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25 March 2012

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tequila

COL,

It is possible, indeed happens quite often, that one can treat individual members of a racial or ethnic group well yet view strangers from that ethnic group as an undifferentiated, evil mass.

How many Ku Klux Klan members argue that they have one or two black friends, and therefore are not racist? How many cops can partner with a black partner, yet pull over any black male in a nice car? In a Middle Eastern context, I've met Sunni Iraqis married to Shia Iraqis, who nonetheless viewed Shia with disdain, and vice versa. I've read stories of Hutu Rwandans, married to Tutsis, who kept their Tutsi wife safe but slaughtered Tutsis at checkpoints.

The racist who blindly hates every single member of another race is rare. The person who can judge a person of another race completely without prejudgment is equally rare. Racism is not either/or - it is a sliding scale of prejudice that often changes depending on the individual or situation being judged.

Dongo

Col. Lang,

Is defending a grown man who stalked, shot, and killed an unarmed child really something you want to be doing? So maybe he wasn't racist. So what? In what universe does a man admit to stalking and shooting a child (an admission corroborated by multiple witnesses -- have you heard the 911 calls?) and then totally avoid prosecution?

I'm not saying that Zimmerman should be convicted, as I don't have all the facts. But the lack of charges, an arrest, or anything vaguely resembling an investigation is an absolute scandal. There is a normal legal process that initiates after homicides -- it hasn't happened here, and that is what (I think) everyone is so upset about.

505thPIR

No way this is getting off the headlines any time soon. Careers are being made/sustained seeing who can profess to the most outrage.

A tragedy for sure, but reason is not only being thrown under the bus, it is going to be the asphault that paves the bus stop inperpetuity.

The sheeple will move on to other earth shaking emotionally charged MSM headlines just as soon as someone's cat gets stuck in an abandoned well somewhere.

Meanwhile, Iran, Israel, Syrian Civil War/Turkish intervention a resurgent Al Qaida in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, H1N1 Bird Flu, North Korean Missiles, Europe on the brink of economic implosion, Putin 2.0 and other such non-issues are a distant afterthought.

With such an "informed" citizenry to elections even matter?

turcopolier

Dongo et al

:Is defending a grown man who stalked, shot, and killed an unarmed child really something you want to be doing?"

I don't need advice from you. You don't know that is what happened. You are just emoting. You want to believe that this young man was a victim and so you describe him as "unarmed," a "child," etc. You think a 17 year old kid cannot be dangerous? If you do, you have led a sheltered life. You don't know that Zimmweman "stalked" this guy, You don't know anything except what you wannt to believe about it. Just another sheep. pl

The Twisted Genius

I've stayed out of this discussion because of the lack of facts available. Just like with SSG Bales, opposing sides are doing their damnedest to paint Zimmerman and Martin as either angel or devil depending on one's own belief system. The tragedy is probably more the result of not thinking things through before acting. It could be they both feared for their lives at some point in the incident. If they were both armed, maybe they'd both be dead because they feared for their lives. If neither were armed, it could have ended with bruises and bloody noses or just dirty looks. Maybe we'll find out what really happened, but not by listening to the media's hysterical rantings or believing only what we want to hear.

turcopolier

tequila

Since I am an authority on ME group dynamics, I caution you against lecturing me about this again. pl

turcopolier

TTG

I have not made a judgment about who did what. What pisses me off is the ideological bias in the reporting and a lot of the opinions here. pl

SteveB

Is he a racist monster? I have no idea what he thinks. But it appears based on published reports that he shot and killed an unarmed teenager who was talking on the phone with his girlfriend (and told her he was being followed) while walking back to a house he had every right to be at...but, of course, Zimmerman had the right to carry a gun and shoot this teenager if he felt threatened, even though he initiated the contact (after being told by police not to do so).

I don't even have to refer to race to describe the incident in terms that ought to offend any and everyone's sense of decency and justice.

Anyhow, I actually think conservatives want this to be about race--it distracts from the real issue that the state of Florida has passed laws that even made this possible.

Dongo

Col. Lang,

I agree entirely that I don't know what happened. That is why I believe there should be a normal arrest and investigation, as there would generally be after such a killing. I have no interest in "lynching" Zimmerman, and I strongly denounce those voices in the media who support doing such a horrid thing.

Beyond that, just a few points.

1) In the United States, the age of majority is eighteen. A seventeen-year-old is a child under our laws. I'm certainly not saying that every person beneath the age of majority is harmless, but under American law they are minors.

2) Has anyone on any side of this case suggested that Martin was armed? If so, I've yet to come across such an account.

3) In the 911 call the dispatcher asks Zimmerman if he is following Martin. Zimmerman says that he is. The dispatcher asks him to stop. Zimmerman does not stop, but continues to track down and confront Martin. After that it does indeed get more hazy, but those initial facts seem to be beyond reasonable dispute.

