Skip to comments.Why Manipulate the Tragedy of Trayvon Martin?
Posted on 03/30/2012 11:10:18 PM PDT by neverdem
The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month by a neighborhood-watch volunteer was a sickening and — unless new facts come to light — unjustified loss of an innocent life. Unless Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, had reason to believe that Martin was armed, shooting him was a grossly disproportionate response to a fistfight, even leaving aside the fact that Zimmerman had initiated the encounter. If such a shooting is justified under Florida’s broad self-defense law, that law has licensed violence that goes far beyond legitimate self-defense. Every American shares the despair of Martin’s family over this heartbreaking tragedy and supports a fuller investigation (though the entrance of the Feds at this point is premature, absent evidence of Florida’s incapacity to conduct a fair inquiry).
But is the Martin shooting emblematic of a larger problem? Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the mainstream media here and abroad certainly are portraying it as such. That larger problem, of course, is lethal white racism and a criminal-justice system allegedly indifferent to the killing of blacks. At a rally Thursday night in Sanford, Sharpton said that “Trayvon represents a reckless disregard for our lives that we’ve seen for too long,” and warned that “they,” presumably whites, would try to trick black protesters into violence by “send[ing] in provocateurs.” “Blacks are under attack,” said Jesse Jackson on Friday from Chicago. “Targeting, arresting, convicting blacks, and ultimately killing us is big business.” MSNBC analyst Karen Finney claimed that “racist rhetoric” used by Rush Limbaugh and several Republican presidential candidates was responsible for Martin’s death.
So determined has the New York Times been to fit the shooting into its favored racial story line that it has been referring to the Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic,” contrary to its usual practice of referring to Hispanics without any additional racial characterization. The fact that Zimmerman’s father is white does not explain this departure from the Times’s racial protocols; the Times’s one-drop rule still applies to Barack Obama, who is, according to the Times and every other media outlet, America’s “first black president.” (The Grey Lady referred to Zimmerman for the first time on Friday simply as “Hispanic.”)
Times columnist Charles Blow dealt with the complicating factor of Zimmerman’s ethnicity with a simple duality: “Trayvon is black. Zimmerman is not,” he wrote last Saturday, presumably conferring on Zimmerman putative white status. The Rainbow Coalition has apparently broken down.
Blow went on to claim that it is the “the burden of black boys in America” to be at high risk of being shot by non-blacks: “This is the fear that seizes me whenever my boys are out in the world: that a man with a gun and an itchy finger will find them ‘suspicious.’”
Blow is right about one thing: Black boys do face a much higher chance than non-blacks that they will be shot when they are “out in the world.” Black males between the ages of 14 and 24 were seven times more likely to die of homicide in 2007 than white and Hispanic males of the same age group combined. But the danger they face comes overwhelmingly from other black males, whose homicide offending rate in the 14 to 24 age category was nearly ten times higher than that of young white and Hispanic males combined. (The federal government’s crime data puts Hispanics and whites in a single category of “white,” thus overstating the non-Hispanic white offending and victimization rates). Most homicides are intraracial, but the chance of a black being killed by a white or Hispanic is much lower than the chance that a white or Hispanic will be killed by a black. Seventeen percent of what the FBI calls “white” homicide victims in 2009 were killed by blacks, compared to 8 percent of black homicide victims who were killed by “whites.” There were two and a half times as many white and Hispanic victims of black killers in 2009 as there were black victims of white and Hispanic killers, even though the black population is one-sixth that of whites and Hispanics combined. If Hispanics were removed from the category of “white” killers of blacks, the percentage of blacks killed by Anglo whites would plummet, since a significant percentage of what the FBI calls “white”-on-black killings represent gang warfare between Hispanic and black gangs. (Needless to say, there is no reason to think that racism plays a more frequent role in white-on-black killings than in black-on-white killings.)
Blow’s fear that his children will be blown away by a white is particularly ludicrous in New York City. Blacks commit 80 percent of all shootings in the city — as reported by the victims of and witnesses to those shootings — though they are but 23 percent of the population; whites commit 1.4 percent of all shootings, though they are 35 percent of the population. Add Hispanic shootings to the black tally, and you account for 98 percent of all of the city’s gun violence. In New York, as in big cities across the country, the face of violence is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic.
