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.
Not that I'm aware of, but I find her often at National Review Online, City Journal and the NY Post.
Terribly subjective article.
Terribly subjective first paragraph that I hope you overcame to get to the statistics.
Let’s not forget one important point: Zimmerman may have feared that this kid was going to take his gun away and use it on him. I carry, and under those circumstances, I’m shooting him all day.
Here’s an example of what I was suggesting in the other thread.
The opening paragraph of this POS is indicative of the kind of hidden “Progressive” agenda pusher in the so-called right-wing media.
I wrote about this sort of betrayal twice in the last 7 days here: http://www.pascalfervor.blogspot.com/2012/03/writers-and-broadcasters-for-skuncs.html
Until we begin to recognize and call them out on it, these writers and talkers will continue to mislead our side and divide us. They often sound like us in a good part of their presentation, but they’ll do it while cutting our throats with their aside observations when we are distracted. Heather MacDonald was particularly oafish in how obviously biased she is here, and also likely pimping a gun-grabber agenda,
They never stop being deceitful. Fistfight. LOL!
>> Terribly subjective first paragraph that I hope you overcame to get to the statistics.
LOL, you twisted my arm...
Similar stats have been circulating. Unbelievable!
The systematic violence that plagues Black youth is really of no concern to the Left as long as it helps to perpetuate its power. This is the real story in my opinion.
This event was tragic and noone knows all of the facts.
The bigger tragedy is the media manipulation and political abuse of the situation. Not only is it irresponsible..it is dangerous.
I read an article (if true) that said this started with some organization at Harvard that posts on line petitions. The petition for this event was very vague in facts and garnered the attention of some high profile individuals. Then was tweeted to followers..and so on. That maybe why it took several weeks after the actual event to trickle down to the MSM. Enter Obama, Sharpton and Jackson to fan the flames.
The power of the social media is great. It can be used for good as well as bad. It has made me doubt anything I read or see...more than I did in the past.
I understand what you’re saying, but being fair, Zimmerman did try to follow Martin - we know that from the 911 tapes.
I have doubts as to the girlfriend’s truthfulness but she has also given some important information:
The assumption has been made by the ‘hoodie’ group that Trayon was wearing his hoodie up because it was supposed to be raining at the time and Zimmerman profiled Martin specifically because of the hoodie. Trayvon’s girlfriend’s statement contradicts that:
He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on, she said.
He said he lost the man.
(This seems very important. We can assume Trayvon said this after Zimmerman broke off contact and while Zimmerman was still talking to 911 - so if Martin ‘lost’ Zimmerman, why did Martin return to where Zimmerman was instead of continuing on his way to the apartment he was headed to? )
“I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.
(it’s reasonable to believe at this point Martin decides not to appear afraid in front of his girlfriend “i’m not going to run!”. Did Martin decide to retrace his steps and confront Zimmerman? How did Trayvon get ‘thisclose’ to Zimmerman less than a minute later, that the girlfriend could now also hear Zimmerman’s voice?)
Trayvon said, What, are you following me for. And the man said, What are you doing here.
“Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell.”
(if Trayvon said anything in response to, ‘what are you doing here’, the girlfriend probably would leave that out of her narrative but one can assume a punch would be accompanied by some sort of comment and no comment coming from Zimmerman or Martin was reported. Which makes me believe perhaps Martin did say something. The ‘hearing of pushing’ could have been Zimmerman being punched or pushed to the ground. If Martin did retrace his steps instead of continuing on to the safety of the apartment he was headed to, it’s then reasonable to believe Trayvon pulled the earbuds out of his own ears and hung up the phone so his girlfriend wouldn’t be a ‘witness’ to the beating he was planning on giving Zimmerman.)
I called him again and he didnt answer the phone.
(I’ve dropped my phone a few times and most of the time it remains connected to the call. Not sure what the odds are on that or if Martin had a flipphone or a droid, so not sure if that is important or not.)
There is so much wrong with McDonald’s account of what happened that there’s no hope of correcting it. McDonalds needs to be writing for the Nation. At the very least woman go check your facts, or actually go get some at all. You might want to check on who initiated the violence. Oh, and 6’3” Martin didn’t look like that angelic little 12 yo boy in that picture all the media is STILL using. Martin was a gangbanger thug who made the mistake of trying to take out an armed adult.
Sorry, Heather, I couldn't disagree more. Bashing someone's head on concrete isn't a fistfight anyway. Since you have no solid grasp on reality we have no basis to talk about anything so I won't bother to read past the above BS.
Those are breathtaking statistics, but the story doesn’t answer the question, why are the professional race baiters exploiting this particular shooting? Could it be because Florida is going red this November? Because Marco Rubio, an Hispanic, is the #1 pick for VP and they think it somehow hurts him to smear some anonymous Hispanic? In that case the press is ruining their plan by calling the guy White. Maybe this is a place holder until OWS gets back up to riot speed. Or maybe it’s just been too long since the New Black Panthers were on tv and Reverend Al decided they needed face time. My theory is they figure reminding Blacks how much they hate Whites, er..Hispanics..er..White Hispanics.. will get them to the polls 6 months from now to vote for Obama, who is definately not a White Black. Or a Black White. At all.