I have no interest into making this some sort of crusade, and it annoys me when clowns like Al Shaprton do just that. This just strikes me as a clear violation of basic morality and normal American criminal law, so I oppose it. I do not feel that that makes me a "sheep".

The Twisted Genius

PL,

The reporting and much of the reaction does have a Monty Python quality to it... except not near as witty or funny. Critical thinking as opposed to emoting, is in short supply.

Tyler

Are you insane?

An unarmed child?

Try 17 year old would be gangbanging drug dealer who was a 6'4 football player, chased Zimmermanan and beat him about the head.

I also have to ask: what color is the sky in your world where you got your "facts"? Right now it looks like Zimmerman was going back to his car when he was attacked by Trayvon, who was on top of him punching him in the head.

Don't let the facts get in the way of your emotions though.

Tyler

Here's the picture of Trayvon when he was 14 (the one being pushed by the media) versus one taken of him in Feb, with his honor student "grillz".

http://tinypic.com/r/mhd8xz/5

Here's a picture from his facebook where his friend is asking to hook him up with some weed:

http://tinypic.com/r/wkpt6r/5

Some of you on here, I imagine, would have a hard time giving a description to the police for fear of being thought of as "raycis" if a gang of "urban youths" broke into your home and robbed you.

Will Reks

Good points. I find it entirely plausible that both individuals were defending themselves from the other at different points.

LFS

Zimmerman is not a racist, he is a vigilante, and the tradition of vigilante racism is not history, it is real in the living memory of many people. The facts of the confrontation are secondary, perceptions are facts in cases like this. The point is that Zimmerman had no legal authority to do anything other than observe and report, which is exactly what he was told to do by proper authority, and exactly what he did not do. Unraveling "who struck John" after that is not the point. The outrage fueled by the fact that the local law enforcement authorities treated this "as if" it were nothing other than the death of a criminal. It was much, much, more than that, and their obtuse reaction effectively confirms the worst fears and emotions that the murder of an innocent black teenager can stir in American society. I don't see what's so hard to understand about that.

HankP

By his own admission, Zimmerman initiated the contact with Martin. By his own admission, he shot and killed Martin. The self-defense and "stand your ground" defenses are not available to the instigator of a confrontation, the state senator who drafted the "stand your ground" law has explicitly stated this in interviews. Therefore Zimmerman should have been arrested and held until the results of the investigation were completed. Whatever people believe about the racism/non-racism of Zimmerman is irrelevant to the legal issues at this point.

Lars

The only facts we know at this time is that we have a dead 17 year old and we know who killed him. We also know that the local State Attorney has been replaced by a special prosecutor by the Florida Governor. In addition, we know that state and federal law enforcement agencies are taking a good look at what happened and how the local police performed. The results of all that are yet to come.

What some of us locals know is that some of this is not surprising. There are some patterns that have been repeated many times in the past. The only difference now is that the national media has focused on this case.

Somewhere Casey Anthony must be smiling.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

Two things that were reported, albeit briefly, and seem to have been dropped from discussion are Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, and the 911 dispatcher cautioning Zimmerman not to follow the individual who turned out to be Trayvon Martin.

"Stand Your Ground" may have nothing to do with this, but it's troubling that Zimmerman paid no heed to the dispatcher's admonition.

The only thing certain is that lawyers will get richer.

r whitman

This is conviction by the news/entertainment industry. This is the same process used on the conviction of the Rutgers college student for a hate crime and the attempted news media exoneration of Sgt Bales. These cases are being tried on the 24 hour news cycle, not in court.

turcopolier

LFS

Your claim that it matters not who attacked whom is absurd. pl

Morocco Bama

r whitman, somewhere in our vast neural networking, Howard Beale is preparing yet another sermon.

Where have you gone, Howard Beale, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

turcopolier

Dongo

"The dispatcher asks him to stop. Zimmerman does not stop, but continues to track down and confront Martin"

Citation for "Zimmeman does not stop?" pl

DCA

I'd say that one clear point is that Mr. Zimmerman, by exiting his vehicle and not just watching (both moves that he was told not to make) exercised extremely poor judgment. I think it is very unfortunate that the police did not give him a breathalyzer test.

stanleyhenning

It seems to me that the major problem is allowing Community Watch personnel to carry weapons. However, they should be given communications devices to call in police. I don't know that Zimmerman was racist, but I think he shouldn't have been carrying a weapon - that's a problem of the local system.

Jane

There's no way I can believe that, because he's not a confrontational kid," said Jerome Horton, who was one of Martin's former football coaches and knew him since he was about 5. "It just wouldn't happen. That's just not that kid."

Got a cite for that bit about would be gang banger? Doesn't jibe with what the people who knew him say.

optimax

A remake of Network by a major studio today would have Howard Beale going full Rambutt.

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