No evidence has yet surfaced to support the charge that the failure of the Sanford police to arrest Zimmerman results from racial bias, as opposed to ambiguities in the application of Florida’s self-defense law and the absence of eye-witnesses to the killing. But if such evidence of racial indifference does emerge, it would be not only shameful but also a great exception to the practice of police departments across the country. Far from showing a “reckless disregard for [black] lives,” in Sharpton’s words, it is the police and prosecutors who are the most reliable responders to black victimization, trying relentlessly to put together a case even when the witnesses to crime refuse to cooperate. Most police chiefs will say that they could solve every inner-city killing if the people who saw the crime or know the perpetrators came forward, instead of obeying the “no snitching” code.
And it is the concerted efforts of police departments across the country to bring safety to urban neighborhoods that have played a central role in the 50 percent drop in the black homicide victimization rate from 1991 to 2008. In New York City, over 10,000 minority males are alive today who would have been killed had homicide rates remained at their early 1990s highs; the largest cause of that crime drop is the New York Police Department’s policing revolution, which has created an unprecedented sense of urgency about protecting lives. The NYPD’s weekly meetings at police headquarters, known as Compstat, focus relentlessly on one overriding question: How can we save more people — overwhelmingly minorities — from being victimized by crime? Many an NYPD commander has lost his post because he has not had an adequate answer to that question.
The protesters in Florida and across the country are right to demand an explanation for the decision not to charge Zimmerman. A critical examination of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is absolutely warranted. But the racial storyline that has been imposed on the shooting does not fairly represent contemporary America. That storyline is not just wrong, it is dangerous, because it only feeds black alienation and anger. Family breakdown, not white racism, is the biggest impediment facing blacks today, producing such casualties as the 18-year-old gangbanger who fatally shot a 34-year-old mother picking up her child from school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, last October. Sharpton and the national media didn’t show up for that killing, just as they don’t for the thousands of other black-on-black killings each year. By all means, demand justice for Trayvon Martin. But when that justice comes, as it most surely will, perhaps some small part of the energy devoted to securing it could be redirected towards stigmatizing black criminals and revalorizing the role of fathers in families.
Editor’s Note: This post has been amended since it was originally published.
Are you familiar with Heather MacDonald? Did you read the whole essay? The violent crime statistics in this essay are jaw dropping. She frequently writes a very anti-crime and pro-police agenda as well as anti-illegal immigration essays. I never saw her push a gun-grabbing agenda.
First, initiating an encounter is not the same thing as initiating hostilities. For a neighborhood watch volunteer to inquire why someone not from a gated community is walking through in the wee hours is not out of line.
The question is, with the boiling animus of racist victimhood percolating just subcutaneously, was the response to such an enquiry hostile and did it utilize force? One need not have a weapon to kill someone, blunt force trauma using hands and/or feet accounts for a significant enough percentage of murders every year, albeit behind the use of weapons, and repeatedly striking someone's head against a hard object will do the trick.
Cain smote Abel with a rock (the first recorded murder), and bringing the head to the rock instead of the other way around can be equally effective.
At that point, Zimmerman is under attack using lethal force, and to respond in kind, regardless of the means, could be justified if Zimmerman did not initiate the physical confrontation.
To assume guilt on Zimmerman's part (Because he survived the encounter? Because his skin tone is lighter? Because he had a technological advantage that permitted him to prevail?) is crap, especially when the facts have been carefully filtered by the media.
“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” - William Randolph Hearst
Like perhaps a little bag of Skittles? And some iced tea?
Maybe a more extensive search of the area would reveal the 'skittles and iced tea'. Use drug dogs...
Why didn’t the girlfriend come forward when she learned Trayvon was dead? She had to know he was shot and killed yet, according to what I read, Trayvon’s parents only discovered the conversation between the two when they saw the cell phone records. This was weeks later. Why didn’t the girlfriend come forward immediately?
Unless Martins killer, George Zimmerman, had reason to believe that Martin was armed, shooting him was a grossly disproportionate response to a fistfight, even leaving aside the fact that Zimmerman had initiated the encounter.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
George Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty. Our criminal law should not be changed because we have a liberal fascist temporarily occupying the White House.Nor should our laws of due process be changed.
