Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, March 26, 2012

"They killed my son; now they're trying to kill his reputation."


I've read righwing blogs where an effort is underway to characterize Trayvon Martin as responsible for or deserving of  George Zimmerman's shooting him.  This is to be expected as a knee-jerk reaction from the wingers to this outrage and to President Obama's heartfelt reaction and comments on this volatile situation.

This is nothing more than character assassination by the right.  And it is a disgrace:

From Think Progress:
"Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”
Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:

1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]

2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]

3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]

4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]

5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]

6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]

The final part of the effort to smear Trayvon Martin is to link him and his supporters to irresponsible fringe groups like the New Black Panthers and marignal provocateurs like Louis Farrakhan. Threats by these groups are serious and should be investigated, but they have nothing to do with Martin or his supporters. The leader of the effort to associate Martin with these groups is Matt Drudge. You can see how he is framing the story today here.

Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman’s conduct that night was justified. Clearly, there are two different versions of the events that transpired on February 26, the night Trayvon was killed. There are conflicting statements by witnesses and conflicting evidence as to who was the aggressor. Zimmerman has the right to tell his side of the story. But his opportunity to do this will come in a court of law after he is charged and arrested. In the meantime, Zimmerman’s supporters should stop trying to smear the reputation of a dead, 17-year-old boy."

One of the more loathsome blogs has featured this sort of posting in connection with the Trayvon Martin killing. 

 And this as well.



vis Think Progress:

Lead investigator wanted to arrest and charge Zimmerman | ABC News reports that the lead investigator in Trayvon Martin shooting wanted a manslaughter charge against the shooter George Zimmerman. The lead investigator, Chris Serino, stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events according to an affidavit he filed the night of Feb. 26. His recommendation for a manslaughter charge was overruled by state attorney Norman Wolfinger, who subsequently removed himself from the case. Read everything you should know about the case here.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Looking back in anger said...

We need to keep on this, shaw, and hope that justice will win out.

Malcolm said...

To call the people behind this smear job loathsome barely scratches the surface of how bad they are. When they have to lie and distort, that just shows how weak their argument is in defending George Zimmerman.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Malcolm have you seen the police videos of Zimmerman as he is being taken into custody????

There is no evidence in the video of any head or nose injuries. None.

MSNBC is playing the videos right now.

Also, the Sanford police labeled Trayvon as "John Doe" even though they knew his name and address!


Rational Nation USA said...

We are all certainly entitled to our opinions based on the information we have been able to gather thus far.

As new information continues to surface, some factual and some very questionable it is time (IMO) to consider the following,

The proper course for all individuals regardless of their prior and or current bias.

The full truth will come out and the proper determination will ultimately be made.

It is likely nobody yet has all the pertinent facts and the media and blogs of both liberal and conservative persuasion are passing premature judgement, from a legal perspective anyway.

I know, I was guilty of the same.

Flying Junior said...

Well RN,

I remembering reading the original Los Angeles Times article on the O.J. Simpson killing of his ex-wife Nicole. I had all the information I needed before I had finished my burger and fries. Still to this day, there are those who insist since there were no witnesses, nobody really knows what happened that night.

Thanks for pointing out the extreme reaction of the hard right/racist blogosphere Shaw. I thank my lucky stars I never listen to AM radio or watch TV News. It's surrealistic, is it not? What the fuck are dickheads like O'Reilly and Geraldo even doing discussing it? The hubris. It's unconscionable. I remember just a couple of weeks ago, the only information out there was the bare bones facts. Now the spin machine is operating at full tilt. I guess people seem to want to have fun with it all more than anything else. Grab for attention. It's all playtime. Nothing real.

Rational Nation USA said...

By all means let us continue to fan the flames. Sharpton and Jackson are no doubt very proud.

My point is the information is flowing, the majority I believe think Zimmerman should have been arrested, the investigation is moving forward. So take a breather and allow the process to play itself out.

Yeah there are some shitheads on the right, they, like you are entitled to their opinions if there job is to express their opinion(s). There are a few shitheads on the left as well. Such is life.