The Panjwai 16 It's now 17, Michael Yon.
Not-So-Smooth Operator Peggy Noonan is starting to wake up.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
At some point in this matter we have to analyze evidence. I ask you to review this phone call and explain where there's anything in it that implicates Zimmerman. At best, it might contradict his story that he was returning to his car where and when, by Zimmerman's account, he was assaulted by Martin. That would not be true if it were Martin who doubled back on Zimmerman and we have no evidence that Martin he did not double back. I think a very important fact might be the physical location of the body in relation to Zimmerman's auto. If it was proximate, Zimmerman's story holds.
Even if Zimmerman's story does not hold with respect to who followed whom it does not adduce any evidence of wrongdoing on Zimmerman's part. He had a perfect legal right to follow Martin.
In the absence of any evidence from the girlfriend's account or otherwise, we must conclude that there is no evidence except the following: Zimmerman admits that he shot Martin. Zimmerman says he was assaulted by Martin. There is absolutely no evidence that contradicts that.
In fact, there is an eyewitness who says that a fight took place.
Zimmerman says he was struck in the face, forced to the ground, and his head was being bashed into the concrete. There is no evidence whatsoever contradicting that. There is evidence that in the fight Martin was on top of Zimmerman. There is evidence that Zimmerman's nose was broken and the back of his head was cut. There is evidence that he was treated for these injuries before he was filmed entering the police station. The film at the police station in freeze-frame shows a likely injury to the back of his head.
There is an eyewitness that Martin was on top of Zimmerman.
Zimmerman says he was crying for help while being beaten by Martin. There is absolutely no evidence contradicting that assertion.
In fact, there are multiple witnesses to confirm they heard cries for help. Telephone recordings confirm that the cries were Zimmerman's.
There is no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on Zimmerman's part. Repeat, there is no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on Zimmerman's part.
Any conclusion that he used excessive force must be confected out of thin air. Any conclusion that he started a fight must be confected out of thin air. Even if he did start a fight, if he was in reasonable apprehension of serious bodily harm and had no place to escape because he was on the bottom, on his back, being pummeled, he had a right to use deadly force. There is no evidence that this was not the case.
We still have the presumption of innocence in this country. You must have some evidence somewhere, anywhere to overcome this presumption. The presumption shifts the duty to the state to come forward with evidence. What evidence do you have? Hypotheticals and theories are not evidence. Overzealousness, rudeness, racial stereotyping are neither crimes nor evidence.
At some point you have to have a crime and you have to have proof of a crime. The burden is on the state to prove a crime. It is the duty of the state to refrain from charging a crime that it cannot prove. That is why prosecutors have discretion and that is why we have the protection of being indicted by a grand jury so that we will not frivolously be charged with crime.
Here is the account of the telephone conversation I found on CNN news which is hardly a source favorable the Zimmerman, and ask you what do you read in it that carries the highest burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt required for the state to convict of a crime? I ask you if you can even find inferences most favorable which justify a reasonable man in concluding that we have probable cause of a crime?
Benjamin Crump, the Martin family lawyer, says Martin's girlfriend's account of what happened connects the dots and destroys Zimmerman's claims of self-defense.
The girl, who did not want to be identified, said she was on the phone with the teen before the shooting.
When Zimmerman got closer to Martin, she told her boyfriend to run, but Martin told her that he was not going to run, she said.
"What are you stopping me for?" Martin asked Zimmerman, according to the girl.
"What are you doing around here?" Zimmerman asked in response.
The girl said she then got the impression that an altercation was taking place and that someone had pushed Martin, because the headset fell out of his ear, and the phone shut off."
How in the world does this "destroy Zimmerman's claims of self-defense?" http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/30/justice/florida-teen-shooting-witnesses/index.html
People magazine has a very innocent looking young boy on the cover. Just adding more fuel to the fire with this misinformation about who Martin had really become.
You should have read beyond the awful first paragraph. Heather has stunning statistics! I thought you knew my posts were better than her awful first paragraph.
someone suggested yesterday that Martin disappeared so he could hide something and then return to what he thought might be LEO without it.
Well, I think I’ve seen the statistics before but I usually judge a piece by its content and author not the poster who put it up. Sorry if you were offended by my opinion.
Like perhaps a little bag of Skittles? And some iced tea?
Thinking on the same line. Toxicology report will blow this open if it is...can’t wait to hear the justification from the Revs then.
I quit watching and listening to this putz a long time ago, but on O'Reilly last night, he went on a tear and basically accused Zimmerman of stalking and causing the confrontation, thus he was not justified in using the stand your ground defense.
His face was red with rage and he was breathing fire and as is the case, O'Reilly came to his defense by changing the subject, but you could tell he was literally seething.
He is a disgrace and a borderline liberal fellow traveler and tool.