I doubt Zimmerman will ever be convicted of any offence in relation to the alleged murder. The Sanford Police Department concluded the homicide was justified. The fact that Martin happened to be a black man had nothing to do with it.Zimmerman acted in fear for his life when Martin tried to grab Zimmerman’s gun . The facts show that Zimmerman had a broken nose, and a laceration to the back of his head.Martin also said that Zimmerman was going to die.
Zimmerman was conservative with his responce shooting only once. I would have emptied an entire clip into him, whatever his race might have been.He could have been a purple genome from Mars for all I would have cared given these facts. We are free men, not subject to these thugs.
All this caterwauling is pure fascism, designed to cow White America into giving up its streets to black thugs prowling terror for Barrak Hussein Obama, our pretend president who we actually know little or nothing about.
Make white America vote out of guilt for Barak Hussein Obama? Alinsky is very much alive.
Let America lock and load. The media has been complicit in spreading this terror. Let them bring it.Its time to put these Obama fascists and their terrorist MSM supporters to bed for good.
He's a Democrat.
And he probably voted for Obama.
Good job. These are the facts as I understand them, and as I analyze them as well. And IMHO, it was this analysis that was made by the Sanford Police Department.
All the rest is simply raw emotion fanned into flames by race mongers, among whom numbers a sitting president of the United States, who is unqualified for the office.Obama’s lack of qualification shows.Big Time. Obama is complicit in removing the due process constitutional rights of Zimmerman, in public with the help of his fascist running dogs and the fascist propaganda media.How could Zimmerman ever get a fair trial? Obama has launched a lynch mob, and America should deny him.
Now any criticism of Obama is to be judged as “racist” yet again?Spare me the Alinsky violin music.This is not about Martin or Zimmerman. Its about Obama.
“I take it you havent read what Martins girlfriend said about the conversation over the phone right before Martin confronted Zimmerman.”
Sure did and it only proves that words were exchanged but as an observation I have to ask, doesnt the first person to speak start the conversation or confrontation in this case?
Okay, I'm with you 100% on liberals, democrats, and progressives. But blacks? Seriously? Don't do that on here. Aren't you/we above that?
With friends like this who needs enemies?
My feeling as well. The mother says she called in Sharpton because she couldn’t get any justice; maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. The widespread media blitz and professional race baiters and agitators involvement makes me question her statement. It’s an election year after all and ala Rahm, “no crisis should go to waste”.
When did she first make a public statement?
I don’t think that we’re her audience. That opening paragraph is a throwaway. Her real audience are moderates and the mushy middle, particularly blacks.
This is a call for hard reflection and to “stand down” from the racial flames being fanned by the likes of Sharpton, et. al.
"Heather Needs An Editor", should be her headline.
She led with an apologia (just unconscionable), buried the lede, and those stats should be bullet points (oh, the irony...).
This author's drivel should come with a complimentary barf bag.
Here's a clue, "Heather". Real life fist fights are nothing like the ones on TV. People do not actually trade blows for several minutes, and then end the affray with both parties simply breathing heavily and perhaps a slight trickle of blood from the corner of the loser's mouth.
Fights in real life are often short, violent affairs, usually with one or more parties attempting to inflict maximum, crippling, permanent damage on another, who is trying to defend themselves from said damage. There is a reason cops refuse to trade blows with people they deal with in the street, they often see the results of REAL fights in the course of their job.
This garbage was almost as nonsensical as the idiot poster here the other day that suggested that Zimmerman should have shot to wound Martin, rather than killing him. What we have is a lot of folks who are giving us their stupid opinions, because they "feel" that the events should have happened differently. Stop "feeling", and start THINKING.
Better yet, Heather, go do some research. Find one of these punks who plays the "Knockout Game" on unsuspecting white people, and give them one free punch... one attempt to knock you out with a single blow. Chances are that you will suffer broken facial bones, lost teeth, a broken jaw, a concussion, and possibly the loss of sight in one eye as a result. Your appearance and your emotional state (perhaps even your ability to think clearly. Nah, never mind, that doesn't seem to be an issue.) will be altered forever. That, from a single blow from someone who is playing a GAME.
I did not read the rest of Heather's article either. She had lost any and all credibility in the first paragraph. Maybe in the future she will learn to save the "touchy- feely" nonsense for the LAST paragraph.
My firearms instructor told me “the day you shoot a person will be the worst day of your life.” Hopefully, the race-baiters will not provoke more violence. If you are a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail; if you are a racist everything is solely about race.