free to make a wild assertions of fact which have no demonstrable connection to the facts adduced at trial? Because the author is practicing identity justice. Evidently he also practices identity lifestyle as he described in his encounter with white people at his office after his excellent adventure on Fire Island. The author wanted respect from people he did not know and from whom he could not possibly have earned respect. They owe him no respect, they owe him only their legal duties. Respect comes from earning it but the author wants it merely because his skin is black.
Identity justice, of course, is an oxymoron, the polar opposite of justice. Identity justice asks not whether the facts of the case are proved, but what is the skin color of the parties? Is this latter question which preoccupies the author and which entitles him entirely to ignore the facts as adduced at trial. If and when America descends into the pit of identity justice the author will then begin to see the real terrors of vigilante-ism. Vigilante-ism at least the kind the author complains of having to do with race- is really the privatization of identity justice.
The irony, the pathetic irony, of the author's position is that he wants to practice racism in the courts and mete out juridical privilege to a racial group which is demographically the least deserving of presumption of righteousness and most deserving of presumptions of guilt. He complains of profiling, he complains of forwarnings of riots, he complains of "racial paranoia" but he does not explain, as so many FReepers have pointed out, why that racism is not directed against the Amish?
It seems the Amish are particular about what race they choose to be.
The author is fond of drawing conclusions and making pronouncements for which he has utterly no factual basis. This one is fairly revealing:
Not just a cautionary tale on racial profiling and vigilante justice, Trayvons needless death is a devastating lesson on the paranoid logic of gun capitalism. (Emphasis supplied)
The Frankfurt school has taught the left well. Saul Alinsky has honed skills. There is not a scrap of evidence adduced by the author to support the idea that capitalism had anything to do with the reasonable and necessary use of deadly force proved in real litigation against Travon Martin. But if we can use racism, no matter whether real or only imagined, we can bring down capitalism and bring down the legitimate American system. If the rule law sustains capitalism in America, attack the rule law. If alleging racism attacks the rule of law, allege racism. Destroy the building blocks of an orderly society, and let socialism sweep over the rubble.
Nathan Bedford's first Maxim of American politics: all politics in America is not local but ultimately racial.
If the author has a son who looks like Travon Martin (concededly an unlikely event given the author's predilection to visit Fire Island) he does not have to convert his son to the Amish religion but be should consider teaching his son to obey the law, earn the respect he craves, eschew drugs, refrain from burglaries, and, above all, keep his fists to himself.
“Zimmermans stooges and apologists”
Yoles, what a venomous racist hateful diatribe.
Muggers hate to lose....
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
II Thessalonians 2:11-12 (KJV)
From Wiki (he appears on Fox Cable programs a lot lately):
“Rich Benjamin is an American cultural critic, mulit-media journalist, and author.
Benjamin is perhaps best known for the non-fiction book Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America.
He is also a lecturer and a well-known public intellectual, who regularly discusses issues on NPR, MSNBC, and FOX News. His writing frequently appears in The New York Times and Salon.com. Benjamins work focuses on US politics and culture, money, class, African Americans, Whites, Latinos, LGBT issues, public policy, and demographic change.
Benjamin is currently a Senior Fellow at Demos.
P.S., Rich Benjamin is a tiny little fellow, emphasis on tiny. He weighs about 2 ounces, and is mostly hair, which sticks straight up, probably in an attempt to look taller.
Someone got the color wrong. It should read “Zimmerman verdict: A red light for racist vigilantes.”
No. Trayvon Martin paid for his ASSAULT of an armed man with his life. Funny how the author managed NOT to assault the Whites (fags, likely, since it's Fire Island) that he claimed confronted him.
Martin’s supporters refuse to acknowledge that he began the physical confrontation by attacking Zimmerman. If they do admit it, they then rush on to state that Z’s wounds were minimal and not worthy of even being concerned about.
Here’s a bottom line for you: Assuming Martin thought he was being stalked and was fearing for his life and for whatever reason didn’t try to run to his father’s girlfriend’s house — why didn’t he call 911 instead of Rachael Jenteel?
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