I used to have a boss (the liberal that he was) who would often say, "rise above it."

It is now time IMO to rise above it. As in the following:

"What the fuck are dickheads like O'Reilly and Geraldo even doing discussing it?"

I'm going to take a leap here... The same thing the lefties are doing methinks.

Personally I believe Zimmerman is guilty of murder. But once the investigation that determination will rest with the law.

Hopefully he will indited and justice will rest in the hands of a 12 person jury of his peers.

Flying Junior said...

Blogging can be a pure and healthy exchange of ideas between sympathetic peoples of the United States and beyond.

Infotainment pundits need to hold themselves to a higher standard. The raw power of that flatscreen TV and the high-definition relentless sound. The mind-numbing commercials. The high-intensity voice professionals. Horrifying. Reading is fundamental. Next step grand jury. I'm willing to step back and see what happens next.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The newly released videos from the Sanford police department show Zimmerman emerging from the squad care, unassisted, with his hands handcuffed behind his back. There isn't any blood on the front of his tee shirt [allegedly, he had his nose broken]. His nose is not bloodied or swollen, the back of his head is not bloodied or bandaged. We also heard, last night, from Zimmerman's father, a retired judge, that Zimmerman told his father that Trayvon said he, Zimmerman, was going to die. The police record shows that Zimmerman did not report this threat to them when Zimmerman was arrested.

Could Zimmerman have forgotten to tell police that Trayvon threatened his life? You decide.

That would be the very FIRST thing anyone in this situation would tell the police. Why didn't Zimmerman tell the police when they took him in for questioning that Trayvon threatened him? Why did he wait to tell his father?

Some people believe Zimmerman is not guilty. I don't know yet, but from what we have seen with our eyes and heard from those involved in the crime, it would take a huge stretch of credulity to make the judgement that Zimmerman is NOT guilty.

That police video is pretty damning evidence. Not a drop of blood on him after allegedly being pummled in the face and having his nose broken--here's a LOT of blood when a nose is broken--and then shooting Trayvon in the chest while Trayvon was on top of him and hitting him?

The other VERY curious part of this is Joe Oliver--Zimmerman's supposed "friend."

The guy quit his job to go around to news programs and defend him? He admitted to Lawrence O'Donnell that he really wasn't that close to Zimmerman--more of an acquaintance.

So someone please explain how a man with a family--he has teenage children-- who is not independently wealthy quits his job to defend someone he admits is an acquaintance?

Then there is the very curious behavior of the police chief, Bill Lee, who showed up on a Sunday night at the crime scene along with THE STATE ATTORNEY. It is unusual to have the chief law enforcement officer of a city do that and unusual to a high degree for the state attorney do come to a crime scene of this sort.

Remember. Zimmerman's father is a retired Florida judge.

Everything in story smells very much like a rodent.

Shaw Kenawe said...


It appears that the Zimmerman family has an anger problem:

Zimmerman’s Father Blasts Obama: ‘I Never Foresaw So Much Hate Coming From The President’ | The father of the man accused of killing Travyon Martin slammed President Obama and civil rights leaders for supposedly spewing “hate.” Robert Zimmerman, father of George, told a local Fox affiliate in Florida that groups demanding justice for Martin like the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP are just “trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way.” He called on Obama to go “beyond the hate.” Obama spoke publicly about the case last week, saying he supported new investigations into the killing. While Obama made a personal comment about his own children, he never mentioned Zimmerman.

The elder Zimmerman is off his rocker. The president's remarks were perfectly normal, saying the investigation should go forward and that all facts need to be discovered. He did mention that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon. A heartfelt personal remark, which I, as a mother and grandmother of boys understand completely.

There wasn't a scintilla of hatred in what the president said.

Robert Zimmerman--George's father--appears to be someone who doesn't have control over his misplaced emotions.

Curious, since his son is very much alive, and Tracy Martin's son is very much dead.

martha said...

