Skip to comments.Trayvon Martin and Black Manhood On Trial (Relying on Rachel's testimony? Huh?)
Posted on 07/02/2013 11:34:23 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Yesterday, the jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial heard, at length, Zimmerman describe in his own words what happened the night he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He didnt take the stand, but the prosecution played for the court three separate audio and video recordings of Zimmermans interviews with the police and read aloud his written statement from the night of February 26, 2012. His description of the events were generally consistent with the story he has repeatedly told. But to my mind, the case really comes down to what the jury will believe happened in one specific moment.
Zimmerman says that after the 911 dispatcher told him he did not need to follow Trayvon, he continued walking to find an address so that he could be more specific regarding his whereabouts. Then he got off the phone. Its during this time that Zimmerman claims that Trayvon came out of either the bushes, or the darkness, and said something to the effect of, Whats your problem, homie? to which Zimmerman responded, I dont have a problem. Says Zimmerman, Trayvon replied, Youve got a problem now and proceeded to punch Zimmerman in the face. Zimmermans version of the story is contradicted by the states key witness, 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, who took the stand last week. Jeantel, who was one the phone with Trayvon that night for the duration of this event, says Trayvon was attempting to elude Zimmerman, whom he had described as a creepy ass cracker. Trayvon, according to Jeantel, believed he had lost Zimmerman, only to then notice that he hadnt, at which point he told Jeantel, The nigga is following me. Jeantel says she then heard Trayvon say, Why you following me for? to which Zimmerman replied What are you doing out here? She then heard what she described as a bump and wet grass before the call was lost.
Jeantels testimony is key because it directly refutes Zimmermans version of the event and calls into question who was the aggressor in the resulting tussle. Its clear that Zimmerman sustained some injuries, while not necessarily consistent with his assertion that Trayvon punched him twenty-five to thirty times and slammed his head on the concrete. Its likely that a fight took place. But who started it?
On her show Sunday morning, Melissa Harris-Perry asked a question that gets at the heart of why this case is of national importance. Talking with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, Harris-Perry said: It does seem like part of what hinges here is whether or not Trayvon Martin hit George Zimmerman and whether or not he did so first but why is it that if this person hit someone who was prepared to use lethal force against him why wouldnt he have a right to stand his ground? Is that not racialized? Do black boys get to defend themselves?
Because its clear that, whoever instigated the altercation, Zimmerman followed Trayvon that night. He was instructed not to, but he did anyway. That Zimmerman fumbled for an answer when the lead investigator asked whether he thought Trayvon was afraid of him is emblematic of the way society has trained us to think about black manhood. Of course he didnt think Trayvon could be scared. Young black men never are. They are the danger. Which is also why, for some, Zimmermans story, even with the cartoonish language he ascribes to Trayvon, doesnt sound far-fetched. A black man jumping from behind the bushes to sucker-punch someone they dont know and attempt to kill them only a short distance from their home. It makes perfect sense if you believe that black men are preternaturally violent.
The jury will have to decide who they believe in this instance, Jeantel or Zimmerman, and it is this that has me concerned. Brittney Cooper, writing for Salon, captured it succinctly: black womanhood, black manhood and urban adolescence are always on trial in the American imaginary.
Zimmermans innocence rests on the notion of Trayvons criminality. And in this country, its not that difficult to convince six people of the criminality of a 17-year-old black boy.
Want more from the Zimmerman trial? Read Mychal Denzel Smiths defense of Rachel Jeantel.
No cursive in the courtroom either, you betcha!
That kinda talk is not allowed.
6 jurist??? not 12?? I must have slept, when did this change???
Now THAT’S funny.
Yep. Looks just like her.
I have never heard “wet grass”, is it a new band?
LOL. I reckon.
Had Z been looking for trouble, been the "aggressor", his firearm would not have remained holstered as he replied to St. Trayvon, and certainly not when "you have a problem now" was uttered.
“Black manhood” is not on trial.
Aggressive, violent, thuggery is.
Because its clear that, whoever instigated the altercation, Zimmerman followed Trayvon that night. He was instructed not to, but he did anyway.
This is a lie by exaggeration. Zimmerman was told he "didn't need to" follow, but was not "instructed not to" follow Martin.
That Zimmerman fumbled for an answer when the lead investigator asked whether he thought Trayvon was afraid of him is emblematic of the way society has trained us to think about black manhood.
When Zimmerman was asked to read the mind of Martin, he took the time to think through the situation and come to a conclusion. Zimmerman was asked to identify the mindset of another person - a task for which he would be deemed unable to do in a court of law. But his hesitation - his thoughtfulness - is interpreted by the author to be stereotypically racist.
The rest of the sentence is "emblematic" of a race hustler trying to convince anyone - perhaps even himself - that the hesitation was racially motivated. Apparently the author is a psychic, who can leap to tall stereotypes of his own in a single thought.
Correct. Black manhood is Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Herman Cain, Walter E. Williams and the black middle class working guy down the street who pays his mortgage and taxes and demands that his kids get educated and act civilized.
I stand corrected.
Florida law only provides 12 jurors in a capital case. Mr. Zimmerman is on trial for 2nd degree murder, not 1st degree murder.
lol. about sums it up. But Shrek was eloquent.