George Zimmerman’s father, Robert, is a retired Judge, his mother a court clerk …both in this area.

Who’s on first?, what’s on second and I don’t know is on third…the Three Stooges award of the year!

No “grass stains” on the back of his jacket, no marks, no blood, no swelling, no; his “broken nose”…no reports from medics the police say attended him at the scene….nothing.

First police report mentions NOTHING about any injury to Zimmerman whatsoever, lists Trayvon Martin as”John Doe”…

Second police report, dated around 3 AM the early morning after the shooting, lists Zimmerman’s supposed injuries and Trayvon Martins name, AGE, adress and phone number yet parents were NOT notified and THEY were told he was listed as a John Doe so they had to wait to retrive his body.!!!

We do not know who completed and further doctored the second police report.

The original officer that attended the scene was a narcotics officer, the second a homicide detective.

The homicide detective swore out an affidavit that night that he wanted Zimmerman arrested, because after questioning him he did NOT believe his story.

The state PROSECUTOR was the person that stopped the arrest and the police chief agreed with him.

The state prosecutor would surely have known Zimmerman’s father and most probably his mother…he is of an age and due to retire this year..he also recused himself from the case the same time the police chief did

One of the 911 calls was from an 11 year old boy who was walking his dog, heard the screams and saw someone laying on the ground screaming for help..his dog bolted by the time he started to go back, hearing the screams all the way…he heard a shot and then silence.
He went home and contacted 911.

His mother was on TV today and said this SAME homicide cop that swore out the affidavit told her that they were having a hard time arresting anyone because of racial profiling…this shooting happened Feb 26 but police did not contact them until March 2nd.

Rational Nation USA said...

Much of this is now distraction to support a particular theory. FJ's most recent comment is spot on. Well said FJ.

boomer bob said...

Give me a break. The video indictes that the Chief and teh AG had discussions ON THE NIGHT OF THE MURDER. How often do the police chief and AG confer regarding arrests at all and when it does happen, how often is it on the same day????

The smell of bullshit is heavy in the air, especially when you see this -

Watch the video before reading on and tell me if you see what I saw.

Did you see it?

The video shows an EXTRMELY casual atmosphere when you look at the behavior and body language of the police officers taking Zimmerman into the police HQ for questioning. It's extremely RARE that police officers let an arrestee walk, unattended, into the building while they, unbelievably, walk ahead of him.

Odd indeed!

Rational Nation USA said...

boomer bob... Things are always quite clear and understandable when viewed though the lens of ones on biases and prejudices.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Looking at a video that recorded actual events the night of Trayvon's death and learning from police reports that the police captain AND the state attorney got involved in an event they normally wouldn't be involved in is NOT looking through a biased lens.

It's looking at events that actually HAPPENED and events that were actually reported.

Rational Nation USA said...


S.W. Anderson said...

The purpose of a trial is to arrive at the truth, or to come as close as possible to arriving at the truth.

In this case, with Trayvon Martin unable to tell his side of things, the full truth, beyond a shadow of a doubt, might be unobtainable even with a trial. We'll see.

In the meantime, in another demonstration of the near collapse of quality hard-news reporting by the MSM, it's revealing that reporters don't seem to feel a need to spotlight those who are out to slime Trayvon Martin while concocting reasons Zimmerman must be innocent of any wrongdoing.

One obvious question for the deniers and whitewashers is, "Why are you doing this?" Another is, "What do you see as the political angle here?"

I strongly suspect the unuttered answers to the unasked questions are: 1, racism; and 2, showing solidarity with racists, especially gun-worshiping racists, for political gain.

For example, almost immediately after this story broke, one of the first persons to jump in front of a camera spouting talking-point reasons Zimmerman did nothing wrong and neither did the Sanford police was an official of a group called Gun Owners of America.

Does anyone with at least two functioning brain cells think a Gun Owners of America official would be defending Marftin if Martin had shot and killed Zimmerman, either with a gun Martin owned or with Zimmerman's gun?